It probably comes as a surprise that there's such a thing as National Dog Day. Unless you're actively involved with a local animal shelter or related organization, you may be wondering what the August 26 National Dog Day celebration is all about.
What is National Dog Day?
National Dog Day is dedicated to honoring the canine members of our families in the same vein as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Earth Day and Valentine’s Day. Pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige founded the day as a way to pay homage to our four-footed companions and their unconditional love and unquestioning loyalty. Dogs play a huge role in our lives, not just as pets, but as service animals, law enforcement helpers and therapy animals.
National Dog Day also serves to create awareness about the inhumane treatment of dogs and the number of dogs in need of rescue. Paige strongly advises people to avoid "puppy mills," which are substandard commercial breeding facilities where animals are neglected and abused. Rather than supporting this type of enterprise or buying a puppy from a pet store, she suggests doing your research. Seek out a reputable breeder or adopt from a local shelter.
For parents who are looking for a way to get their teenagers involved in community service, animal shelters and veterinary clinics are great places to start. This type of volunteerism benefits both the animals and the community, and it helps teens learn more about a career path in the compassionate care of animals.
But even if you can't go out and adopt a dog or guide your kids to become shelter volunteers, you can still make a financial donation. Even a $5 donation is worthwhile — every little bit helps.
Fun for the whole family
If you run out of ideas on how to participate or celebrate National Dog Day, not to worry. Visit www.nationaldogday.com for a list of ways to celebrate the day so you too can feel the warm fuzziness that comes with caring for dogs.
Some favorite activities on the list are:
- Host a party to celebrate National Dog Day and have everyone bring their pet with them
- Do a photo shoot with your puppy
- Wear a T-shirt with a dog on it
- Take your dog to an elder-care facility for social interaction
- Hire a pet photographer and get some professional photos taken
- Go on vacation with your dog to a pet-friendly destination
Whether you are a dog lover or just a conscientious citizen, getting involved in National Dog Day can be fun, educational and beneficial. If all else fails, you can go onto YouTube (www.youtube.com) and watch some cute video clips of furry loved ones. Better yet, you can make your own.