National Dog Day is just around the corner. We know any reason to dedicate an entire day to man’s best friend is more than welcome in the dog lover’s community. In fact, there are dozens of dog holidays. National Dog Day serves as a national opportunity to celebrate dogs in need of rescue, service dogs, and to encourage dog adoptions. Some countries have been acknowledging the love and selfless commitment within these animals for decades. One thing is for sure, many families agree that canines are an animal worth celebrating.
So if you would like some ideas about how to celebrate your furry friend on this national holiday, read on.
Dogs’ lives are short. Their only fault, really. – Agnes Sligh Turnbull
What is National Dog Day?
National Dog Day is a great reason to spoil your dog even more than you already do. This national holiday was also created to improve dog awareness. Over 470 million dogs are kept as pets worldwide, and dogs came out on top as the leading type of pet in 2018.
According to a pet owners survey, in the United States, approximately 89.7 million dogs were owned in 2017. Since the survey’s start in 2000, there’s been an increase of over 20 million dogs. The national survey originally started at about 68 million.
These numbers aren’t hard to believe, seeing as there is a wide diversity of dog breeds for people to choose from. There are sure to be more canine owners in the future if the numbers keep increasing this quickly. The American Kennel Club recognizes 211 dog breeds. Other associations recognize even more.
Which breed do we celebrate on this national holiday? All of them! From the cattle dogs who are ready to work and equipped for the physically demanding task of herding, to the canines trained for the front lines at war, and the adorable hypoallergenic miniatures that tag along in your bag and sport a matching sweater.
National Dog Day is all about dog appreciation, so it can be as elaborate or relaxed as you want it to be, as long as your dog is happy, comfortable, and appreciated.
History of National Dog Day
National Dog Day was introduced in 2004, when animal behavioralist and author Colleen Paige proposed a dedicated dog day to celebrate all dogs, including those in shelters and in need of rescue. Paige wanted to honor the dogs that devoted their lives to helping and improving ours by making it a national awareness day.
Paige also wanted to raise national awareness about the millions of dogs being killed because people choose to seek other methods of purchasing their pets rather than adopting. According to ASPCA.org, 670,000 dogs are euthanized each year, this national day aims at reducing this number.
National Dog Day Purpose
This national day has grown a lot since the original ideas that Paige produced. It has been incredible to see how many dog owners have jumped on board. It doubles as a national dog awareness day.
Dogs have always worked selflessly for us by offering comfort and safety. They take on jobs even humans can’t do, like cancer and bomb detection, pulling victims from misfortune, and searching for illegal contraband. Additionally, this national day is against the ban of any dog breeds. Mistreated or stereotyped dogs do not deserve to lose their lives.
When is National Dog Day?
We celebrate National Dog Day on August 26. For Paige, August 26 is significant, as it’s the adoption date of her first family dog, “Sheltie” when Paige was 10-years-old.
How to Celebrate National Dog Day
There are endless ways you can celebrate National Dog Day this year. Even if you do not have your own dog, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate man’s best friend on their special day. Here are some ideas for how to make the most of National Dog Day this year.
Go for a walk: We know this is one that you probably already do, but maybe this time, you can take your dog for a long walk or pass by the ducks or squirrels your buddy likes to chase. Any time spent with them will make for a memorable national holiday.
Have a dog party: Dogs parties are a blast. Everyone can celebrate their dog by having them play together and enjoy some tasty food. Tails will be wagging aplenty on this national holiday.
Doggy Resorts: If you’re a little too busy this year, you can have your dog pampered at a resort for canines. This August 26, they will enjoy play dates with other doggies and get bathed and groomed while they’re at it.
Visit an animal shelter: Whether you do or don’t have a dog of your own, visiting a local shelter is a great way to make a positive impact on those dogs who are waiting on their forever homes. You can volunteer to play with or walk the dogs and maybe even take one home at the end of the national holiday.
Donate items: National animal welfare organizations are always looking for dog donations such as blankets, treats, food, and beds, especially on August 26.
Other National Pet Days To Remember
Others have shared Paige’s great idea to dedicate national attention to dogs. And this is not the only national day she has created. She also started National Puppy Day, which is on March 23, National Mutt day got two whole days as it is celebrated July 31 and December 2. Finally, Paige started a National Cat Day, which is celebrated on October 29.
There are actually celebrations for canines all around the world. Take Nepal for instance, they took National Dog Day to the next level. Or rather, the following five levels when they created a five-day Nepalese Hindu festival called Tihar. The second day of Tihar is known as Kukur Tihar or “day of the dogs.” During the festival, dogs are honored and celebrated with a Tika – a red mark applied to the forehead. Hindus believe that a dog is the messenger of Yamaraj – the God of death. By keeping the dogs in good humor, they will appease Yamaraj himself.
There are now national days for many pets and breeds. You can find a national awareness day for just about any topic such as National Pet Travel Safety Day. Month-long observances include Dog Training Education Month observed in February. And don’t forget National Rescue Dog Day on May 20th!
This year, you can celebrate National Dog Day by pampering your dog a little extra or volunteering your time and recourses. After all, Josh Billings knew what he was talking about when he said “a dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Feel free to use the ideas above outside of National Dog Day, because as all dog owners and dog lovers know, every day can be National Dog Day. How are you going to celebrate National Dog Day this year?. Find more here at the HolistaPet page.