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Learn 30+ Fun Facts about Pets for National Love Your Pet Day

Do you have a pet? National Love Your Pet Day gives us the perfect excuse to shower our pets with a little extra love! 

National Love Your Pet Day falls annually on February 20th. Celebrate it by reading the fun facts about pets below and doing something special for your pet.

Even though the most popular pets are dogs and cats, this day is dedicated to celebrating all pets.

National days of the year are a fun way to celebrate odd and unusual foods, animals and items that you come into contact with. Be sure to check out this national days guide for more information about the history of national days, why we celebrate them.

A row of cats and dogs peering over text that reads "National Love Your Pet Day, celebrate this day by learning fun facts about pets", and another line of pets underneath it.

Fun facts about pets

Brush up on your pet knowledge for National Love Your Pet Day with the interesting pet facts below.

  • You might be surprised to learn that birds have hollow bones. They have air sacs in their bones that help them take in the amount of oxygen they need to be able to sustain flight. Dinosaurs also had hollow bones!
  • In the United States, there are more households that have dogs than cats. However, the total number of cats as pets is larger than the total number of dogs.
  • Most varieties of lizard can detach their own tails. They do this to escape predators, and sometimes just when they’re really scared.
  • It’s illegal to own a hamster in Hawaii. Environmental and agricultural officials fear that if hamsters were to escape they might destroy native plants and crops.
  • Turtles are one of the longest living pets. Many common turtle breeds live to be 50 years old and some tortoises can even live to be as old as 100.
  • The oldest living tortoise is named Jonathan. This 190 year old giant Seychelles tortoise resides at the governor’s residence of St. Helena (a British overseas territory). 

Facts about dogs

Here’s some dog facts for the puppy lovers out there. The facts about dogs below are just a few of the reasons they are such amazing pets.

Make sure to show your pup some love today on National Love Your Pet Day.

A brown puppy with an orange flower behind her ear.

  • A dog’s nose pattern is similar to a human fingerprint. As dogs age their nose print remains the same, and each dog nose print is unique.
  • Dogs don’t sweat through their skin like humans do. They only have sweat glands in the pads of their paws. They cool themselves down through panting.
  • A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times better than a human’s sense of smell.
  • Dalmatians are born without spots. They get their spots as they grow older.
  • Humans and dogs see color differently. Dogs are dichromatic, meaning they can only process two of the three primary colors. While they can’t see all the colors of the rainbow, they can see yellows and blues.
  • The first ever Instagram photo was of a golden retriever. This dog belonged to Kevin Systrom, one of the co-founders of the app. 
  • In the United States, there are approximately 78 million dogs as pets, with 44% of homes having at least one dog.
  • The Beatles added a 15-kilohertz tone that dogs can hear but humans can’t, in their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album, following the song A Day in the Life. 

Fun pet facts

Brush up on your knowledge of pets with these interesting facts about pets. Some may surprise you!

A bunch of pets including cats, dogs, birds, fish and ferrets posing together for a photo with a white background.

  • Rabbits will binky when they are very excited. Binkying is when the jump into the air and twist their bodies around (they turn their head in one direction and their body in the other).
  • The word ferret comes from the Latin word “furittus” meaning “little thief”. This is a very illuminating etymologically, since ferrets a tendency to steal and hide things.
  • Groundhog Day, which has been celebrated since 1887, is dedicated to a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil predicting the weather for the coming year. 
  • Hamsters can fit up to 20% of their bodyweight in their cheeks. Sometimes mother hamsters even hide their babies in their cheeks to protect them.
  • Love birds are one of the six symbols of Valentine’s Day.

Cat facts

If you’re a cat lover you’ll be delighted by these facts about cats. There are so many reasons these felines make great pets, and these cat facts are just a few of them.

Give you furry friend some love today on National Love Your Pet Day.

An orange cuddly kitten snuggled up in a grey blanket.

