Americans love their furry companions. In fact, 65 million U.S. households report having a dog. National Dog Day is the perfect time to celebrate those tail-wagging family members who bring joy and unconditional love. August 26 marks National Dog Day and is a great day to spoil them with what they love most.
Why Dogs Deserve Extra Love This Month
Dogs hold a special place in the hearts of many humans. Studies show that dogs are essential to many individuals’ mental health and well-being. Anyone who’s come home to an excited pup after a bad day can attest to their benefits. Walks or runs with your dog are often the best part of your day! Dogs also play crucial roles in society as therapy dogs, assistant detectives, emotional support dogs, and teacher aides.
Dogs deserve to be celebrated year-round. Dedicating one day out of the year to them allows pet owners to thank them for all they do.
Show Dogs Some Love
On National Dog Day, people are encouraged to take the time to show a furry friend some extra love, even if it’s something as simple as a long belly rub. Below are a few ways dog owners can let their companions know they’re valued.
Try a New Treat
Americans spend $62 billion annually on dog treats and food. Just like birthdays and holidays, dogs love celebrating with delectable goodies. Dog owners can give their pets something special, like their favorite or new treat. They can get creative in the kitchen and bake homemade dog treats infused with love. Alternatively, owners can take them to their favorite local dog-friendly restaurants or coffee shop for a special snack.
Gift a New Toy
New toys are a great way to get any dog excited. Take them to the pet store to pick one out, or surprise them with a special delivery.
Take a Road Trip
Going on a road trip on National Dog Day is great for any dog that loves adventure. Nothing beats a road trip with a dog aka your best friend. Visit a beach, lake, or park to get fresh air, swim, and explore new places together.
Take a Hike
Take a pup to their favorite hiking trail or explore someplace new on National Dog Day. Dogs enjoy an outside adventure as much as we do, and taking a stroll through nature together is a wonderful way to bond.
Let Them Sniff
Owners can challenge their dogs to a game of hide-and-sniff. They’ll love sniffing and searching for treats hidden around the house. Or, take them to their favorite park or trail and let them sniff away, finding their favorite scents without interruption.
Create a Spa Day
Depending on the dog, they may love an at-home spa day. Give them a nice bath, brush their fur with a new comb, and trim their nails.
Book a Weekend Getaway
There are plenty of dog-friendly hotels, eateries, breweries, wineries, parks, and attractions throughout the country. Pick a destination, explore, and even stay in a hotel. Expedia Group lists the top pet-friendly hotels for a weekend getaway with a canine companion.
Schedule a Dog Day Photoshoot
Dog owners love photographing their dogs, and they always seem so photogenic. National Dog Day is the perfect day to capture some memorable moments. Anyone can get creative with props or poses and post photos to social media with #NationalDogDay.
Throw a Party
Gather a dog’s favorite friends and host a National Dog Day party. Get creative with decorations, games, activities, and snacks.
Schedule a Play Date
Schedule a meet-up at a local park or backyard for dogs to hang with their favorite humans or fellow pups. Spending the day with the animals and humans they love is a great way to show some extra love for a dog.
Spend the day playing games. The dogs will love every minute, whether the human chooses an intense round of fetch, a rousing game of tug-of-war, or a hide-and-seek match.
Many dogs love a good snuggle and belly rub. They can be invited onto the couch or bed if allowed. Otherwise, a loving owner can crawl on the floor with them and give them some much-deserved physical attention.
Give Them Important Essentials
If a dog owner has been putting off purchasing items like a dog collar or doggy bed, National Dog Day is an excellent excuse for shopping for important essentials. The dogs will love the attention and will likely say thanks with lots of kisses.
Remember the Stray and Shelter Dogs Around the World
On National Dog Day, remember the millions of stray and shelter dogs worldwide who don’t have a loving family to call their own. There are a variety of ways to show them love, too.
- Donate money and supplies to local animal shelters
- Volunteer at a local shelter
- Consider adopting or fostering a shelter pup in need of a forever home
- Support no-kill animal shelters or organizations that are working to reduce overpopulation
Dogs Are Worth It
No matter how a dog is celebrated on National Dog Day, showing them a little extra love will make them feel special. After all, they give unconditional love 365 days every year. It’s only fair to show them the same.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.