It’s not uncommon for presidents to have their own pets when they move into the white house. The most common pet is a dog. The most recent president prior to the 2016 elections, Barrack Obama had two dogs. They were both Portuguese Water Dogs with the names Bo and Sunny. President Trump, who was elected in the 2016 elections is the first president in 130 years to not have a pet.
Who was the previous president that didn’t own a dog? That was William McKinley. President McKinley died while he was serving his second term of gangrene. However, it was reported that President McKinley kept a parrot, roosters and kittens as pets.
During Herbert Hoover’s campaign, he could be frequently seen on the campaign trail with a Belgian Shepherd named King Tut. People took pictures of him with his dog and it became a nationwide phenomenon. Warren G. Harding had the first dog that received national attention through newspaper. The dog’s name was simply Laddie Boy.
Some presidents have owned some very unconventional pets over the years, ranging from farm animals to even exotic animals like a tiger.
George Washington was the first President of the United States and owned a large array of animals.
- Three known American Foxhounds named Scentwell, Vulcan and Sweetlips
- Four different Black & Tan Coonhounds named Taster, Tipsy, Tipler and Drunkard
- A donkey that was gifted to him by the King of Spain, Charles III
- Two horses named Blueskin and Nelson
- He did possess a parrot but it’s debated whether or not he was the original owner or the first lady Martha Washington was
- He owned one greyhound dog named after General Cornwallis by the name of Cornwallis
- Finally, he owned several stalions named Traveller, Steady, Samson, Leonidas and Magnolia
The second President of the United States, John Adams didn’t own nearly as many pets as George Washington.
- Adams had three dogs named Mark, Satan and Juno
- He also owned two horses named Caesar and Cleopatra
Thomas Jefferson was the first president to own an unconventional animal
- Jefferson owned two young bear cubs
- He owned a horse named Caractacus and a mockingbird named Dick
- Lastly, he had two Briard dogs, one of which was named Buzzy and the other dog’s name is unknown
James Madison only owned one pet, which was a parrot named Polly.
James Monroe only officially owned one pet, which was a Siberian Husky named Sebastian but his daughter Maria Monroe owned a Spaniel.
John Adams received a gift from Marquis De Lafayette in the form of an alligator.
Andrew Jackson had a controversial parrot that he owned that was taught to use swear words. He also owned his own fighting cocks and five different horses named Truxton, Lady Nashville, Emily, Sam Patches and Bolivia.
Martin Van Buren shortly owned two exotic animals before he was pushed by congress to give them up. He was gifted two young tiger cubs from the Sultan of Oman but their care under Jackson was short lived.
William Henry Harrison only owned two pets. One was a Durham cow named Sukey and the other was a goat with an unspecified name.
John Tyler owned a horse simply named The General, a canary named Johnny Ty and an Italian Greyhound named La Beau
James Polk was the first president to not own any known pets.
Zachary Taylor only owned one horse named Old Whitey.
Millard Fillmore owned two ponies, one named Dixon and one named Mason
Franklin Pierce had two different Japanese Chin Dogs that were gifted to him and he also owned two birds that he obtained from Japan
James Buchanan owned an eagle, a terrier named Punch and a Newfoundland named Lara.
Abraham Lincoln is famously noted for saying that one of his cats was smarter than his cabinet.
- Lincoln owned two goats named Nanko and Nanny
- A turkey named Jack
- Two dogs, one was named Fido and one was named Jip
- Two cats named Dixie and Tabby (Dixie is who he referred to as being smarter than his cabinet)
- He additionally owned one horse and one rabbit
One of the most disturbing kept pits was that of Andrew Johnson, who was feeding mice that he spotted in his bedroom.
Ulysses S Grant had quite a few horses
- The names he gave his horses were Mary, Jennie, St. Louis, Julia, Egypt, Cincinnatus, Butcher Boy and Jeff Davis
- Among all his horses, he also had two ponies named Reb and Billy Button
- He additionally had a newfoundland named Faithful and a dog named Rosie
The 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes was a very avid animal lover. He had a Cocker Spaniel named Dot, an English Mastiff named Duke, a Greyhound named Grim, a Newfoundland named Hector, a Miniature Schnauzer named Otis, two hunting dogs named Shep and Juno, another dog named Jet, a cat he named Piccolomini, a Siamese cat named Siam which was the first ever Siamese cat to be owned in the United States and finally, he had another Siamese cat which for some reason, he named Miss Pussy. Both of these cats were gifts bestowed by the King of Siam.
If you think that’s an impressive list, wait until you see the exhaustive list of pets the Kennedy family owned. They had two parakeets named Marybelle and Bluebell, a pony named Macaroni, a rabbit named Zsa Zsa, a horse named Sardar, a poodle named Gaullie, a Welsh Terrier named Charlie, a Cat with a simple name Tom Kitten, a Doberman called Moe, two ponies named Leprechaun and Tex, two rodents named Billie and Debbie, a dog that was gifted to them by the Soviet Union named Pushinka, an Irish Cocker Spaniel named Shannon and a Wolfhound simple named Wolf.
Finally, we have the last two presidents that took up the oval office before Donald Trump.
George W. Bush owned a Spaniel that he named after Scott Fletcher, Spotty or Spot Fletcher. Sadly, this dog had to be euthanized due to medical complications in 2004. He had a small dog up until 2013 named Barney, which was criticized by Vladimir Putin for not being as strong or as fast as his dog. Miss Beazley was a Scottish Terrier that was given to him by his wife that passed away in 2014. He also had a cat named India which passed away in 2009 and finally, he owns a Longhorn named Ofelia that lives on his ranch.
Barrack Obama didn’t have a lot of pets. He only had two dogs named Bo and Sunny, both of them were Portuguese Water Dogs.