Every year 26th August is celebrated as International Dog Day around the world, and it is an official holiday among dog lovers.
It’s a day to bring out all the treats for Brownie, book a dog playdate for Cooper, go to the beach with Shiba, bake cookies for Tuffy, and play fetch with Fido until he ends up in a sploot.
No one can win our hearts like dogs do. From being family members to saving our lives, dogs bring value to our daily lives. So, they definitely deserve a special day to their name.
The International Dog Day is all about paying tribute to man’s best friend, and to celebrate the 14000-year-old bond between man and canine.
As pets at home, they keep us healthy, both physically and mentally.
From supporting the law and order to making us better humans, dogs do a lot for us, and this is an opportunity to give something back to them.
In honour of the Howliday, let’s pamper our four-legged friends as much as we can, and know more about the significance of the International Dog Day.
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While every day is a ‘dog day’ for a dog lover, there is one ‘out of the ordinary’ human-being who decided to go an extra mile.
This noble human founded the International Dog Day to celebrate and honour all kinds of dogs, mixed breeds and purebreds.
Colleen Paige, a Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert, Animal Rescue Advocate, Conservationist, Dog Trainer and Author, established the International Dog Day in 2004.
Paige is also the founder of many other holidays such as International Puppy Day, International Mutt Day, International Cat Day, International Wildlife Day and many more philanthropic days to encourage people to adopt these animals who are currently in rescue centres.
WHY 26th AUGUST?
Colleen Paige, the founder of the International Dog Day, was only 10 years old when her family adopted her first dog ‘Sheltie’ from the local animal shelter on 26th August.
Hence, the date is significant with a purpose to bring attention to the plight of animals around the globe and encourage adoption.
WHY WE CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL DOG DAY?
The objective behind celebrating the International Dog Day is to create awareness about shelter dogs and to inspire people to adopt all kinds of dog breeds.
Purebreds are the ones which have parents of the same breed. The only benefit of a pure breed dog is that its behaviour and size are predictable.
Crossbreeds or mixed breeds have certain unpredictable characteristics, but this doesn’t stop them from being man’s best friend.
Nowadays, purebred dogs are also ending up in shelters due to the craze of buying pups from pet stores. People must be aware of the facts about cruel puppy mills and backyard breeders.
International Dog Day strongly discourages purchasing dogs, and encourages to consider adopting one from a shelter who is already in need of a loving home.
Adopting a shelter dog is like making use of the love waiting for you.
When you wish to have a dog as a family member, or want to train it to assist in some service, both crossbreeds and purebreds can be suitable.
If you spend just a few minutes with a shelter dog, you will easily predict that it already loves you, and in no time, rescued will become your favourite breed.
TIPS ON HOW TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL DOG DAY
Adopt a dog
Dogs play many roles in our lives, and there are a thousand reasons to celebrate man’s best friend.
They comfort us as adorable pets, guard our homes, save lives on battles fields, protect our safety as law enforcement canine officers, defend our freedom sniffing out bombs and militants, and rescuing survivors during an emergency situation.
Additionally, in the field of medicine, dogs are assisting the blind, the aged, and comforting the patients as therapy dogs. Now they are detecting cancer and seizures, things which even humans cannot do.
So, we must appreciate this unconditional love of our furry friends, and use every possible chance to do something in return for them.
When we adopt a dog from a shelter, we save lives of two dogs, one the dog that we adopted, and second, the one who will take his place in the shelter.
Donate in your dog’s name
Your dog already has the best gift-YOU.
But, there are millions of dogs still waiting for a loving home in various dog shelters, eagerly anticipating the day to come when their forever family makes them feel wanted and loved.
So, give a little love to those who need it the most.
You can always donate one of the two most important resources that every shelter counts on: basic resources or your time.
Of course, you can donate a small amount in cash as a minor gift in your dog’s name with the hope that by the next International Dog Day, every shelter dog will have found a safe home.
Get your dog a new friend
Dogs are pack animals. If your budget and space offers the opportunity, you can consider getting a new friend for your dog by adopting a dog for your dog.
In this way your dog will have a dog companion to play and tumble his way around in your absence.
Go on a trip
The outdoors and dogs are made for each other.
No matter what the occasion, there’s nothing like a holiday if you wish to celebrate with your dog.
What’s more, your best buddy will happily accompany you wherever you go, no matter which location you choose. With your dog, you will always have no complaints and no fuss, because roaming free is what dogs are born to do.
