National Dog Day is right around the corner – it happens every year on August 26th. So, now is the time to get your pup-party plans in place! There’s no “wrong” way to enjoy this four-footed holiday, but we’ll share five thoughtful things you can do to celebrate dogs and all of the ways they improve our lives.
This post was written by Meg Mars of K9ofmine.com for Ollie.
So, what's National Dog Day, anyway?
First of all, we consider every day to be worthy of celebrating our canine companions, but National Dog Day is a particularly special day for people everywhere to band together to praise, appreciate, and party with pups!
The holiday was created by animal advocate Colleen Paige. It should be noted that this wasn’t the first holiday Ms. Paige created – she is also responsible for bringing National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day, and National Cat Day to the world.
As put by Paige, “Our mission is to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort.”
Ways to celebrate
Now that you know what National Dog Day is, it’s time to figure out what you want to do. Again, you should celebrate however you (and your pup) feel is most appropriate, but here’s our inspiration!
1. Take your dog to the beach
The beach is one of the very best places to visit with your four-footed friend – especially if your pet likes to swim. Between the water, the sand, the splashing waves, and all the interesting people, beach trips are pretty mind-blowing for most dogs.
Just be sure to check out the local rules before you go. Some beaches prohibit dogs entirely, while others simply require them to be on a leash at all times.
You’ll want to keep safety in mind too, so suit up your sidekick with a canine life jacket and make sure your pup’s peepers are protected. The salt, sand, and spray can be pretty irritating to a dog’s eyes, so hook your dog up with a pair of sunglasses so he can make the most of the occasion.
2. Volunteer at an animal shelter
Most shelters are non-profit organizations, who operate on shoestring budgets and with a bare-bones staff. They’re almost always in need of help, and National Dog Day is the perfect time to volunteer.
Different shelters have different procedures for volunteers, so be sure to give your local shelter a ring or visit their website beforehand. The kinds of tasks they’ll need help with will also vary. Occasionally, they will need help with less-than-glamorous tasks like hosing out kennels or picking up poop, but many also need help walking dogs and helping visitors who’re looking for the perfect pup to take home.
3. Pitch in at your local dog park
Your local dog park is probably maintained by a local municipality, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a bit of ownership. After all – you and your pup probably spend hours there each week!
So, consider investing a bit of elbow grease or a couple of bucks to help make the park better for all of the visiting dogs (and their humans). You could do something as simple as picking up some of the poop or trash naughty owners have left on the lawn, or you could hang up a bag of fresh new tennis balls for other dogs to play with (I can’t be the only one who’s driven all the way to the park only to discover I left the all-important tennis ball at home).
If your park needs more significant help, this may be a great day to network with other park visitors and try to drum up interest in talking to the park management about the issues. Be sure to exchange info, decide on a plan, and set an appointment with the proper park point-person.
4. Teach your pup a new game
Aside from patrolling the floor for delicious bits of dropped food, your dog’s very favorite thing in the world is surely spending quality time with you! So, if nothing else, just set aside a solid hour to run, jump, and play with your pup.
But because this is a special occasion, we’d make one additional suggestion: Teach your dog an entirely new game. There are certainly dozens of different games you and your pet may enjoy, and there are at least six fun games you can play with your dog during your next walk.
5. Start your own dog-related business
If you have a way with Weimaraners and find Chihuahuas too cute for words, you should think about starting your own dog-oriented business venture. All you need is a love of four-footers, and the time and energy to dedicate to the task. If things go well, you’ll even put a little profit in your pocket.
There are dozens of different ways you could make some cash while spending time with canines. You could obviously become a trainer or groomer, assuming you have the necessary skills, education, and experience to do so. But there are other avenues that won’t require many canine-specific skills to get started.
For example, photographers and artists may consider doing pet portraits. People love their pets, and none of us ever seem to have enough good images of them. But one of the easiest types of dog-oriented businesses to start is undoubtedly a dog-sitting or dog-walking business. You don’t need much to get started aside from a love of dogs and a quickie website.
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to do anything extravagant by Monday – your pup would certainly appreciate something simple like going on a little longer walk than usual or taking a special trip to the park. Besides, National Dog Day happens every year, and you’ll have 12 months to figure out what to do next time it rolls around.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.