Story by Editor-in-Chief Meridian Pearson
This is an exciting week for pet lovers across the United States as it marks the start of National Pet Month. This annual celebration, which runs all month long, aims to raise awareness about the joys and benefits of pet ownership, as well as to promote responsible pet ownership practices. Throughout the month there are national holidays celebrating all sorts of animals, like Bird Day on May 4th, Sea Monkey Day on May 16th, and even Dinosaur Day on May 18th!
I think the key objective of National Pet Month and the many animal appreciation holidays riddled throughout May is to raise awareness of the great benefits and wonders of the animals in our world, whether cat or dog, feathery or scaly, creepy or cute. All animals have a place in this month’s celebration, not just pets. Some days in May are specifically dedicated to raising awareness for endangered species like rhinos and koalas, or preparing for animal safety during natural disasters on May 8th with National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. The first entire week of May is deemed Be Kind to Animals Week, which really starts the month off right.
My favorite way to celebrate National Pet Month is by paying special attention to my own pets: two golden retrievers with enough energy to power a city, and one very sassy orange tabby cat. I always love spending time with them, but I like to spoil them a bit in May by getting them their favorite treats and a few new toys accompanied by lots and lots of snuggles. If you ask me, it’s the best holiday ever!
There are numerous benefits associated with owning a pet, both physical and emotional. For example, pets can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, lower blood pressure, and even boost the immune system. Additionally, owning a pet can provide companionship and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. This month can be taken as inspiration to pursue adopting an Emotional Support Animal if you’ve been putting it off, or to go visit a family pet you’ve been missing. Many pets end up in animal shelters due to neglect, abandonment, or because their owners are no longer able to care for them, so this could also be your sign to visit a shelter and find your new best friend! Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue organization can be incredibly rewarding, and helps to reduce the number of animals in shelters.
National Pet Month is an essential holiday for animal lovers and pet owners alike. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the joys and benefits of pet ownership while also highlighting the wild animal species that need our help the most. This month-long celebration reminds us of the importance of taking care of our pets and supporting animal welfare organizations. It is a time to reflect on the role that animals play in our lives and to appreciate the love, companionship, and loyalty that they provide us. So whether you’re a dog person, a cat person, or a lover of the obscurest animal you can think of, let us all take this opportunity to celebrate our furry (and not-so-furry) friends and give them the attention and care they deserve.