were a 1970s fad conceived in Los Gatos, California by advertising executive Gary Dahl. In April 1975, Dahl was in a bar listening to his friends complain about their pets. This gave him the idea for the perfect "pet": a rock. A rock would not need to be fed, walked, bathed, groomed and would not die, become sick, or be disobedient. He said they were to be the perfect pets, and joked about it with his friends. However, he eventually took the idea seriously, and went home and drafted an "instruction manual" for a pet rock. It was full of puns, gags and plays on words that referred to the rock as an actual pet.
The first Pet Rocks were ordinary gray stones bought at a builder's supply store. They were marketed like live pets, in custom cardboard boxes, complete with straw and breathing holes for the "animal". The fad lasted about six months, ending after a short increase in sales during the Christmas season of December 1975. During its short run, the Pet Rock made Dahl a millionaire. With the proceeds, he opened the ironically named "Carrie Nation's" bar in downtown Los Gatos, California.