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National Dog Day: 10 Ways To Celebrate!

Do you know what August 26th is? It’s National Dog Day! Founded by pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige, National Dog Day is a holiday to raise awareness of shelter dogs in need of homes and to honor your own four-legged best friend. Here are ten ways you can celebrate this special day.

Cook up a special meal.
What’s a celebration without great food? Many dogs suffer gastric upset when they veer from their usual diet, but most can tolerate a simple meal of cooked chicken breast or lean beef mixed into their usual fare. You can also try your hand at baking homemade pup-cakes or cookies. Not so skilled in the kitchen? Your pup will appreciate their favorite natural dog treats.

Host a puppy paw-ty.
If your pup doesn’t mind sharing those tasty treats, why not invite some of their friends over? Puppy playdates are great for socializing your dog without the unpredictability of a dog park. Pump up the party with a kiddie pool, some photo props from a party store, and take-home party favors.

Explore a new place together.
You know that cool new beach or park you’ve been thinking about checking out, but it’s just a little too far away? Today’s the perfect day to visit with your dog. Set the day aside to explore at their own pace. If you’d like, you can even let your dog lead the way and see where they take you.

Make art together.
Your little Pawcasso doesn’t need any prior training to make adorable keepsakes. They can even help you get a jump-start on your holiday gift list. With washable, non-toxic paints (tempera is a great choice) and some paw wipes closeby, gently paint their paw-pads with a paintbrush and press their paws against canvas or paper to make puppy prints. For a mess-free technique, try squirting globs of paint onto a canvas, then place the canvas into a plastic bag. Spread natural peanut butter (free of added salt, oil, sugar, or artificial sweeteners) over the bag, and let your pup lick it up. As they lick, they’ll spread the globs of paint through the plastic, safely creating adorable abstract tongue-art.

Check out your local Yappy Hour
Some bars and restaurants allow dogs to hang out on their patio while their owners drink or dine. For sociable dogs, this can be a fun way to get out of the house and meet up with pals.

Create picture-perfect memories.
Book a professional photographer to help you create a photoshoot with your dog. Or, collect some of your favorite snaps from puppyhood to today and put together a dedicated doggy photo album. While you’re at it, why not have stickers, pins, blankets, or stationary printed with their face on them? Your pup’s cuteness deserves commemorating in every way possible.

Get a new dog bed.
Dogs sleep for about 12 hours per day, and may spend even more time than that lounging in their bed. A quality bed can make them feel comfy and secure, and may also help protect their joint health. National Dog Day is the perfect excuse to splurge on a high quality bed. You may also want to consider adding more dog beds around the house to give your pup more soft places to lounge during the day. They might love having a bed near the kitchen so they can watch you cook, or a bed near your computer desk so they can hang out with you when you work.

Revive your dog’s toys.
Does your dog have baskets of toys that they used to love, but now totally ignore? No need to buy new ones. Gather their old toys in a bucket and fill it up with warm water and mild soap or vinegar, then soak for a few hours until that water is murky. Rinse and wring each toy thoroughly, then air-dry or cycle through the dryer. Toys with squeakers can be washed without worry, they’ll squeak again once they’re fully dry. Now that they’re free of dried saliva and stale odors, your dog will think their toys are brand new.

Get some new walking gear.
Well-fitted, high-quality walking gear tends to be better for your dog’s posture and joint health. Why not upgrade their equipment to something that’s safer or more comfortable? While you’re at it, make sure they have legible ID tags with up-to-date contact information. You may also want to invest in a long line so they can safely explore wide open spaces.

Help out your local shelter.
Every dog deserves paw-rents to celebrate them on this special day, but unfortunately, pups at your local shelter aren’t so lucky. Consider applying to be a volunteer. If you can’t donate your time, you can donate your dog’s lightly used collar or harness, unopened food or treats, crates, and carriers. You can call the shelter to find out what other items they need, or see if they have a wishlist on their website. Monetary donations are always appreciated as they can be used for medical costs or to buy products in bulk.