It’s National Love Your Pet Day this Tuesday, Feb. 20. If you have never celebrated this day there’s good reason for that. The history of this unofficial holiday and how it got started is a little murky. So, that means it’s not listed on any official calendar. But, where you can find it is on one of those offbeat lists that celebrates everything from food to professions to specific activities and really a whole lot more. Nobody actually knows when National Love Your Pet Day was born. But, it appears that it sprouted up around the year 2000 or so and has been gaining recognition ever since.
To celebrate National Love Your Pet Day all you need is a pet and a little extra time to show that you care—the reason for the holiday. However, buying a special new toy or a treat couldn’t hurt either. Pet ownership in the U.S. generates big dollars. In 2017 pet owners in the U.S. spent an estimated $70 billion. In addition to food and supplies that astonishing figure also includes boarding, grooming, vet care and surgical visits, treats and vitamins.
The most common household pets in the U.S. are dogs, cats, birds, fresh and salt water fish, reptiles, small animals, and horses. According to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) an estimated 85 million families owned a pet in 2017. Cats reign in the U.S. They outnumber dogs. But, the number of households in the U.S. that own a dog is greater—60.2 million dogs versus 47.1 cats.
Pampering your pooch on National Love Your Pet Day
The Austin metro area is extremely pet-friendly especially when it comes to dogs. There are numerous events, parks and restaurants that go out of their way to cater to dog owners and their furry friends. Here’s a few ideas on how to celebrate your pet on National Love Your Pet day. Walk, eat, and be merry this National Love Your Pet Day.
- Hit the trail. The Travisso community’s active lifestyle provides a multitude of trails through some beautiful terrain for both you and your dog to explore. Or, stop by the sports fields behind Travisso’s amenity center and play a game of fetch or Frisbee.
- Hang out with your dog and other pet owners at Dog House Drinkery in Leander. From a dog owner’s perspective, this place has it all including a bar, a flat screen TV, a game room and a monitor for the off-leash dog park. There’s also plenty of seating, shade, water for your pooch, and beer and wine for you. Or, choose from over 450 Austin area eateries with large patios that accommodate dogs.
- Grab the leash and take your dog out to play at Cedar Bark Park. This off-leash dog park housed in Veterans Memorial Park, is just a quick two-mile drive from Travisso. This five-acre Cedar Park facility is nirvana for dogs. There are many amenities including a large dog park, a small dog park, a swimming hole, and a puppy playground equipment. Other amenities such as showers, shade, and fountains round out the experience. Or, attend Cedar Bark Festival, an annual free celebration with contests, food concessions, vendors, and demonstrations.
- If you don’t have a pet yet, and would like to rescue one, visit the folks at Texas Humane Heroes. This Leander-community nonprofit organization operates purely from donations and grants, along with modest fees from services. Check out their Hero Adoption Program for additional information.
- Take extra time to pet your reptile, buy your cat a new toy, or feed your fish a treat.
And, don’t forget to post your favorite pet photo on twitter using the hashtag #NationalLoveYourPetDay. Enjoy!