If you have a pet, you don’t need science to tell you that your furry, feathered, or scaly friend makes you feel better on bad days, and great on good ones. But in fact science has shown that owning a pet can potentially do everything from alleviating allergies and boosting your immune system, to soothing pain and helping you manage stress.1 Just by existing, these small (or not so small!) creatures enhance our lives in the most comforting ways. And, while pets are beloved by all pet owners, they often hold a very special place in the hearts of seniors, widows and widowers, single people, and couples without children.
So not only does your pet bring much-needed joy and love to your life, they are helping you live healthier too—and that deserves a celebration! As luck would have it, April 11 is National Pet Day.
Perhaps all the party your pup needs on April 11 is an extra-long walk and his favorite can of food, but if you want go all out, we’ve come up with some great ways to celebrate the very special bond we have with our animals. In honor of everything your pet brings to your world, consider celebrating National Pet Day in one of the following ways:
- Organize a food and supply drive for your local animal shelter. Shelters and rescue organizations rely heavily (and sometimes exclusively) on donations. Everything from old towels and blankets to food and litter are desperately needed by these organizations. With the Foresters Community Grant Program, you can apply online for a financial grant to help you organize activities just like this that benefit your community. Visit MyForesters.com for more information and to begin your application.
- Donate knitted or no-sew blankets to your local animal shelter. Shelter animals are often scared and in need of comfort and warmth. Check out Comfort For Critters for simple knitted, crocheted, and no-sew blankets that are perfect for cages.
- Spay or neuter your pet, or donate to a vet or organization that provides this service to those in need. Spaying and neutering is the only way to reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens who end up in shelters every year—because accidents do happen. In addition, altering is known to lengthen the lifespan of animals.2
- Foster an animal in need. This is a great option if you don’t currently own a pet, or can’t make a long-term commitment to one right now. Rescue organizations are always looking for temporary loving homes for dogs and cats that are up for adoption. You are usually given money for food and supplies, and any necessary veterinary care is covered by the shelter.
- Adopt another pet! If you have room in your home, a pet-friendly cat or dog, and enough resources to accommodate another pet, why not add to your furry family? Rescue organizations are always looking for loving homes for abandoned and surrendered animals that deserve a second chance at a loving forever home. Maybe it’s yours!
- Raise and train a service animal. Guide dogs for the visually impaired and therapy animals for people with other physical and mental health issues are instrumental in helping their owners’ live full and independent lives. For more information on fostering and training a therapy dog, visit The Dog People.
- Share your pet on social media. Take a photo of your you and your pet(s) and share it on social media with the hashtag #NationalPetDay
Remember that while animals have a way of very quickly becoming members of the family, they also have a way of getting into things they shouldn’t.
Happy National Pet Day!
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