What? You didn’t know it was National Dog Day? Well, now you do. August 26th has served as National Dog Day since 2004.


Wondering how such a holiday came about? Well, about a decade ago, animal behaviorist and author Colleen Paige founded the holiday in honor of the human-dog bond. She wanted to thank dogs for their patience, loyalty, service, and protection. Paige says, “I want the world to celebrate dogs for their capacity to love and their ability to impact our lives every day in the most miraculous ways.”

Now the question is: how will you celebrate National Dog Day? Here are some ideas!

  • Take a long walk. Not just a quick potty run, but a long, meandering stroll. Let your dog stop to sniff. (Unless of course her sniffing is offending someone.)
  • Offer to walk someone else’s dog. Do you know a dog owner who has trouble getting around? Offer to take his best friend for a healthy jaunt.
  • Get your dog (and yourself) a healthy treat and enjoy it together.
  • Make a pampering appointment for your dog. Could she use a pedicure, a bath, or massage?
  • Make a donation to your favorite dog cause. Maybe a rescue, shelter, or kennel club could use your financial gift to help other dogs.
  • Schedule a dog getaway! There are great weekend escapes for dogs and their owners such as Camp Unleashed.
  • Schedule a doggie playdate. (Most) dogs love to be around other dogs, and socialization is so healthy for them!
  • Consider rescue. We don’t want to suggest that you run out and adopt a dog just because it’s National Dog Day, but if you’re considering expanding your family, rescue can be an incredibly rewarding way to do it.
  • Donate some stuff. Call your local rescue and shelter and ask what they need. They might need something you have lying around the house (e.g., towels, toys, potty pads).

Dogs bring so much richness to our lives. They do indeed deserve a holiday — or two. So enjoy this day and make some time to appreciate the one who so appreciates you!