On February 20, we celebrate National Love Your Pet Day, a day to embrace one special trait that makes us human: our love of our pets! There are many things that differentiate humans from the rest of the animal kingdom, but one of the more unusual behaviors is our longstanding tendency to keep other animals as pets. Gallup reports that sixty percent of Americans are current pet owners. It only makes sense to commemorate something that’s so important to so many people, so on February 20, we celebrate our pets with National Love Your Pet Day!
Pets have been a part of human life for thousands of years. Ever since we’ve made our first steps into civilization, animals have been right there alongside us. And look at those faces! Who could blame us?
Nobody really knows exactly what animal the very first pet was. But, one animal, the wolf, lived alongside early humans for centuries. Even as far back as 12,000 years ago, dogs and cats were buried in their human counterparts’ graves. It seems that even early humans had a deep attachment to their furry friends.
Meanwhile, European royalty began keeping toy dog breeds in the 1600s. And in modern day Spain, pet bird markets were popular among all classes in southern cities such as Seville well into the 1960s.
Most recently, groups such as the American Kennel Club have only increased our love for our pets. With events such as the annual Westminster Dog Show, humankind has only grown its affection for our non-human friends. Pets are ingrained into our own species, and National Love Your Pet Day gives us a reason to celebrate them!