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Happy Presidents’ Day!

  • Heidi

Pets of the White House

“If you love me … you must love my dog.” Abigail Adams


When John and Abigail Adams became the first official residents of the White House in 1800, they brought their two mixed-breed dogs with them. Known for having some of the most creatively named animals associated with the White House, Satan and Juno were the first in a long line of canines to call the great house home. Abigail Adams once wrote, “If you love me … you must love my dog,” and she was not alone. Few presidents and their families have lived without a dog or two, even George Washington, the first president of the United States, had dogs – more than 30 of them!

Next to horses, dogs have been the most popular White House pet and those presidential First Dogs have become household names. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous Scottish terrier Fala was often seen in photographs with the president, Jackie Kennedy’s dog Pushinka was the daughter of the first Russian dog in space, and animal-lover Teddy Roosevelt had at least five dogs including his well-known terrier Skip, and most recently there is President Obama’s dog Bo.

As much as our presidents love dogs, there have been many other animals on the grounds over the years that have been far more exotic. In addition to cats, horses, cows, goats and mules, there have also been tiger cubs, elephants, and even parrots that knew how to swear! When John Quincy Adams was in office during the 1820s, he received an alligator from the Marquis de Lafayette! Adams kept his alligator in one of the White House bathrooms for several months but in the 1930s, but Herbert Hoover’s son allowed his two pet alligators to wander the White House grounds!

Take a look at this great infographic to learn more about the history of animals in the White House!

First Pets - A Look Back at Presidential Pets Throughout History


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