Calling all canine companions!
National Dog Day is an all-around celebration of dogs. It’s a way to thank our canines for all of the ways they improve our lives, share this appreciation with other dog-loving people, and raise awareness about all of the adoptable dogs currently waiting in a shelter for some loving soul to take them home.
First created by animal advocate Collen Paige, the holiday is observed every year on August 26.
To help celebrate, we’re sharing four fantastic things you can do to help raise awareness about shelter dogs and show your own pup how much you love them.
1. Go on an adventure
Nothing will make a dog perk up like the sound of jangling car keys. So, if you have a pet who likes to get out, cruise around, and explore the world, take them on an adventure to celebrate National Dog Day.
Just be sure to match the activity and destination to your dog’s personality. Some pups will enjoy heading to an outdoor mall or exploring a concrete jungle, while others will feel more comfortable in a natural setting, like a local park or forest.
For that matter, one of the most rewarding ways to celebrate the holiday is by taking your pup on a camping trip – just be sure that you have a dog-proof tent before heading off to the great outdoors.
2. Volunteer at a local shelter
What better way to spend National Dog Day than by giving back? Most dog shelters and rescues are non-profit organizations, who are always in need of a helping pair of hands. These types of places are easily among the most deserving and worthy charities in the world, so consider celebrating the day by pitching in a little.
Most big shelters will have their volunteer procedures and policies outlined on their website, but you may have to pick up the phone to find out the deal for smaller rescues. In either case, just be sure to let them know you plan on coming, so they can make the most of your contribution.
3. Serve as a foster parent for a dog in need
If you really want to help out a dog on National Dog Day, consider serving as a foster parent for a pup living in a local shelter.
By doing so, you’ll not only help the them enjoy a warm bed and lots of one-on-one attention, but you’ll also help improve their chances of getting adopted into their perfect forever home. Many dogs really struggle to cope with the shelter environment, which can make them less appealing to possible adopters. Unfortunately, this means they may never get to enjoy a family of their own.
But if you take one of these pups home on a temporary basis, you can often prevent these types of problems from surfacing. Also, you’ll get to enjoy the love of a super-grateful canine for a while, which is always a good thing.
4. Spoil your dog
If your dog is a little too chill to appreciate a day-long trek in the wilderness or an afternoon spent swimming at a nearby beach, you may want to express your love through gifts instead. Most dogs love getting new stuff — especially if that stuff is fun to chew on, chase, or catch.
Just head to your local pet store and let your pup browse their offerings. Your dog will likely show particular interest in something fun, so this is also a great way to let your pooch pick out their own toy or dog chew for their National Dog Day gift.
Don’t worry if your canine is past the playful-puppy stage. There are plenty of non-toy goodies you can spoil them with. You may, for example, consider giving your pooch a luxury dog bed. After all, your dog may spend up to 20 hours a day snoozing – you may as well give them a comfy place to do so!