Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Well, on National Pet Day, everyone did! It might seem like a tall tail, but it's true! There's a whole day dedicated to the whiskered, winged, and wiggly creatures that make our lives so much brighter. And judging by the number of excited posts, tweets, and snaps we've picked up on, it seems more popular than giving a dog a bone!
It's national pet day on the 11th April.
If you're wondering when this scratching... err... scintillating tradition started, it was all the way back in 2006 by Animal Welfare Advocate and Pet Lifestyle Expert, Colleen Paige. National Pet Day was created to highlight the unconditional love pets bring to our lives and to encourage adoption. Since then, it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon!
On the 11th of April each year, the internet goes on a virtual safari ride. People share videos of their cats' acrobatics, upload photos of their dogs' goofiness, and post laudations of their parakeets' performances. In 2017, our antennae picked up over a quarter of a million mentions all across the globe. That's a lot of puppy love!
Twitter feeds turn into twittering bird feeds, while Instagram stories are filled with insta-rrific snapshots of pets. Blogs, forums, and even podcasts turn their attention towards our beloved winged, scaled, and furry friends. This wide embrace reflects the range of pets out there - from parrots and pythons to puppies and pandas (okay, maybe not pandas, but you get the picture).
This day isn't all about the online animal hijinks though, it serves a serious purpose too. National Pet Day promotes pet adoption and raises awareness about the plight of different breeds and species. It's a day that reminds us to give back to the creatures who give us so much love and joy.
The term 'pet' is believed to have originated in the 16th century. It is derived from the Middle English word 'petty', meaning small or tender. At this time, the term was commonly used to describe a small, affectionate animal or a favorite person.
The first recorded use of the term 'pet' in reference to an animal was in 1769 by Sir William Davenant in his play 'The Rivals'. Davenant's character mentions a 'pet parrot', establishing the term as a way to describe a domesticated or cherished animal companion.
In the late 18th century, keeping pets became increasingly popular among the British middle and upper classes. The wealthy elite began to keep small animals like dogs, cats, and birds as companions. This led to the development of the pet industry and the emergence of specialized pet shops.
In 1866, the first official pet show was held in Newcastle, England. The event showcased a wide variety of animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and even reptiles. This marked a turning point in the perception of pets from mere companions to objects of exhibition and competition.
The American Kennel Club (AKC), one of the oldest and most prestigious dog registries in the United States, officially recognized pets as a distinct category in 1884. This recognition provided a platform for standards and regulations in pet breeding, further promoting the pet industry's growth.
In the 20th century, pet ownership became increasingly common and socially accepted. The growing trend of keeping pets as members of the family led to the development of pet insurance, pet grooming services, and pet daycare facilities. Pets also started to play significant roles in therapeutic settings, aiding in emotional support and healing.
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