THU, 23 AUG 2018 BY LINDA ROSADO
SHOW YOUR PET SOME LOVE ON NATIONAL DOG DAY
National Dog Day, also known as National Dog Appreciation Day, was founded in 2004 by Colleen Paige, an animal behaviorist and author, and is celebrated every year on August 26th. Colleen created National Dog Day to remind us of the number of dogs who need to be rescued and to shine light on the role of family dogs and working dogs in our lives.
Celebrating National Dog Day can be as simple and easy as giving your dog hugs and kisses or even a great, big belly rub. But for those who want to take their love and appreciation to another level, we have a list of different ways for you to celebrate.
TAKE YOUR PUP OUT ON THE TOWN
Why not take your pup to a pet-friendly restaurant for a cute date night? Although pets are not allowed inside restaurants due to health code rules and regulations, many restaurants have pet-friendly outdoor seating and welcome furry guests to accompany their owners.
A few helpful tips to remember when bringing your dog along for a bite to eat:
- Bring a portable dog bowl. Most pet-friendly restaurants will have dog bowls for your pup, but don’t expect it. Better safe than sorry.
- Make sure your pet relieves themselves before heading to a restaurant. No one wants to watch your dog use the bathroom on the establishment’s floor.
- Get some energy prior to leaving the house. Exercising your pup before heading out will help them to release any pent-up energy and make them calmer in a social setting.
- Exercise good table manners. When bringing your pup along to dine with you, be sure to always keep them on their leash and don’t let them wander. You don’t want to disrupt other guests eating around you. Try having your dog sit or lay down beside you as you enjoy your meal.
ADOPT OR FOSTER A NEW FURRY FRIEND
Another great way to celebrate and honor National Dog Day is by visiting your local shelter or rescue organization and adopting a dog of your own.
If you’re not looking to add a furry member to your family, an alternative to adopting or fostering is volunteering at your local shelter when you have free time. Visiting a shelter and giving a lonely pup love and affection is often the best skill you can offer at local shelters. Donating blankets, food and new toys to your local animal welfare organizations are also great ways to celebrate National Dog Day. Keep in mind that certain kinds of dogs have a much harder time finding a new home than others – through no fault of their own, of course.
Dogs that are least likely to be adopted are those of elderly age, with medical issues or suffering from breed prejudice (such as pit bulls or Rottweilers). Fostering and adopting animals is so important because it helps to reduce overcrowding within shelters and opens spaces for other animals to be saved.
MAKE OR BUY THEIR FAVORITE TREATS
If you’re a chef or baker extraordinaire, show your adorable pooch you care. Whether you buy your pup their favorite treats or make them from scratch, your dog is sure to enjoy them. If you choose to purchase pre-made dog treats, checking the ingredients label before making your final purchase decision is key. Try to avoid these harmful ingredients:
- Artificial preservatives, including BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, potassium sorbate, sodium nitrate (used for both preservative and coloring) and calcium propionate.
- Artificial colors. Color is added to dog treats to appeal to the eye of the consumer, aka dog owners. But your dog doesn’t care what color the treat is! So, don’t buy treats that contain these unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals.
- Chemical humectants. Ingredients like propylene glycol are often used in dog food to keep it moist and chewy and to prevent the preserved meat from becoming discolored. A more natural and safe food-sourced humectant is vegetable glycerin. But keep in mind, if the ingredient isn’t specifically labeled as vegetable glycerin, it’s likely to be a harmful chemical variation of the ingredient.
Aside from pre-made treats, choosing the DIY route for your pup’s treats is a great way to ensure the nutritional benefits. Especially if you have a dog with a food allergy or sensitivity, this is the best choice for you. Pet owners that have dogs suffering with food sensitivity know how difficult it can be sometimes to find the right treats and foods for their pet.
Our dogs give us companionship, and they love us unconditionally. The least we can do is show them an overwhelming amount of affection this year on National Dog Day.