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National Treat Your Pet Day 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

a Labrador dog cookie treat, training

National Treat Your Pet Day 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

National Treat Your Pet Day, an extraordinary holiday dedicated to your furry friends, is celebrated on October 30th every year. It’s the perfect occasion to reward your pets with something special, like pet-friendly cookies, kibbles, or biscuits.

While maintaining a healthy diet is essential, this day encourages pet owners to let their pets indulge in their favorite treats. After all, what’s a year of good behavior without a little celebration?


A Bite Into History: How National Treat Your Pet Day Started

Wondering how this holiday came to be? It’s probably not yet on most people’s radars due to how new it is, so you’d be forgiven for having never heard of it. But that doesn’t make it any less of a holiday. The truth is that National Treat Your Pet Day has an interesting origin story that’s worth discussing.

A Tasty Mistake

In 1880, a London butcher set out on a culinary expedition, aiming to create delightful biscuits for his human customers. Unfortunately, the end result was a biscuit so unpalatable that it was, quite literally, fit for a dog. His dog, to be precise.

labrador retriever dog biscuit with bone shape on his nose
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

The Butcher’s New Venture

The butcher’s dog loved the culinary misfire, leading to the idea of baking treats specifically for dogs. It was the start of something new and delightful for our four-legged companions. And by 1908, the recipe had journeyed from London to the United States, landing on many a dog’s plate.

From Patent to Production

The F.H. Bennett Biscuit company recognized the potential of this accidental discovery. After acquiring the recipe, they patented it in 1911. Thus began the era of commercial dog treats.

boston terrier dog getting a treat in a training
Image Credit: Christine Bird, Shutterstock

Milk-Bone Takes the Lead

In the 1960s, Nabisco acquired the Milk-Bone brand. Dog treats were no longer just morsels of joy; they were now promoted with health benefits. Cleaner teeth, fresher breath, happier dogs—what’s not to love?

The Rise of Rivals

The 1970s saw an explosion in the dog treat industry. As other companies jumped in, a playful but fierce battle for the best bite began. The competition was “ruff”, but the winners were clear: our four-legged friends relishing the spoils of industry growth.

Rhodesian Ridgeback hound dog in obedience training outdoors treat
Image Credit: Anke van Wyk, Shutterstock

A Celebration Is Born

Enter Dr. Marty Pets, who decided that one day a year should be dedicated to something more than mere snacks. National Treat Your Pet Day was created on October 30th, 2021, with a focus on extra care, love, and, of course, treats for pets.

Halloween Connection

Close to Halloween, this day also acts as a festive excuse for a pet-friendly trick-or-treat. Costumes, treats, and a tail-wagging good time—could you ask for a better combination?

Halloween-themed pumpkin dog biscuits
Image Credit: RoJo Images, Shutterstock


Tips to Celebrate This Holiday Safely and Healthily

National Treat Your Pet Day is about more than just pampering your pet with extra treats; it’s about celebrating the bond you share in a safe and healthy way. The tips below are designed to help you make the most of this special occasion.

Watch Out for Halloween Hazards

With the holiday falling near Halloween, it’s essential to be extra careful. Keep an eye on your decorations and candies. What looks appealing to you might look appetizing to them!

Dog ready for halloween
Image By: otsphoto, Shutterstock

Choose Treats Wisely

The first step in celebrating is selecting the right treat. And that involves more than just picking something tasty! It’s crucial to understand what’s safe for your pet to consume. While their pleading eyes might say “Yes” to chocolate, their digestive system certainly says “NO”.

Don’t hesitate to consult with a veterinarian or reliable pet care source if you’re not sure whether the treats you pick are pet-friendly. Thankfully, there are numerous healthy pet treats out there to choose from. So, it’s easy to find them for your pet, whether it’s furry, feathered, or scaly.

Consider Dietary Needs

If your pet has a specific diet or food allergies, it’s essential to keep those in mind when choosing treats. There is no reason why dietary restrictions should dampen the festive spirit! But please be aware that while the day calls for indulgence, moderation is vital.

Practice portion control for optimal pet wellness because treats should be just that—a treat. Offering too much can lead to health issues, so stick to the recommended serving sizes or even go smaller. It’s the thought (and the flavor) that counts!

person using treats to train pomeranian dog
Image Credit: ElenaYakimova, Shutterstock

Make It an Active Celebration

Food is great, but let’s not box ourselves into the snack aisle. Pets, much like their human companions, enjoy a good romp or a game of fetch. Whether it’s a chase around the house or some quality Frisbee time in the yard, an active celebration could be the real treat of a pet-perfect day.

Think about it: Exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. They work the same way for our furry pals. A good play session can light up your pet’s day just as much as a bacon-flavored bite.

Homemade Treats: A Personal Touch

Imagine a world where treats come straight from the heart (or the oven, in this case). If you’re leaning into the domestic role, how about whipping up some homemade goodies for your pet?

Using vet-approved recipes, you can churn out morsels that are as healthy as they are delicious. Plus, there’s something inherently satisfying about seeing your pet gobble down a treat you made with your own two hands.

husky dog waiting for owner to give him the homemade treat
Image Credit: Michael Ebardt, Shutterstock

Remember the Real Treat: Your Love

And let’s not forget, the most priceless treat of all doesn’t come packaged in plastic. A snuggle, a cuddle, a long scenic walk—these are the simple joys that spell L-O-V-E to your pet.

Here’s a tip that you can bank on: Love costs nothing but pays back in heaps. A nuzzle, a paw shake, or just sitting together watching the world go by can be the highlight of their day—and yours, too. Remember, the real treat is the love and companionship you share.


Final Thoughts

National Treat Your Pet Day is so much more than a cute quirk of the calendar or a commercial playground for pet supply companies. Its roots—accidental biscuits and all—tell a story of evolving human-pet relationships.

From a kitchen flub to an annual fiesta of indulgence, this day embodies the loving and ever-growing bond we share with those endearing critters we call family.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Maya Shustov, Shutterstock

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