  • Cats sleep for roughly 70% of their life. Adult cats sleep roughly 15 per day, and kittens sleep about 20 hours per day.
  • In their waking hours, cats spend 30%-50% of their time grooming themselves.
  • Cats don’t meow at other cats, they only meow at humans. When they’re little, sometimes kittens with meow at their mothers for food, but the behavior stops as they get older.
  • A cat’s shoulder girdle is composed differently than a human’s. Their shoulder blades and collar bones are connected by muscle, not bones, allowing for more movement, less rigidity, and the ability to twist and squeeze into small spaces.
  • House cats share 96% of their DNA with tigers.
  • Maine coon cat Stewie earned the Guinness world record for longest domestic cat in 2010. He measured 48.5 inches (123 cm) long.
  • At the International Space University in Strasbourg, France there is a bronze statue dedicated to Félicette, the first and only cat to survive a trip to space. She went to space in 1963, and was euthanized after her return. Her statue is 6 feet tall and depicts the tuxedo kitty staring up at the sky.
  • In the United States, there are approximately 85.8 million cats as pets, with 35% of households having at least one cat.
  • In Scottish and Irish mythology there’s an ominous creature called cat sìth. The mythology surrounding giant black cat is the cause for some of the fear around black cats.

How to celebrate National Love Your Pet Day

Would you like to celebrate National Love Your Pet Day in a special way? Try one of these ideas.

Two children playing with a golden retriever dog and a ball in the yard.

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  • Does your pet have a favorite activity like going on a walk, or playing with toys? If so, spend today doing those activities with them!
  • Watch the movie The Secret Life of Pets, which an animated movie about the adventures pets go on when their humans are away.
  • Check that your pet’s vaccines are up to date. A healthy pet is a happy one!
  • Get in touch with your artistic side by coloring in a pet themed coloring book.
  • Refresh your pet’s space by washing your pets bedding today.
  • Pamper your pets today by taking them to the groomer, or grooming them yourself!
  • Get your pet a new toy and throw out any old toys that are broken. 
  • Take a photo with your pets and share it to social media.

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Other national days about animals

National Love Your Pet Day isn’t the only day dedicated to animals. 

There’s even another day dedicated to pets besides National Love Your Pet Day. It’s called National Pet Day and it falls on April 11th.

Kittens and puppies share a national day, with both Cuddly Kitten Day and National Puppy Day falling on March 23.

A white background with 16 vectors of pets on it to celebrate National Love Your Pet Day.

If you love black cats, you’re in luck. They have two special days in the year dedicated to them, National Black Cat Day on October 27 and Black Cat Appreciation Day on August 17.

Dogs have several national days like National Golden Retriever Day on February 3 and National Rescue Dog Day on May 20.

National days aren’t just for the popular varieties of pets. There are some unusual animals that have national days too, like National Ferret Day on April 2 and National Go Birding Day on the last Saturday in April.

Even fictional animals have national days, with National Garfield the Cat Day on June 19, National Unicorn Day on April 9 and Appreciate a Dragon Day on January 16.

More February 20 national days

Did you enjoy learning about National Love Your Pet Day? Well you’re in luck, February 20 is host to more than just one national day! 

Blocks that read "February 20" next to a potted aloe plant.

Here is a complete list of all the February 20 national days:

More national days in February

There are close to 2000 national days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in February. To see them all, have a look at this post to discover more about the national days in February. 

Those who enjoy doing puzzles will love our new February word search printable of national days.

A piece of paper that reads "Hello February" with a coffee on top of it, and a pen to the right of it.

Is food your thing? Each day of the month has a food or drink associated with it, too. You’ll find all the February food holidays here.

Be sure to also check out these national days in February:

Pin this post with pet facts for National Love Your Pet Day for later

Would you like a reminder of this post for National Love Your Pet Day? Just pin this image to one of your trivia boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

You can also watch our video about the national days of February on YouTube.

Teal and orange color splotches and black paw prints with the words "National Love Your Pet Day, learn 30+ facts about pets to celebrate".

Jess author photoAbout the author

Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.

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