26th August marks National Dog Day– an event where dog owners and enthusiasts all over the world come together to celebrate the 30,000-year relationship that we have with our four-legged friends. However, behind the endless amount of dog selfies and viral videos frequently shared and posted on this day, there is an important message behind National Dog Day that should not be forgotten – which is why we are sharing our top six ways you should celebrate National Dog Day this year.
What is National Dog Day?
Founded in 2004 by dog trainer and animal rescue advocate Colleen Paige, National Dog Day was created not just to celebrate dogs, but to raise awareness of the growing number of dogs worldwide who are either abandoned or left in animal shelters.
In the UK alone, research commissioned by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home predicted a 27% increase of unwanted and stray dogs in the next year following the economic impact of COVID-19. The demands of puppies during lockdown have also seen an increase in the sale of puppies from oversea breeders, which often results in unhealthy and vulnerable animals being exported in inhumane conditions (a famous media example being Love Island’s Molly Mae Hague’s Pomeranian, who passed away after being exported from Russia).
National Dog Day is held annually on August 26th. It not only encourages people to adopt from their local shelter before shopping for specific breeds but celebrates the amazing things that dogs do for humans every day. From personal protection, law enforcement, detecting bombs in war zones, to disability and support workers – we even have dogs now detecting cancerous tumours and seizures that would not have been found otherwise!
Be sure to show your dog that you appreciate them today through one of the six activities we have listed below. And if you do not have a dog don’t worry – we have included some items that you can do even without a pet!
Donate to a local shelter
Dog homes are usually charitable organisations that rely on donations to survive; however, their funding has been severely impacted by the pandemic.
Findings from the Association of Dogs and Cats Home revealed that nearly half of the UK’s rescue organisations have reported an income drop of more than 50%, so however you can support your local dog rescue – whether it be through donations of dog food, blankets, toys or money – your help will keep these important animal welfare organisations afloat.
Adopt or foster a dog
Of course, we are not suggesting that just anyone should run out and adopt a dog, as only you know your situation and whether you have the space and finances to keep one.
However, if you were already considering a dog, do check and see which dogs are available at your local dog rescues and shelters first. There are thousands of unwanted dogs and puppies out there who deserve a second chance in a loving home, and some homes may already be housing specific breeds – making it unnecessary to spend thousands for a certain desirable dog breed.
Not sure you want to commit to a pet just yet? Then why not consider fostering a dog? Dogs that need a little extra care or cannot thrive in shelter life can really benefit from the comforts of a home setting, as it often positively shapes their character and enables them to be adopted out easier later.
Consider volunteering at a local shelter
If you are unable to home a dog right now, why not consider volunteering at your local shelter?
Animal shelters offer a range of ways you can help and most offer flexibility for those with busier schedules. What’s more, volunteering also offers personal benefits such as meeting other like-minded people, gaining and developing new skills and building your confidence!
Take your dog to a training class
Are there behaviours that your dog currently exhibits that could be worked on? E.g., excessive barking, chewing furniture or urinating in the house? Then use National Dog Day to finally nip those bad habits in the bud and sign you and your dog up for training school!
Whether you attend in-person sessions or do it via an online class, dog training can help bond you with your pet as well as eliminate unwanted behaviours – making both human and dog happier.
Bake a dog-friendly cake
Show your dog extra love on this day by baking them a dog-friendly cake! Some of our favourites include:
Ensure your dog’s flea and worming treatments have been completed
When was the last time you treated your dog for fleas or worms? Or took them to the vet for their yearly booster and vaccinations?
The stresses and unpredictability of the pandemic have caused a lot of pet owners to fall out of their pet health routine, with lockdown, stricter vet clinic protocols and scarcity of appointments also not helping to remedy the situation.
Use National Dog Day this year to get back on track with your pet’s health. At Johnson’s we provide a range of treatments for fleas, worms and other dog-related afflictions:
One Dose Wormer for dogs
Our Diarrhoea Tablets for dogs and cats offer relief for pets suffering from mild diarrhoea.
Look after your dog’s bone health to ensure a long and comfortable life with our Calcium Tablets. With added phosphorus and Vitamin D, these tablets are also essential for dogs that are nursing puppies.
To help you look after your older dogs, we developed our 4Joints line that contains all the vitamins and minerals your aging pup needs to maintain flexibility and movement.