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Pets of the United States Presidents

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She researches and shares remedies for using certain products for illnesses.


Most of the United States Presidents and their families owned pets while they were in the White House. However, there were some presidents who didn't care for having animals around.

It is interesting that those who did love pets let them make their home at the White House and on the grounds.

Presidents Who Didn't Have Pets

There are fewer presidents who didn't have pets. The list is longer for those who did have pets. On the list are some pets that range from mice and dogs to horses and hippos.

Here are the "No Pets Presidents."

  • Donald Trump
  • Chester Arthur
  • Millard Fillmore
  • Franklin Pierce

Presidents Who Owned Dogs

Dogs are at the top of the list of presidents' favorite pets. However, the dogs were not the same breeds.

  • President Barack Obama promised his family that if he won the election he would get them a dog. He kept his promise and Bo, a Portuguese water dog, became part of the family on April 14, 2009. Another Portuguese water dog, Sunny, joined the Obama family on August 19, 2013.
Barack Obama and Bo

Barack Obama and Bo

  • George W. Bush owned a Springer spaniel named Spot and a Scottish terrier named Barney. He gave his wife Laura a terrier puppy named Miss Beazley.
  • George H. W. Bush owned Millie, a Springer spaniel; and Ranger, one of Millie's pups.
  • Ronald Reagan owned Rex, a King Charles spaniel; Lucky, and a Bouvier des Flandres sheepdog.
  • Jimmy Carter owned Grits the dog; Misty Malarky Ying Yang.
  • Richard Nixon's pets included Checkers, a cocker spaniel; Vicky, a poodle; Pasha, a terrier; King Timahoe, an Irish setter; and a fish.
  • Lyndon Johnson has a lot of pets that included Him and Her, beagles; Freckles, a beagle; Blanco, a collie; Edgar, a mutt; Yuki, a mutt; hamsters and lovebirds.
  • Harry S. Truman owned a dog named Feller; Mike, an Irish setter.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt owned lots of dogs, Fala, a Scottish terrier; Meggie, a Scottish terrier; Major, a German shepherd; Winks, a Llewellyn setter; Tiny, an English sheepdog; President, a Great Dane; and Blaze, a mastiff.
  • Herbert Hoover owned Glen, a collie; Yukon, a malamute; Patrick, an Irish wolfhound; Eaglehurst Gillette, a setter; Weejie, an elkhound; fox terriers named Big Ben and Sonnie; shepherds named King Tut and Pat.
  • George Washington owned 36 hounds.
  • Abraham Lincoln had a dog named Fido who followed his master around the White House and the grounds.
  • James Garfield had a dog named Veto.
  • Grover Cleveland owned a poodle.
  • Warren Harding had Laddie Boy, an Airedale and Old Boy, a bulldog.
  • John Tyler loved Le Beau his greyhound.

Cats in the White House

Cats roamed around the White House but not as many as dogs, birds, or horses.

  • Abraham Lincoln owned cats.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes had Siam, a Siamese cat in the White House.
  • Jimmy Carter owned Misty Malarky Ying Yang, a Siamese cat.
  • Gerald Ford had a Siamese Cat named Chan.
  • Woodrow Wilson owned a cat.
  • William McKinley had an Angora cat and her kittens.
  • Woodrow Wilson owned some cats.
  • George W. Bush owned India, his cat along with the family dogs.
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Horses must have been very popular with the earlier presidents because a lot of them owned horses.

George Washington, John Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James Polk owned horses. James Garfield had a horse named Kit. John Tyler owned a horse named The General. Zachary Taylor's horse's name was Old Whitey.

Andrew Jackson owned six horses named Truxton, Sam Patches, Emily, Lady Nashville, and Bolivia. That was only half the number of horses that Theodore Roosevelt had. Roosevelt owned 12 horses.

Ulysses S. Grant had eight horses named Jeff Davis, Julia, Jennie, Mary, Butcher Boy, Cincinnatus, Egypt, and St. Louis. He also had ponies named Reb and Billy Button. Abraham Lincoln owned ponies.



It was not unusual for the White House to have birds around.

  • Four presidents owned parrots. George Washington had a parrot named Polly. James Madison loved his parrot named Macaw. Andrew Jackson had Pol the parrot. William McKinley also owned a parrot.
  • Three presidents owned canaries. Along with his mockingbirds, Calvin Coolidge had canaries named Nip, Tuck, and Snowflake. Rutherford B. Hayes had canaries. Warren Harding owned canaries.
  • Thomas Jefferson had a mockingbird.
  • James Buchanan owned an eagle.
  • Abraham Lincoln had a turkey named Jack.
  • Theodore Roosevelt owned roosters, a macaw, and an owl.
  • Ulysses S. Grant owned roosters.

Some Presidents Had Mini Zoos

Some presidents had enough pets to fill a mini zoo inside the White House and around the grounds.

Calvin Coolidge had many different animals.

  • Peter Pan, a terrier
  • Paul Pry, an Airedale
  • Calamity Jane, a sheepdog
  • Boston Beans, a bulldog
  • King Cole, a shepherd
  • Palo Alto, a birder
  • Collies named Rob Roy, Prudence Prim, Ruby Rough, and Bessie
  • Chows named Blackberry and Tiny Tim
  • Canaries named Nip, Tuck, and Snowflake
  • Cats named Bounder, Tiger, and Blacky
  • Raccoons named Rebecca and Horace
  • Ebeneezer, a donkey
  • Smokey, a bobcat; Old Bill, a thrush
  • Enoch, a goose
  • A mockingbird
  • A bear; an antelope; a wallaby; a pygmy hippo; some lion cubs

Theodore Roosevelt had a variety of pets. Besides having the usual dogs and cats, he had a piebald rat, a garter snake named Emily Spinach, other snakes, twelve horses; five bears; five guinea pigs; two kangaroo rats; lizards; roosters; an owl; a flying squirrel; a raccoon; a coyote; a lion; a hyena; and a zebra.

Like Coolidge, John F. Kennedy had a mini-zoo. His animals included:

  • Tom Kitten, the cat
  • Robin, a canary
  • Zsa Zsa, a rabbit
  • Sardar, a horse
  • Ponies named Macaroni, Tex, and Leprechaun
  • Parakeets named Bluebell and Marybelle
  • Hamsters named Debbie and Billie
  • Charlie, a Welsh terrier, and eight other dogs named Pushinka, Shannon, Wolf, Clipper, Blackie, Butterfly, Streaker, and White Tips

Unusual Pets at the White House

There were many pets in the White House that some would think were unusual. See for yourself.

  • Thomas Jefferson had two bear cubs given to him by Lewis and Clark.
  • James Madison kept a sheep.
  • John Quincy Adams owned an alligator and silkworms
  • Martin Van Buren had two tiger cubs.
  • William Henry Harrison kept a goat and a cow around the White House.
  • James Buchanan kept an elephant.
  • Abraham Lincoln had pigs.
  • Andrew Johnson loved his white mice.
  • Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, and Herbert Hoover owned an opossum.
  • Woodrow Wilson owned a ram named Old Ike and a sheep.
  • Calvin Coolidge owned a pygmy hippo, a donkey, a bear, an antelope, and some lion cubs.
  • Theodore Roosevelt had the most usual pets than any of the other presidents. As mentioned before, he owned dogs and cats, a piebald rat, a garter snake and other snakes, twelve horses; five bears; five guinea pigs; two kangaroo rats; lizards; roosters; an owl; a flying squirrel; a raccoon; a coyote; a lion; a hyena; and a zebra.


Presidents Pets

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