U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Employee Resources
  2. News Room
  3. National Love your Pet Day

February 20 is National Love your Pet Day

Release Date: February 15, 2023

Did you know that Feb. 20 is National Love Your Pet Day? Pet ownership has increased over the last couple of years. Many people find having a pet can play a critical role in reducing feelings of depression, anxiety, isolation, and loneliness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are many health benefits associated with owning a pet. For example, dogs require daily walks, and this provides more opportunities for regular exercise outdoors and the chance to socialize. There are numerous mental health benefits to pet ownership as well. The bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners.

Additional other health benefits with having a pet, include:

  • Decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and symptoms of PTSD.
  • Better cognitive function in older adults.

While there are many benefits to pet ownership, animals can sometimes carry germs that make us sick. That’s why it’s important to practice good hygiene after playing with, feeding, or cleaning up after your pets. Always wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Clean and disinfect your pet’s supplies as often as your own items. Visit the CDC for easy tips to stay healthy around your pet.

Your Employee Assistance Program is Here to Help

Your Employee Assistance Program is a great resource for pet recommendations including finding a vet, groomer, or doggie day care. For any additional questions, contact your Component EAP provider or DHS Work-Life Specialist at worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 05/21/2024
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content