Our Favorite Presidential Pet Facts
In addition to the 45 U.S. Presidents, their families, and their staff, there are a few other species that have also resided in the White House. From mice to bears, animals of all shapes and sizes have made the most famous residence in America their home.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite presidential pets facts below, as well as tips for a pet portrait fit for the First Family.
Presidential Pet Facts
The United States’ first president was a proud owner of Polly the parrot, as well as 36 hounds, and many horses.
Our 16th President’s pet collection resembled a petting zoo, and included a turkey named Jack, goats named Nanny and Nanko, ponies, cats, dogs, pigs, and a white rabbit.
Our 26th President is known for having the most diverse range of pets, which included Sailor Boy the Chesapeake Bay retriever, Manchu the Pekingese, Skip the mutt, terriers named Jack and Pete, cats named Tom Quartz and Slippers, Josiah the badger, Algonquin the pony, Eli the macaw, Jonathan the piebald rat, Emily Spinach the garter snake, twelve horses, five bears, five guinea pigs, other snakes, two kangaroo rats, lizards, roosters, an owl, a flying squirrel, a raccoon, a coyote, a lion, a hyena, and a zebra.
This president proved that it is possible to train any animal to walk on a leash, which he successfully did with his pet, Rebecca the raccoon! Perhaps something our cat pawrents will try soon?!
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR was partial to dogs, and spoiled his fur babies. This canine crew consisted of Fala and Meggie the Scottish terriers, Major the German shepherd, Winks the Llewellin setter, Tiny the English sheepdog, President the Great Dane, and Blaze the mastiff.
John F. Kennedy
JFK had a variety of domestic pets, including Tom Kitten the cat, Robin the canary, Zsa Zsa the rabbit, Sardar the horse, and ponies named Macaroni, Tex, and Leprechaun. During his time on Pennsylvania Avenue, Kennedy also had parakeets named Bluebell and Marybelle, hamsters named Debbie and Billie, a Welsh terrier named Charlie, plus dogs named Pushinka, Shannon, Wolf, and Clipper. Pushinka and Charlie had puppies, and the Kennedy family kept Blackie, Butterfly, Streaker, and White Tips.
Nixon’s love for animals spanned beyond furry pets to aquatic critters. In addition to his cocker spaniel Checkers, his poodle named Vicky, his terrier named Pasha, and his Irish setter named King Timahoe, Nixon also raised pet fish.
This president kept it simple in the four legged department with Rex, a King Charles spaniel, and Lucky, a Bouvier des Flandres sheepdog.
George H.W. Bush
The elder President Bush had a small pet family that included Millie, a Springer spaniel, and Ranger, one of Millie's pups.
The Clinton’s White House looked similar to most homes of people with pets. Socks the cat and Buddy the chocolate Labrador retriever lived with the Clinton family in their Pennsylvania Ave abode.
George W. Bush
W and his family doted on their pets. This group included Spot the Springer spaniel, Barney the Scottish terrier, and India (“Willie”) the cat. They also had a polydactyl cat named Ernie that had to be rehomed due to his wild nature. While in office, President Bush gave his wife Laura a Scottish terrier puppy named Miss Beazley for the First Lady's birthday.
During his campaign, President Obama promised his daughters a puppy, and he did not disappoint! They first welcomed Bo to the White House, and then Sunny joined several years later. These Portuguese water dogs were the most recent four-legged residents at this coveted address.
At the moment, there is no "First Dog" in the White House, but don't worry Mr. President! Here's a great way to figure out if you're a dog or cat person.