Presidential Pets: Animals That Have Lived In The White House

Date December 21, 2017

Did you know almost all the US presidents had a pet? The first US President George Washington, who kept several dogs, a horse, and a parrot, established this tradition. Here are some of the pets that are worth mentioning.

Dogs or cats?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was almost always accompanied by his dog – a black Scottish terrier named Fala. In fact, he is the only presidential pet featured in the memorial.

John F. Kennedy had a record number of pets, including cats, dogs, canaries, rabbits, ponies, sheep, horses, pigs, and cows.

But two of them were very famous. His daughter Caroline received a white puppy named Pushinka as a gift from Nikita Khrushchev and Macaroni, a pony, from Vice President Johnson. They were so popular and even received thousands of letters from Americans.

The dog of Ronald Reagan, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rex, had two habits – pulling the leash too much and dragging the owner from press conferences.

The most famous was the Springer Spaniel named Millie who lived in the White House during the presidency of George Bush Sr.

She was credited as the co-author of the bestseller Millie’s Book, in which Barbara Bush described the life at the White House through the eyes of the dog. In 1992, it reached the top of the bestseller list!

Bill Clinton was also fond of animals. He had a cat Socks and a golden-chocolate Labrador Buddy.

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These two pets waged a real war against each other, trying to win the attention of their owners. On the Internet, there were even fan clubs of the animals that led virtual disputes.


Barack Obama also had two fantastic Portuguese water dogs. Bo and Sunny lived at the White House, traveled with their owners, met foreign dignitaries, and even saw the Pope!

Exotic pets

In addition to dogs and cats, the American presidents often kept more exotic animals. For example, John Quincy Adams had a crocodile and silkworms, while Herbert Hoover had a possum. And Abraham Lincoln had a pig, geese, and a turkey named Jack.

Breaking tradition

However, the current US President Donald Trump does not intend to keep any pets in the White House. This will violate the 150-year tradition. Since 1867, all the presidents have brought their pets to the White House. Will he change his mind?

For sure, animals have been a major part of presidents’ lives. Some simply provided companionship, but others helped shape the public image. And all had their fans all over the country.

READ ALSO: Elvis Presley And Pets: The Little-Discussed Love He Had For Animal

Pets White House