About National Dog Day
85 million Americans, per the National Pet Owners Survey (2019-20), own at least one pooch.
National Dog Day is celebrated August 26th annually and was founded in 2004 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige. Paige chose August 26th because, when she was 10, that was the day her family adopted her sheltie.
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On their website, National Dog Day describes its aim as "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."
- Did you know? Dogs lick their noses to improve their sense of smell.
In 2013, the day was written into New York State legislation and has since been adopted the world over by dog lovers of all nationalities.
Dogs are Good for your Health!
You might be wondering why dogs should even have their own national holiday, so let’s allow the facts to speak for themselves. The American Heart Association reports that dogs can help a person healing from a cardiac event. So while dogs figuratively melt our hearts, they can also literally save them.
A study out of the University of Warwick’s Psychology Department found that dogs can also improve mood and help ease anxiety. Frontiers in Psychology published a study showing that even small interactions with dogs releases oxytocin, the magical hormone that fights pain and relieves stress.
Six ways to celebrate National Dog day with your pooch
- Celebrate all the dogs in your area by donating to your local shelter. Most shelters’ websites have a list of their “must haves.” These can be everything from food and treats to paper towels and postage stamps. Monetary donations of any amount are always welcomed.
- Spoil your dog. This can be anything from taking him on an extra-long walk to tummy rubs and lots of extra praise.
- Sign up for an advanced obedience, agility, behavioral or vocational class for you and your pooch. This can even be a refresher course to keep your canine’s behavior around people and other dogs consistent. An agility course can be a fun way to spend time with your dog, and it’s great exercise, too.
- Play puzzle games with your dog. Stretch your dog’s mental capabilities by teaching him a new game.
- If you have kids or you’re a kid at heart this is a great day to snap fun pictures of your kids, you and your dog to post on your favorite social media sites.
- According to Dr. Todd-Jenkins at vetstreet.com, the best gift you can give your dog on National Dog Day or any day is some extra cuddles. It will benefit you and show him how much you really care.