National Dog Day was created to celebrate all dogs; large and small, purebreds and mixed breeds, family and companion dogs as well as all the working dogs that selflessly provide services, assistance and keep people safe. It is also a day to raise awareness about all the dogs out there in shelters and rescues that need loving homes. So many dogs are surrendered to shelters each year and are in need of loving homes. Dogs are such important parts of our lives, and offer us unconditional love, commitment, and acceptance, they deserve to be celebrated, not just August 26th, but every day!
There are many ways you can celebrate National Dog Day. See if any local organizations, shelters or veterinarians are doing anything to celebrate National Dog Day; some may waive adoptions fees for dogs adopted on that day, offer deals on microchipping or other veterinary services, or organize events to celebrate. Take a look around your community to see what’s going on.
If you’re ready, have thought carefully about it and discussed it with friends and family, adopt a dog from a local shelter or rescue organization. Giving an unwanted a dog a new home and lease on life is the best gift you could give them! But remember, deciding to adopt a pet is a big responsibility, so be sure to carefully consider and understand the commitment you are making. Pets that are bought hastily or frivolously, or potential owners that are not fully aware of the responsibilities that come with a canine companion are some of the reasons so many dogs end up in shelters every year. People don’t realize how big the puppy will get, or how much they may shed or bark; they didn’t understand the effort required to train and socialize a dog, or the time every day that is needed to devote to a dog, walking and feeding and spending quality time with them. If you are interested in adopting a pet, think about it very carefully. You can read more about the responsibilities that come with pet ownership here.
If you’re not ready or in a position to adopt a dog, you can still participate and get involved—make a contribution to a local shelter; either by donating money, food, toys or supplies, or by offering your time to help out with walking dogs, playing with them, or whatever they may need. Or you can help out in the community, by walking ill or elderly neighbor and friends dogs and giving them some extra love. Contact your local organizations to find out how you can contribute to the animal welfare work happening in your community.
And as always, don’t forget to give your dog(s) at home a big hug and kiss and spend some quality time with them. This is perhaps the biggest way you can celebrate National Dog Day; by showing your love and affection for the pups you’ve already given a wonderful home to. Take them for a long walk, have a good play session or romp in the park or backyard, or take them to their favorite watering hole or wooded area for some fresh air and adventure. Bring home a new toy or some of their favorite treats as a special indulgence. Treat them to a doggie spa day to get them looking their best. Spoil them with some extra belly rubs or back scratches. Regardless of what makes your dog’s tail thump the hardest, what they appreciate the most is the time and attention you give to them. After all, you’re likely the center of their world. Don’t forget to let them know they hold a pretty special place in yours, too.