President’s Day seems the perfect holiday to honor the pets that accompanied their respective Commanders in Chief to Washington, D.C. After all, how many animals can claim an extended stay in the most famous American residence of all? From George Washington, who brought Snipe the parrot (and an array of hound dogs, donkeys and horses) to Barack Obama’s Portuguese Water Dogs, Bo and Sunny, pets have played in the White House and roamed its grounds for 230 years. Here are a few of our favorites …

  • Thomas Jefferson – Dozens of farm animals, plus Dick, a mockingbird, and two grizzly bear cubs, a gift from the explorers Lewis and Clark
  • John Quincy Adams – Silkworms, so First Lady Louisa Adams could spin silk to make her dresses, and an alligator given by the Marquis de Lafayette
  • Abraham Lincoln – Dogs, cats, a pig and Old Bob, a horse, which bore a mourning blanket at the President’s funeral
  • Benjamin Harrison – Dogs, opossums and a Billy goat named Old Whiskers
  • Theodore Roosevelt – Too many pets to name for this great outdoorsman, who established some of our country’s most famous national parks during his presidency; we give a nod to Josh the badger, Madge the pig, and Bill, a laughing hyena
  • Woodrow Wilson – Dogs, cats, birds and a herd of sheep that grazed on the White House lawn
  • Warren G. Harding – An Airedale terrier, Laddie Boy, a bit of a celebrity and popular with the press
  • Calvin Coolidge – This president kept a veritable zoo, that included a pygmy hippopotamus!
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt – A beloved Scottish terrier named Fala, that survived his owner by seven years and was buried near his grave
  • John F. Kennedy – So many dogs before and during President Kennedy’s short-lived time in office, along with a pony named Macaroni for Caroline and John to ride on the White House grounds
  • Lyndon Johnson – This Texan loved beagles, and lots of ‘em!
  • Richard Nixon – Checkers, a cocker spaniel, and namesake of Nixon’s famous Checkers speech that helped Nixon the candidate make a comeback in a pre-presidential speech
  • Ronald Reagan – Victory, a Golden Retriever, and a stable of horses at his California ranch (appropriate for a president who starred in The Cattle Queen of Montana and Santa Fe Trail)
  • Bill Clinton – Socks, the cat, an adopted stray kitty that traveled with the First Family from Arkansas to the White House, plus the affable Buddy, a chocolate Labrador retriever
  • W. Bush – Barney and Miss Beazley, the Bush family’s much-loved Scottish Terriers, that had their own website

Feeling kind of warm and fuzzy about now? For more information about Presidential Pets, visit