The first Sunday in September marks National Pet Rock Day each year, this year on September 3. For those who don’t know what they are, what rock have you been hiding under? Not a pet rock for sure. Pet rocks are extraordinary pets adopted by hundreds across the country. You might wonder why someone would keep a rock as a pet. Well, think about it. Rocks don’t need grooming, they don’t require visits to the vet, they don’t eat, never get sick, and, best of all — they never die! Amazing right? Read on to see what else makes these pets so special.
History of National Pet Rock Day
The pet rock was created by advertising executive Gary Dahl in April 1975. Each rock is a smooth stone picked from Mexico’s Rosarito beach. It was sold in a custom-made cardboard box complete with breathing holes and a straw. Die-cutting and manufacturing cardboard boxes represented the biggest production expense for Dahl. The stones were regarded as live pets and were marketed as such.
The inspiration behind this strange creation came from complaints from Dahl’s friends about the stress of caring for their pets. During a discussion in a bar, Dahl joked about keeping a rock as a pet. He emphasized the fact that rocks don’t require walking, feeding, treatment, or other necessities a live pet demands.
Dahl, however, didn’t stop at just wisecracking; he did them one better.
He went on to write a pet rock instruction manual, which included jokes and gags about how to “care” for the rock. The instruction manual was a popular addition to the pet rock itself, showcasing Dahl’s amazing sense of humor. The pet rock fad came to an end after a slight boom in sales during the festive season of 1975.
Gary Dahl made a tidy profit, selling over a million pet rocks before the eventual discontinuation in February 1976. At the time, each rock sold for $4, making it one of the most fascinating marketing schemes ever. If you were to consider the $4 in the context of today’s prices, each person would have to shell out $18 for each pet rock!
National Pet Rock Day timeline
Gary Dahl gets the idea for pet rocks while discussing pets with friends at a bar.
A dip in pet rock sales leads to its discontinuation.
Pet rocks enter the market again.
Pet rock creator Gary Dahl succumbs to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
National Pet Rock Day FAQs
How can I entertain my pet rock?
They may be rocks, but pet rocks do get bored from time to time. Situate your pet rock in a spot with a view of the TV. They do prefer the nature channel.
Does a pet rock make a good pet?
A pet rock is an excellent pet; it can clean itself if it gets enough sunlight. A few minutes in the heat eliminates dirt and sanitizes the rock’s surface. You get to save on soap and even water bills since it doesn’t need baths like other pets.
What do pet rocks eat?
Pet rocks are notoriously fond of pea gravel. Word is; they love quartz of milk — even more so when it comes in a mason jar. The great news is: they’re picky eaters so you never run out of food.
How to Celebrate Pet Rock Day
Make a pet rock
You can celebrate Pet Rock Day by making your very own pet rock. Find a rock that fits the bill and let your imagination run wild.
Browse online for pet rocks
Go online and browse through hundreds of pet rocks available out there. You can see pet rock creations from across the globe. It can even inspire you to make yours.
Teach someone how to make one
If you’re already a pro at making pet rocks, you could start a class and teach others how to make them. You could even hold a competition between friends and family as they learn.
5 Facts About Pet Rocks That Will Blow Your Mind
Pet rocks cost approximately $4 in the 1970s which is about $18 in today’s market.
The pet rock became a sensation after it appeared on “The Tonight Show” in 1975.
Gary Dahl crafted humorous degrees for pet rocks ($3 for a Bachelor's and $10 for a Ph.D.).
Rock boot camp
The instruction manual for a pet rock included training puns and jokes including teaching your pet to “Attack.”
Country singer Bill Pineo wrote a song dedicated to his son’s love for his pet rock.
Why We Love Pet Rock Day
A great way to tap into your creativity
The story of the creation of pet rocks can be ridiculous, but yet, encouraging. If Gary Dahl’s rise to prominence doesn’t inspire you, nothing will.
We love weird, fun holidays
We love all holidays, the weirder the better! What’s more fun than dressing up a rock and treating it like a live pet?
Say what you will about keeping a rock as a pet, but you can’t question the logic of a pet that cannot die. No mourners, no funerals.
National Pet Rock Day dates