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Today is National Pet Day

April 11 is National Pet Day
April 11 is National Pet Day
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

April 11 is National Pet Day. Don't get it confused with National Love Your Pet Day on Feb. 20. While the two days are about pets, they are different to some extent. Both days are about appreciating and celebrating the wonderful pets in your life since most households have pets.

Six out of ten pet owners consider their pet a member of the family. Therefore, celebrity pet lifestyle expert and animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige founded National Pet Day to raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption. The motto of the holiday is sponsored by Animal Miracle Foundation with the motto "Don't shop! Adopt!" The mission of the organization is to help animals in shelters find permanent homes.

Most households in the United States have at least one pet. Approximately 39% of U.S. households own at least one dog, and 33% own at least one cat. There are approximately 86.4 million pet cats and 78.2 million pet dogs, and 5.3 million house rabbits living in the United States today. Gerbils, birds, turtles, and fish are also very common. Some people have pets that are kept outside such as horses. Pets outnumber children four to one in the United States.

No matter which pet you have, do something special for your pet today. To celebrate National Pet Day, take your dog on a long walk or give your cat a little extra catnip to show your love and appreciation.

If you are not a pet owner, you still can get in on the celebration. Consider making a donation or volunteering at your local pet shelter.