National Dog Day: How to Celebrate!

Husky dog playing on beach

Did you know that August 26th is National Dog Day? Although we think that every day is a great day to celebrate our canine companions, we compiled some awesome ways to celebrate with your dog, and make the day better for other pups, too!

Treat Your Dog Today

We asked around the office and got some great suggestions when we asked folks, “What is your dog’s favorite thing to do?” Hopefully this list inspires you to celebrate your own dog today!

Go for a sniffari

Let your pup run the show on your next walk and sniff to their heart’s content! Be sure to allot plenty of time for those really smelly sniffs that require long, reflective pauses.

Pit bull licking an ice cream cone

Krieger loves to share food with his people, although they usually get him his OWN ice cream!

Share a snack

Letting your pup have a bite of your healthy snacks is great mental enrichment for them, and it reinforces the bond you share. Stick to small portions of fresh fruits and veggies like apples, strawberries, green beans, banana, and seedless watermelon to reduce the chance of tummy upset.

Make pupsicles

August is the perfect time to try ice enrichment for your pup! Simply pour some water or broth into an ice cube tray or silicone mold, then drop in some dog biscuits, sliced fruit, and/or raw veggies and let freeze. Most dogs will go wild gnawing out the prizes inside. This treat is best enjoyed outside for easier cleanup!

French Bulldog with Himalayan Gnawer treat

Thug loves his Himalayan Gnawer treats!

Try a new treat

Did you know that chewing is a natural instinct which helps to relieves anxiety and tension for dogs? Treat your pup to a relaxing, all-natural gnawer: our all-natural, long-lasting chews. Our Himalayan Gnawers are made in Nepal, using a centuries-old recipe for yak milk cheese. Our Bully Gnawers are 100% natural, free-range, grass-fed beef pizzle sourced from the plains of Argentina. Dogs of all ages and breeds love these engaging treats!

Yorkie enjoys the beach wearing a life jacket

Percy Lee loves to run off leash on sandbars at the sound! He splashes in the tide pools and sniffs all the shells.

Schedule a playdate

If your dog enjoys the company of other dogs, celebrate the holiday with all of their furry friends! Ask other dog parents to meet at the dog park or in a fenced backyard for a more exclusive gathering.

Go for a swim

Another ideal August activity if you have access to a dog-friendly pool or lake and a dog who loves to splash! Find a cool mountain stream and combine this activity with a nice hike, or go for a beach jaunt if you’re lucky enough to live on the shore.

Take them out for ice cream or a puppacino

Many ice cream parlors offer a plain vanilla ice cream, a “pup cup” for your friend, and most coffee shops will happily prepare a “puppacino” which is just a cup of whipped cream. Frequent sugary or dairy-based treats are not great for dogs, but one day a year should be fine, and Scout will love this rare treat!

Dog playing tug-o-war inside

Sadie loves playing tug-o-war with her people.

Play games all day

If you have a high energy dog or younger pup, use National Dog Day as an excuse to give them just what they want: FUN! Buy a new toy (or three), set up an obstacle course in your living room, try hide and seek, perfect their fetching skills, and let them win tug-o-war. Whatever it takes to make their day great!

Spend some quality cuddle time

Surely you allow dogs on the furniture, but even if you don’t, make an exception today! Snuggling releases oxytocin in both your dog and you, creating feelings of connection and trust. Be sure to put your phone down and focus solely on your dog, since it is their day, after all!

Terrier mix dog in car hammock

Baxter loves riding in the car with his mom (or anyone—teach your dog about stranger danger!).

Go for a ride

It seems to be hard-wired into every dog’s DNA to FREAK OUT when someone asks, “Wanna go for a ride?” If your dog enjoys an adventure, let them get some wind in their ears today and sniff all the smells between your house and the park, or even a new neighborhood to walk through as you quest for the prime sniffari locale. Just be sure your dog is securely fastened with a seat belt harness or other restraint; safety first!

 

Help a Homeless Dog

Unfortunately, many dogs will spend this “holiday” in a kennel run at a shelter, or awaiting their forever home in foster with rescue. But you can help make their day better, too!

Donate toys to your local shelter

Time spent in a shelter can be the most difficult time in a dog’s life, but a few toys can help boost their mood while they wait for their new family. Check if your nearest shelter accepts toy donations—stuffable, hard rubber toys are the best for easy enrichment and efficient cleaning.

Take a shelter dog for a walk

If you have a free afternoon, visit your local shelter and make a dog’s day with an afternoon walk! Many municipal shelters and humane societies also have programs where you can foster an adoptable dog for just one day. Borrow a dog for a fun afternoon and you’ll make a huge difference in their life.

Repost dogs available for adoption

You might not believe in the power of social media, but it only takes one share to connect a homeless pet with their future best friend. Find a local rescue or shelter that posts their available pets on Facebook or Instagram and cross-post to community groups, or to your own feed. Who knows, one of your friends might be ready to adopt a new family member!

Donate to an animal rescue

Skip the takeout today and donate those dollars to a local rescue of your choice. Most pet rescues happily accept donations through Paypal or social media, and your dollars will go much farther to help pets with a local organization than with a large nonprofit. Every dollar helps save dogs!

Foster or adopt a new friend

If you’ve got the time, space, and funds to bring a dog into your home, adopting is the ultimate way to make a homeless dog’s day! If you’re not ready for the commitment or want to “test drive” adding a dog to your household, consider fostering. Letting a dog bunk at your place while they await their forever home is very rewarding for you and the dog, who will learn important social skills that they wouldn’t gain from the shelter.