Don’t worry if you and your dog need to postpone a trip plan for a while, since hiking is always a great alternative. It is brief and goes well even when not planned.
Moreover, hiking involves a long energetic walk in a natural environment which dogs totally love to their hearts content.
While exploring new curves in the trails and freely running on footpaths for the entire day or overnight, you and your dog can have so much fun together. You get to lie under a tree and enjoy meals in the fresh air.
Dog lovers can easily come across these beautiful pet-friendly campsites in various parts of their country. These campsites are little pieces of paradise just a few hours away from your city.
With acres of farms, or the hills around, or a lake in the woods, there’s seriously nothing else I can suggest for an outdoor celebration with your dog.
A campfire, a BBQ and a roof of stars, what more could one ask for.
Some of the ways to simulate camp like experience while staying indoors is a DIY terrace or backyard camp.
A dog-human party
Dogs provide us with companionship and infinite amounts of love, so, the least we can do as dog owners is to flatter them, especially in front of their dog and human friends.
Yes, you can love your dog and your budget at the same time to creatively arrange a party. Remember, the key ingredient is fun.
Having said that, a tropical pool-party will definitely make you and your dog go bananas for sure. Enjoy and glorify your day on Instagram (well, of course!) and beyond.
Make it a spa-day
Dogs, just like kids, love to be pampered. More importantly, grooming your dog will help to build the bond between the two of you.
You can do it yourself at home beginning with a pre-planned day which includes, exercising (tire your dog to set the scene), body massages (ears, shoulder, belly, paws, head), pawdicure (pedicure in dog lingo), warm bubble baths, drying and brushing, then ending with a fabulous treat together.
Alternatively, you can book a spa for the two of you at a dog-friendly spa centre.
Play an extra hour
One of the simplest ways to make a ‘special someone’ feel more special is to spend more time with them.
Spare an extra hour or possibly take the day off from work to spend the day with your dog.
Procrastinate your ‘to-do’ list once in a way and surprise your beloved dog who waits for you to get home every day.
This may sound bizarre here, but I strongly believe that, you must care for the heart that loves you.
If you haven’t visited your dog’s vet lately, this might be a great day for a casual heart check-up and to know more about your dog’s heart-health.
On another note, you can know and test your dog’s heart rate at home even without a stethoscope. Yes, you read that right!
Do this: To check your dog’s heart rate, put your hand on the inside of the rear leg at mid-thigh. You should feel the femoral artery pulsing near the surface.
It’s easier to find it if your dog is standing. Count the number of beats you feel during a 15-second period and multiply by four to get the beats per minute (bpm).
Not all are fortunate enough to adopt a dog, so you and your dog can volunteer to share the International Dog Day spirit.
Well, most organizations request a certification in advance, so initiate the process by researching and making some phone calls to the organizations.
To spread the love in the best way, consider taking your well-mannered doggo to a home for the old, a shelter for the destitute and people with special needs who usually don’t get many visitors.
Spending time with a new wiggly, tail-wagging friend is sweeter than any candy in this world.
Inspire: Turn love into action
If you’re a dog lover, but for some reason cannot adopt a dog, you can inspire your dog-lover-friends to adopt a dog from a shelter, irrespective of the breed.
When he is looking for a canine friend, let him know, unconditional love is as close as the nearest dog shelter.
If you manage to do so, believe me, you will be very proud of yourself.
Last but not the least, don’t make Snowy wait for her birthday to get a gift, do it today.
Gift your dog a new toy, yummy dog treats, stainless steel bowls, a beautiful name-tag collar, or bake her favourite peanut-butter and pumpkin cookie for snack-time.
International Dog Day is celebrated to bring to attention the sufferings of rescued dogs, abused dogs, and shelter dogs of all breeds.
Whether crossbreeds, mixes, purebreds, and everything in between, all give us unconditional love and true companionship.
Hence, while seeking a new buddy, embrace the opportunity for all homeless and shelter dogs to live a happy, safe, and abuse-free life.
While many days aim to find forever homes for homeless and rescued dogs, this day magnifies that thought to look beyond the breed.
“Look into the heart of a dog,
He will leave you never,
Adopt to make a difference,
And you will be changed forever.”
AMITA IVY SATUR
My first pet dog came to me through adoption, and since then adoption has become my lifestyle.
It is time to pull out all the cake and pictures of your adopted dogs and share your love for them with the world!
Happy International Dog Day!
Share this informative blog post with all the dog lovers out there 😊