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When Is National Dog Day and What Is It?

labrador retriever dogs in the grass

It seems like every day is a National Day for something, so it makes perfect sense that one exists for dogs! Dogs are important to so many people all over the United States. They are huge parts of our lives, and as dog owners, it can be fun to celebrate a day that’s made just for them.

National Dog Day is celebrated each year on August 26th. Read on to learn more about this day.

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National Dog Day History

four labrador retriever dogs in the grass
Image Credit: fotorince, Shutterstock

Colleen Paige founded National Dog Day in 2004. Colleen is a pet and lifestyle expert, author, dog trainer, conservationist, and animal rescue advocate. In addition to National Dog Day, Colleen also founded National Puppy Day, National Wildlife Day, and National Cat Day.

August 26th is the chosen date for National Dog Day because that is the day that Colleen’s family adopted their first dog. Colleen was 10 years old when this dog joined her family, paving the way for her passion for animal rescue.

What Does National Dog Day Mean?

four dogs on a grass during daylight
Image Credit: Katrinbechtel, Pixabay

National Dog Day is a day to celebrate all dogs, regardless of breed. The day is inclusive, rather than banning dogs based on prejudice against the breed. Colleen believes that no dog should have to lose their life because of what people have done to them to perpetuate the stigma regarding certain breeds. Every dog, including mixed breeds, is celebrated and appreciated. For many people, that goes beyond just one day a year, but the importance of the day is to draw attention to the fact that many dogs require help.

The mission of National Dog Day is to help people truly understand the number of dogs that are in shelters and rescues and need loving homes. These animals are important not just as potential loving pets but also as working dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs.

For many rescued dogs, August 26th becomes their birthday. The day is widely celebrated and recognized by many dog lovers across the nation.

Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day

Are you looking for a fun way to celebrate National Dog Day with your pup? Check out a few of these ideas.

  • Make a donation to your local dog shelter in your dog’s name. Shelters and rescues can always use money. They rely on your donations to keep helping more dogs. However, they don’t only accept money. The donations can be anything. Check the shelter’s website because they may have a wishlist of items that they need. These can include paper towels, old bath towels, rags, dog food, newspapers, pee pads, beds, toys, and treats.
  • Host a dog party! Invite your friends and their dogs over for a day of fun. Just make sure any treats offered to the dogs are safe for them to eat.
  • If you’re considering adopting a dog, there’s no better day to welcome your new family member to your home than on August 26th.
  • Take your dog on a long hike or swim at the beach. Do something that you know that they enjoy and that you can do together.
  • Spoil your dog! New toys, leashes, bandanas, and treats can make them feel special.
dogs with owner at show
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

divider-pawFinal Thoughts

National Dog Day is celebrated annually on August 26th. It began as a way to recognize all dogs of all breeds and not exclude any breed based on stereotypes. It also promotes adoption. With all the dogs in need of rescue, the day focuses on adopting from shelters and rescues and celebrating the dogs in your lives.

If you have a dog, you can start planning your National Dog Day Celebration now. The day can be spent going on adventures, enjoying a special treat, or having a party with dog friends. However you choose to celebrate, it’s sure to be memorable!

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Featured Image Credit: Rosa Jay, Shutterstock

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