5 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day


It’s August 26. Do you know what that means? No? Your dog probably does. He has been waiting for this day all year. It’s National Dog Day!

My 10-year-old mixed pup, Riggins, told me that since we celebrate Mom’s Day for me, then it’s only right that we celebrate National Dog Day for him. Okay – he didn’t actually tell me this. He is a dog after all, but I know him well enough to know he was thinking it!

Wendy and Riggins. (Photo by Wendy Newell)
Wendy and Riggins. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

There are a million ways to celebrate man’s – and woman’s – best friend on his big day. Here are just a few ideas:

1. Permission to play with her food

A happy pup eats from his treat toy. (Photo courtesy PetSafe)
A happy pup eats from his treat toy. (Photo courtesy PetSafe)

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start your pup’s day off right by giving her an extra special breakfast! If you have an active, food-motivated pup, skip the bowl and feed her using a treat-dispensing toy.

When Riggins was a crazy young dog, I would feed him using the Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble. My original goal was to slow him down and keep him from gulping air as he devoured his meals at the speed of light. It ended up being a great game for him, which would keep him happy while I got ready for work.

2. Day-long play date

Asscher, Jordie, and Luna enjoy their time with me as their dog sitter. (Photo by Wendy Newell)
Asscher, Jordie, and Luna enjoy their time with me as their dog sitter. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

It’s unfortunate that National Dog Day lands on a weekday, but that doesn’t mean your dog can’t have fun when you’re at the office! If your pup enjoys the company of other dogs, then take her to doggie day camp. She can have a blast running around and playing with her friends while you be the breadwinner in the relationship, which you don’t mind, of course, because she is worth it!

If you don’t have a regular day-care location, do your research and call ahead. You are going to want a place that requires vaccination paperwork and an evaluation. Doggie day care is a wonderful adventure for many, but it isn’t right for all dogs.

3. Dinner out

Pug-Chihuahua mix by Shutterstock.
Pug-Chihuahua mix by Shutterstock.

I don’t know about your dog, but my pup’s favorite time of the day is dinnertime. Why not make it extra special and pack a picnic for your entire family, four-legged children included? Don’t forget the carrot sticks and other dog-friendly veggies so your sweet pup can get some extra-special treats from the human picnic basket for dessert.

Riggins’ favorite picnic location is at the park on the opposite side of the parking lot for the fenced-in dog park. Since he is there anyway, a pre-meal romp around with his doggie friends chasing tennis balls seems like the right thing to do.

4. Personal massage

Yellow Lab getting a massage by Shutterstock.
Yellow Lab getting a massage by Shutterstock.

After a long day of work all you want to do is sit back with your feet up, right? Well it isn’t National YOU Day, it’s National Dog Day. Your pup deserves some relaxation, too. Why not curl up next to her and give her a personal massage? I bet it ends up being a stress reliever for you, too.

Make sure to pay extra attention to her favorite spots. For Riggins, that would be the area right below his ears. When you rub him there, he moans with delight!

5. Donate to others

Chihuahua under a blanket by Shutterstock.

Before heading to bed, why not clean out your linen closet and pull out the blankets and towels that you no longer have need for, are gently used, and just taking up space. Tomorrow you can drop those off at your local shelter, humane society, or rescue group. I can’t think of a better way to end such a fabulous day with your favorite furry creature than to find a way to help out dogs in need.

I would suggest you do it tonight, but at this point in your day it’s time to curl up next to your warm furry BFF and relax. I bet this will be the best part of both of your days!

More by Wendy Newell:

About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of “always be closing” to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy’s new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poo, sacrificing her bed, and other fur-filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

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