4 min read

Celebrate Your Dogs on National Dog Day


Written by Leslie Ingraham

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 08/23/2021, edited: 08/28/2023


Most dog people appreciate their pupsters every day, so why is August 26th so special? It's National Dog Day

Started in 2004 by Colleen Paige, a well-known Animal Welfare Advocate, this day celebrates all dogs as our loving companions, but it also aims to raise awareness of the plight of homeless and shelter dogs everywhere that are waiting to be adopted by a loving pet parent or family. 

You can help celebrate National Dog Day at home by taking some time to include awareness activities while having fun with your furvorite canine! Here are some ideas to make this day furtastic!

small dog running through tall grass

Get some exercise

Show your own pup how much they mean to you by taking them for a special long trail walk or a stroll on a dog-friendly beach. For those living in the city with their pups, a park or greenway is pawfect for exploring or playing. Don’t forget all your essentials, such as sunscreen, bug spray, and plenty of water

Visit dog-friendly eateries

Many restaurants, cafes and bars are opening their doors, patios and beer gardens to doggos so they can enjoy a special meal with their pet parents. No-condiment burgers and turkey burgers, or a grilled beef or chicken plate will hit the spot! Kick back and introduce your canine kid to the other patrons and your friends. On National Dog Day, they deserve lots of petting and cuddling!

Dog camping in the evening

Find a new adventure!

Your pup has been there for you through thick and thin, but sometimes, even they can get cabin fever looking at the same walls! Give them something new to bark about by planning a dog-friendly trip! Whether finding the pawfect campground to sleep with your doggo under the stars, or taking a cross-country road trip, the sky's the limit when you've got your best furry furiend in tow!

Have a parade!

Invite your friends and other dog parents to participate in a leashed doggy parade down your street. Your dog-less friends can participate too, as it just may encourage them to adopt their own furball. All the enthusiasm associated with the usual marching bands and floats will be directed at the doggos who will love the adoration! Balloons, streamers, and flags make for a festive touch. End the parade with a doggy party in the backyard with doggy ice cream and pupsicles, and lots of water for the thirsty pups! Or get some dog wine or beer for your furry friends to enjoy!  

Yorkshire Terrier dog having a spa day

Have a spa day

Get out your mud masks and blueberry facials for this fun treat! Pups love to get pampered and a spa day at home is just the thing to spend some quality time with your canine pal. An oatmeal soak, a dog-safe shampoo, and a pedicure followed by a massage is the pawfect way to put your dog in a state of utter bliss! Or book a session with the experts at a posh dog spa!

Related: 10 Dog Spas Around the World to Add to Buddy's Bucket List

Visit the dog-less

If you know some people who don’t have dogs of their own, and they can’t get to the parade and party, plan a visit with your well-behaved pupster to share the love. Older people, especially, have sometimes had to give up their dogs, or their special pups have passed on, and they may just love a visit from a furry furiend. 

Related: 5 Signs Your Dog Makes a Good Therapy Dog

Beagle watching movie with pet parents - celebrate your dogs on national dog day

Kick back together with a movie

This is a pawrfect day to relax with your pup and watch a dog-friendly show or movie together. From documentaries to romances, and everything in between, you'll have plenty to choose from that appeal to dog lovers and canines themselves. Be sure to have some plain popcorn ready for your pupster, or some yummy treats!

Make Dog Day boxes

Create Dog Day Boxes to distribute among the animal shelters in your area. Get a group of people to help! Along with pet food and basic supplies, you can include a new toy and a luscious treat or fashion accessory tucked inside a small box. Local pet stores may be interested in donating some great stuff! This will mean instant happiness for the shelter pups, and fun for you! 

Make it a party, and plan to do the box stuffing somewhere where people can bring their pups, like a fenced yard or a secured community center. Ask for help locally with donations from sponsors like pet stores and groomers. Or get crafty and make items from scratch!

Related: 5 Easy Crafts to Make for Your Local Animal Shelter

woman volunteer with several dogs at shelter

Share the wealth

If you can, make a contribution to one or more local shelters and animal welfare organizations such as the ASPCA or Humane Society. Deliver the donations in person if possible, and don’t forget to bring Fido along! If you can't give donations, volunteer your time to help out the pups. 

Don't have a lot of time, but still want to help out shelter pets? Greater Good Charities offers care packages of food, beds and vaccinations for dogs that they will deliver for you. For just $20, you can help give beds and vaccinations to two shelter dogs, as well as 200 bowls of food! It's never been easier to help homeless dogs get their chance at a loving home!

National Dog Day is all about recognizing the dogs who are waiting for their furever home by bringing awareness to their plight while encouraging adoption and generosity. But it’s also about the pleasure our fur-pals bring to our lives with their antics and never ending love, so be sure your pup knows how special they are. Enjoy this furbulous day with your pooch!

For more ideas on how to spoil your pup, check out these "furrific" ideas!

From healthy walks, training, Vet Chat, and more, download the Wag! App to keep your bestie living their best life everyday!

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