There are tons of awesome human dads out there, but did you know that there are also a lot of other great animal fathers? Learn about some of the animal kingdom’s most compassionate dads, who take care of their young and keep them safe—just like your dad does for you. Scroll to the bottom of the page for some awesome, kind ways to celebrate Father’s Day with your dad.
African wild dog dads take great care of their pups. The babies can’t eat on their own until they’re 10 weeks old, so they rely on their guardians to feed them. Male African wild dogs will chew up food, swallow it, and bring it back up again (or regurgitate it) to feed their pups. This makes the food soft enough for the puppies to eat.
An emperor penguin dad is a doting father. The mom is exhausted after laying her egg, so she goes to the sea to find food to give her energy. While she’s away, the dad takes over, caring for the egg all by himself. He has to make sure he keeps it warm, so he covers it with his stomach. A mother penguin can be gone for about two months, and during that time, the dad barely moves or eats—he just protects the egg. The temperature where they live is so cold that if he left, the baby could die. An Emperor penguin dad can even make milk for his baby if the egg hatches before the mother returns!
Red fox dads love to play with their pups—just like your dad might like to play with you. They enjoy rough-housing, play fighting, and messing around. A red fox dad also goes out hunting every day and delivers the food to the mother and babies in the family’s den. Once the pups reach 3 months old, the dad teaches them how to find their own food. He buries food close to the den so they can learn to forage and sniff out things to eat.
Flamingo fathers are great even before their baby hatches. The dad helps the mom look for the perfect nesting site and then builds his family a nest out of mud. Once the mom has laid the egg, she and the dad take turns keeping it warm. When the chick hatches, the dad is equally responsible for caring for the baby. He is just as dedicated as the mom.
Seahorses are one of the few animal species in which the dad can become pregnant. While the mom still provides the eggs, the dad is the one who gives birth! He carries the eggs in a pouch on his torso for anywhere from 10 to 25 days (depending on the species) until the baby seahorses hatch inside the pouch and are then ready to be pushed out and born.
As we have learned, dads (no matter their species) do a lot to protect and look after their offspring. Show your dad how much you care by celebrating Father’s Day with him in a compassionate way.
Instead of going fishing for fish, fish for trash with this fun activity. Father-and-son duo Tom and Mark made up trash fishing as a way for them to bond while also helping out their local wildlife and the environment. All you need are some trash bags, something to pick up the trash with, and some gloves.
Does your dad enjoy grilling? If so, grill up some veggie dogs, vegan burgers, corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, cauliflower steaks, or even fruit like watermelon or pineapple (sounds strange, but trust us on this one). It’s a great way to connect, have fun, and enjoy a delicious meal. 🤤
There are loads of compassionate family movies your dad would love to watch, but one of our favorites is Finding Nemo. It celebrates a dad’s love for his kids and shows how “fish are friends, not food!”
You can show your dad just how much you care by making him a special card. Or print our Father’s Day card to color in and give to him. It’s the perfect gift to let him know just how rad you think he is.