Dogs rightfully deserve the title of man’s best friend. Through good times and bad, your dog is by your side with a tail wag and a loving look in its eyes. So, make sure to celebrate your loyal friend on National Dog Day this year.
If you’re unfamiliar with this holiday, National Dog Day is held yearly on August 26, and it is the perfect opportunity to let the dogs in your life know how much they mean to you. Use these ideas for a special celebration of your canine companion or as a chance to help dogs at your local shelter.
What is National Dog Day?
Animal behaviorist Colleen Paige started the holiday in 2004 to celebrate dogs and raise public awareness of dogs in need. Paige chose the specific date of August 26, as this is the anniversary of her family adopting their first dog from a shelter.
Ways to celebrate
If you’re looking to make National Dog Day special, these activities are sure to be a tail-wagging good time.
Regular walks are essential for your dog, as they can help improve your dog’s joint, digestive, and emotional health. However, make this walk special by spending extra time at a favorite park, or go somewhere entirely new for your dog to soak up the sights, sounds, and smells of unfamiliar territory. You can also take your pooch to the local dog park to romp around with their friends.
Treat your dog
There’s nothing wrong with spoiling the good dog in your life. While you can treat them to their favorite store-bought treat, you can also make them a snack that will leave them howling for more. Try one of these homemade dog treat recipes:
Have a photoshoot
National Dog Day is a great time to snap a few photos of you and your pet. Whether it’s a few selfies or a shoot with a photographer, use this day as an opportunity to capture the special relationship between you and your dog. Your social media followers will surely fawn over the cute pictures.
Give them a toy
Everyone loves getting a gift—your dog included. Whether it’s a fluffy stuffed animal or a rugged pull toy, a new toy can help your pup work out some pent up energy. Don’t forget to take some time out of your day for playtime. Instead of buying something new, you can also craft your pup a homemade dog toy like these:
Whether you own a dog or not, National Dog Day is an excellent opportunity to volunteer at or donate to your local animal shelter. There are numerous dogs in need, and this is your chance to help make their day a little better. Volunteering activities can be as simple as taking dogs for walks to give them extra time outside their kennel. If you plan to donate, while a monetary contribution is a great idea, shelters always need food, toys, and blankets.
Not a dog owner? This could be your opportunity to add a four-legged friend to your life by adopting a dog. It’s a big commitment, but adopting a dog will not only improve their life, but it can positively impact your health, as the CDC reports pet ownership leads to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as reduced stress. Learn more about some of the misconceptions of pet adoption here.
A dog’s love is unconditional, so repay their kindness by making National Dog Day a special celebration for them.