The dog days of summer have passed, bringing with it another dog to focus on—our four-legged friends as we celebrate National Dog Day on August 26. Founded in 2004 by Pet and Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate Colleen Paige, National Dog Day celebrates all breeds, pure and mixed, and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year from public shelters, rescues, and pure breed rescues. National Dog Day also honors family dogs and dogs that work selflessly to save lives, keep us safe, and bring comfort and is a day to encourage non-dog owners to donate to their local animal shelter. Learn more about National Dog Day and how you can make a difference in a dog’s life by visiting its official site.
7 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day
- Volunteer at a Shelter
Your local shelter is always looking for an extra set of hands (or paws). Offer to walk dogs, play with puppies, or clean cages. If you don’t have all day, consider dropping by and donating any old or unused toys, blankets, bedding, or crates to help house an incoming rescue.
- Throw a Dog Party!
Round up your neighborhood pups (and their owners) and throw a dog-themed party to celebrate their cute faces, wiggly bottoms, and hilarious antics. Set up an obstacle course for entertainment and send your guests home with a goody bag of dog treats and mini toys. Just make sure to provide your four-legged guests with plenty of water and an enclosed area to run.
- Pamper Your Pooch
Spend some quality time giving your dog some well-deserved pampering. Start with a bath and grooming session to help keep their coat clean, healthy, and mat free and then move on to nail clipping and teeth brushing to promote good dental hygiene and freshen that doggy breath. Make sure to check their ears, paws, and gums for any signs of cuts, bites or infection and end with some well-deserved cuddling.
- Splurge a Little
You hardly need another excuse to spoil your four-legged friend, but take National Dog Day to purchase some upgrades on pet essentials—like a fluffy new bed or a leash and collar that isn’t frayed. Try finding a fashionable new dog carrier for your small-breed pup or pick up a puzzle toy that will keep your dog entertained for hours.
- Get Some Exercise
Spend an afternoon enjoying the great outdoors together with a long walk, visit to a new dog park, or a swim at the beach or lake. Bring along plenty of water, some fun toys, and treats to reward good behavior. Be sure to check the off-leash rules and regulations of the place you’re visiting.
- Teach Your Dog a New Skill
Despite the old saying it really is never too late to teach an old dog new trick. Whether they need to brush up on their recall or “sit” command, or are learning to master the puppy high five, a few short training sessions throughout the day will keep their minds sharp and give you two a chance to bond. Be sure to keep bite-sized training treats handy to reward a job well done.
- Get a Checkup
When was the last time your pup went to the vet? Or had their rabies shot? If you’re past due for a checkup or any vaccinations, now’s the time to visit the vet. You can also take the day to make sure you’re stocked up on heartworm and flea and tick medications for the rest of the year and that your pups ID tag and microchip is up-to-date with your most recent information. Keeping your pup happy, healthy, and properly tagged will ensure they’re around for many more National Dog Days to come—something everyone can celebrate!
Sources include Pet360.com
10 Life Lessons a Child Will Learn From Pet Ownership
Considering adding a pet to the family? Consider how pet ownership will enhance a child’s life.
Responsibility: Pets require daily feeding, exercise, and affection, not to mention grooming and potty time (and clean-up). Older children can learn how to care for another living creature and even younger children can help with feeding and playtime.
Trust: It’s easy to spill your heart out to your pet, who will offer you unconditional support in return. Pets make wonderful trusted companions for children and can be a first step to helping your child build trust in other relationships, too.
Compassion: Caring for a pet requires compassion, understanding, and empathy. Kids learn to be kind and to take care of others’ basic needs.
Respect: Owning a pet teaches children how to respect others. They must touch them gently, tend to their needs, and learn not to disturb them when they’re eating or sleeping.
Self-Esteem: Pets show unconditional love, which can be a great boost to a child’s self-esteem. So, too, can the satisfaction that comes from having responsibility and caring for a pet’s needs.
Loyalty: A pet’s loyalty toward its owner is often unmatched. In turn, children learn the importance of showing loyalty to their devoted furry friend.
Physical Activity: Children who own a dog learn how fun physical activity can be while they play tug-of-war, fetch, or go for walks with their pet. Research shows that children in dog-owning families spend more time being physically active than children without dogs.
Patience: Bonding with a new pet often takes time. Your child will learn patience while your new pet becomes comfortable in your home and also during training.
Social Skills: Dogs can be an amazing social icebreaker. Taking your dog for walks as a family can improve your child’s social skills as you interact with others. Pets may also help children with autism to develop social skills such as sharing.
Bereavement: When a pet passes away, your child will inevitably feel the pain of the loss, but in turn will learn how to cope during the bereavement period.
Sources include HealthyPets.com
Show Us Your National Dog Day!
Summit Academy wants to see how you’re celebrating National Dog Day! Share pics of your pooch on Summit’s social media (LINK HERE) using the hashtag #NationalDogDay. Include descriptions of any of your day’s activities and, of course, the name of your dog. We may feature you and your furry friend in a future newsletter!