Carving out one day of the year to recognize someone is a great way to show our appreciation. And these days, there seems to be a day set aside for practically everyone. There’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day, and even a day for step-parents. But did you know there’s also a day for the four-legged members of our families who show us, unconditional love every day? That’s right: National Dog Day has occurred on August 26 every year since 2004. It was founded as a way to bring attention to the fact that so many are sitting in rescues looking for their forever homes—whether family dogs or working dogs who put their lives at risk for us daily. If you have any four-legged friends, here’s how to spoil them on National Dog Day this year.
If you’re going to spend the day spoiling your dog, you’ll want to start National Dog Day with a spring in your step, so don’t feel that you need to skip your morning coffee or tea. As soon as you slip out of your comfy PJs and get dressed, why not take your dog on a coffee date? If it’s nice outside, take your dog somewhere with an outdoor patio. If not, take your canine buddy on a ride through the drive-thru and ask for a pup-a-ccino, which is also sometimes called a “pup cup.” It’s basically just a tiny cup full of whipped cream. Dogs love it, and it’s also a good way to show your dog that car rides can include fun trips other than scary ones like going to the vet or the groomer.
A special day for a dog isn’t complete without a trip to the dog park. It’s amazing how a quick romp at the dog park can tire out a dog more easily than a long walk. Seeing other dogs provides important socialization opportunities. It also gives your pooch a chance to run and play, which may not be available at home. Even if it’s cold outside, try not to skip this special treat. Besides bundling yourself up, you can also treat your dog to a personalized dog jacket for warmth, especially if your pup has short hair and it’s wintertime. It will also prevent that beautiful fur from getting too dirty if the play gets a little rough or the ground is muddy.
If your pet store allows you to bring dogs inside, think of how fun it could be for your special dog to pick out a treat or toy. This is another way to show dogs that not all car trips are bad ones. If your pet store doesn’t allow you to bring dogs inside, then consider picking out a special treat in advance: something your dog maybe never had before or only enjoyed on special occasions. Check the freezer section, too, if your pet store has one. It may sell frozen raw beef marrow bones, which are a special treat that dogs adore.
Treats and toys are great, but the one thing your dog craves most is attention from you. As you both wind down after a long day, give your pal a few extra scratches behind the ear or offer a belly rub a little longer than you normally would. Bonding together like this is healthy for both your dog and for you, as studies show relaxing together can even lower blood pressure.
At the end of a long day of fun, your pup will likely be tuckered out and want to lie down somewhere comfortable. When’s the last time you bought your dog a new dog bed? If the current one isn’t as fluffy as it used to be or is showing signs of wear and tear, your canine pal will certainly appreciate a new one that’s built to last. A personalized dog bed is a fun addition to your home, especially if you have more than one dog. When choosing a pet bed to personalize, you’ll likely need to buy the bed cover and insert it separately. Having a cover that detaches from the bed allows you to clean it when needed without stuffing the whole bed into the washer and dryer.
As National Dog Day approaches, you may even find that you’re ready to add a new dog to your family. Remember that the best way to spoil a dog is to rescue it from a shelter.