By Leslie Ingraham
Published: 08/10/2021, edited: 09/05/2023
Labor Day is a national holiday that celebrates America’s workers. It always falls on the first Monday of September, and the 3-day weekend is often marked by barbecues, parades and fireworks. Dogs work, too, endlessly chasing the ball or frisbee, presenting themselves to be cuddled to soothe their Pet Parents, and providing structure in humans’ worlds. So on Labor Day, we celebrate our doggos, too.
Traditionally marking the end of summer and return to school, the 3-day weekend is one of the most traveled of the year as people return to their homes after vacation. If you live in a tourist destination, you know that feeling of relief as you reclaim your “terrier-tory” again.
Labor Day weekend is the “pawr-fect” time to have a mini-staycation with your pup while avoiding traffic jams and long lines at the airport. Check out our suggestions for what to do with Fido on Labor Day weekend near home.
Take your fur-baby to a holistic groomer who also does massage. Or minister to them yourself with a coconut oil bath, nail trim, and massage, all of which will improve any pupster’s day! When their spa visit is finished, tuck them up for a long nap while you head to your own spa visit. By the end of the day, the two of you will be mellow and happy, ready for a laid-back dinner, a movie or good book, and cuddles. Furtastic!
Whether you live in the city or the country, there will always be a place where the two of you can take a long walk. Visit a part of your city or town that you’ve never been to before. Arboretums and botanical gardens are delightful places to stroll. Are there dog-friendly vineyards or apple orchards nearby? September is the perfect time of year to visit, have a glass of wine or cider and be on your way. Don’t forget water or some doggy wine for Fido!
If your pooch is well-behaved around people and dogs, take advantage of whatever your town or city is doing to celebrate Labor Day. Many places have parades, and others host village fairs and outdoor concerts. Or visit the local farmers’ market where you and Bosco can pick up fruits and vegetables, flowers, and delicious foods like homemade breads, pies, and cheeses. These are great meet-and-greet activities for you and the pup. Perhaps finish up with brunch or lunch at a dog-friendly restaurant or pub. Many restaurants and cafes with outdoor dining allow pupsters on a leash and some even provide water bowls and treats.
Whether your "fur-vorite" tunes are classical or the blues, many towns and cities offer outdoor concerts throughout the summer, and Labor Day weekend is no exception. Visit the bandstand or lakeside bandshell with your leashed doggo. Throw down a blanket, perhaps set out a picnic including treats and water for Fido, then lay back and enjoy the music! You might run into friends and acquaintances with their pups while you’re there!
In the U.S., we love to barbecue. From burgers and franks, to steaks, ribs and whole pig roasts, there will be many a BBQ fire burning on Labor Day. Why not invite a few friends and their furry buddies over for your favorite meats and sides, an ice tub filled with cold beverages, and some simple desserts like blueberry pie and ice cream. Don’t forget the pupsicles!
As the sun sets on another summer, you and your guests can mingle while the pupsters enjoy cavorting together. If you don’t have a fenced yard or pen, be sure to remind guests to keep their dogs’ leashes on to avoid an escape or other "unfur-tunate" incident. Play some music, bocci ball or horseshoes, and just relax.
Related: What Can My Pups Eat on Labor Day?
What better way to commemorate the can-do attitude of America’s workers and their unique contributions to life as we know it than to plan a staycation with the pooch? Don’t forget to thank workers for their resilience, and thank your furry friend, too!
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