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Pet Appreciation Week 2023: When It Is & What It Means

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Young beautiful woman in white shirt is hugging her white dog samoyed outdoors

We appreciate our pets daily, but did you know there is an actual week all about pet appreciation? Well, now you know!

Pet Appreciation Week is celebrated every year during the first week of June. However, it should not be confused with National Pet Week, founded by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 1981 and celebrated the first full week in May.

Both pet holidays are an opportunity for pet owners, pet fosters, veterinarians, and any other pet lovers or advocates to show all our pets how much we appreciate them for making our lives richer every day.

What Is Pet Appreciation Week?

Pet Appreciation Week is one week in June that is dedicated to showing our pets just how much they mean to us. It is a time to get educated about responsible pet care, address pet-related health issues, promote pet care, and raise public awareness about pet adoption and foster care. It is also a time dedicated to spending quality time with your pet.

adopting a cat
Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

Why Is Pet Appreciation Week Important?

1. Dogs get to socialize

We live in a time when people are working from home, and social media can be all too consuming. Socializing opportunities have become more limited. Taking your dog to the park or for some training classes gives you and your pet an opportunity to socialize, and dogs love to socialize.

2. A time to identify and treat behavior problems

Lack of attention can sometimes lead to behavioral issues in pets. For example, if your dog is an excessive barker, you may not be addressing the issue properly, and the behavior will get worse. Spending some quality time with your pet can help to identify these issues and address them appropriately. In some instances, the bad behavior can result from a health condition or changes in atmosphere or diet and need to be rectified before it worsens.

shetland sheepdog sitting on grass field and barking with mouth open
Image Credit: atiger, Shutterstock

3. It improves a pet owner’s mental health

Life gets busy, and pet owners can become stressed, anxious, and isolated. Pet Appreciation Week gives pet owners an opportunity to bond with their pets. Quality time with your pet helps stabilize hormonal imbalances and reduces stress. Yes, time with your pet provides companionship and comfort and can improve your mental health.

4. Raises awareness

Pet Appreciation Week is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the need for volunteers at rescues, the importance of fostering a homeless animal, or donating some time or supplies to your local shelter.

family adopting dog
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

The 5 Ideas for Celebrating Pet Appreciation Week

1. Give your pet a gift

Surprise your pet with a new ball, a puzzle toy, or some of his favorite treats.

2. Feed him something special

There is nothing like a homemade meal. And occasionally, making your dog some human food can be a real treat. During Pet Appreciation Week, make your dog some chicken or even a piece of steak. Remember to keep it clean and do not add any ingredients that are toxic to dogs, or that can cause an allergic reaction.

Burmese cat eating homemade lamb egg and asparagus cat food
Image by Nicole | Hepper

3. Teach your dog some tricks

Training classes can be a real bonding experience for you and your pet. They get to socialize with other dogs and learn new things. The mental and physical stimulation helps to keep pets from getting bored and helps them become more confident. It is an excellent opportunity to spend more time with your furry friend.

4. Foster or adopt a pet

Pet Appreciation Week is an ideal time to give a pet a home or apply to become a pet foster parent. There are so many animals that need a loving home. What better time to bring a new addition into your home than during Pet Appreciation Week? If you cannot adopt a pet, this is an excellent time to decide to foster a pet. Giving a dog, cat, or any other animal a safe and loving home until they find their forever home can be extremely rewarding. You may be saving its life.

5. Volunteer at the local shelter or rescue

Shelters and animal rescue can always use a helping hand. Spending time with these adorable animals can be so much fun, and you will be helping the caregivers at the facility a chance to do other chores. If you cannot spend some time at the shelter, you can always donate money or much-needed supplies.

male volunteer petting dog in animal shelter
Image Credit: Max kegfire, Shutterstock


Every day as you come home from work, your pet is there to greet you. Whether it is a bark or a purr, we can count on a warm welcome that lets us know they love us and are so happy we are home. There is a daily give and take between animals and their owners. We provided them with love, food, and shelter. They in turn give us love, protection, entertainment, companionship, and so much more. To show them our gratitude, we celebrate Pet Appreciation Week every year during the first week of June.

Featured Image Credit: Med Photo Studio, Shutterstock

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