Are you in the mood for some four-legged fun? National Dog Day is August 26 and Town and Country Animal Hospital is ready to celebrate. Learn more about this mostly unofficial but wildly popular dog-honoring day, and how you can commemorate all-things canine—whether or not you have a dog.

National Dog Day history

National Dog Day, which was founded in 2004, and is recognized by dog lovers every year on August 26. While the main purpose is raising public awareness about homeless and adoptable dogs, National Dog Day is also a celebration for every dog. On National Dog Day, we recognize every role that dogs play in our lives and the unconditional love they provide. From family pets to active working, military, or service dogs, the canine species makes immeasurable contributions to our daily lives by providing comfort, companionship, and safety. 

Although New York is the only state to officially legislate National Dog Day, it’s easy to see why the mission and message are now not only celebrated worldwide, but also have given rise to additional “howl-idays” and “meow-lidays,” such as National Puppy Day, National Kitten Day, and National Cat Day.

Have dog, will paw-ty—5 ways to celebrate with your dog

If you and Fido are ready to get festive, here are some fun activities for all ages and abilities.

  • Doga — Nama-stay! Sign up for a doga (i.e., dog and owner yoga) class. These fun—and funny—events are often held in parks and green spaces where dog lovers and their pups can stretch out into downward dog for a tail-wagging good time.
  • Explore a new park, lake, or trail — Take adventuresome dogs on a special journey to a new location. Secure your furry best friend with a well-fitting harness and leash, and then let their nose guide the way. Sniffing is a naturally rewarding behavior for dogs, so you’re certain to get two paws up for best gift giver!
  • Give your pup a present — If your dog loves to play, give them a new toy or chew, or try out a dog puzzle. Puzzles allow your dog to use their natural behaviors, such as sniffing, digging, chasing, and foraging, to problem solve.
  • Make a craft — Commemorate the day with some paw print crafts, using a pet-safe kit to make step stones or paintings. Alternatively, try lick-painting or make nose prints, ensuring you use only pet-safe inks and paints.
  • Have a bark-party with friends Invite all your dog-loving friends and their four-legged companions for a National Dog Day party. Celebrate with a dog-safe cake and some fun games, such as “Cutest adoption story,” “Best trick,” and a dog and owner spoon-and-egg race. Include a selfie-station or photo booth, so you can spread the word on social media about National Dog Day.

No dog, no problem! Paw-ty on with these dog-free ideas

Maybe you don’t have a dog in your life, but you want to support the cause or get your four-legged fix. Try these dogless—but rewarding—National Dog Day celebrations.

  • Adopt! — If you’ve done your research and you’re ready for a new pet, what better “Gotcha” day than a day dedicated to dogs? Once you know what you’re looking for in your new best friend, visit local shelters or and find your perfect match.
  • Volunteer — Sign up to help at a shelter, rescue organization, or educational event. Animal organizations are always eager to find good help and will gladly pair you with a job that takes advantage of your talents—whether hands-on caregiving, exercising, puppy or kitten raising, socializing, public events, or administrative and marketing-related tasks.
  • Donate — Support homeless dogs and their feline friends with a charitable donation to your favorite shelter, charity, or animal-related cause. While financial gifts can be used for a variety of needs, pet supplies, such as food, litter, toys, and cleaning supplies, are also always appreciated. Check with your local shelter for what they need most. 
  • Support — If you’re a business owner interested in sponsoring or endorsing National Dog Day, check out the Rules of Participation and contact National Dog Day. 
  • Speak — Contact local and state representatives to voice your concerns about puppy mills, online puppy sales, and pet stores that sell puppies. 

Dogs are joyful creatures that celebrate every day. From the moment you wake up, to your triumphant after-work or after-school return, jubilant canines are always poised for a party. Let’s return their enthusiastic love for life by showering them with our own version of unconditional love on August 26—and, in some little way, try to make every day National Dog Day.

Give your dog the gift of health with a visit to Town and Country Animal Hospital. From routine wellness care to surgery, pain management, and emergencies, we provide the highest standard of veterinary care. Contact us to schedule your pet’s next appointment.