For me, every day is National Dog Day, but we often need to actively set aside some time to properly appreciate our pets. August 26 marks the 11th annual National Dog Day, a celebration dedicated to doing just that. Even if you can’t let your whole day go to the dogs, you can easily do a few things to show your dog know how much you care. Here are some ways to make the most of this unofficial holiday.
Start the day right
Take an extra hour or two in the morning to sleep in and cuddle up under the covers with your favorite furry friend. Then again, if your dog is anything like mine, he probably wont let you sleep any later than 9 a.m. If that’s the case, start the day by making a special breakfast, and maybe even serving up a little something for your dog. Rather than frying bacon or sausage, raw cucumbers and carrots can make safe, healthy dog treats in a pinch. If your dog can handle dairy, he might also appreciate a dollop of yogurt, too.
You could easily come home and throw your dog a new bone for National Dog Day, but he’d rather spend that time with you. That isn’t to say he doesn’t want that bone, but you can take him with you to buy it! Nearly all pet stores allow owners to bring their pets, and BONeJOUR and Doggie Style are two Philadelphia pet stores that would love to meet your dog. There, he can pick out his own bone while you fit him with a new collar. Why not buy a new ball while you’re at it?
Do what he wants
“Gee, I wish my owner had taken me to the park less,” said no dog ever. Take the time to spend the afternoon at your dog’s favorite place, or maybe explore somewhere new. Don’t hurry him on your way–this is his day. Let him sniff that tree. Throw the ball you just bought him a few more times than you otherwise would. When you’re all tuckered out, bring a blanket and laze with him in the grass to appreciate one of summer’s last days.
Wind down the night
Whether or not your day was packed with activities, your dog will always appreciate some low-key bonding time at the end of the day. Serve some snacks for yourself, and give your dog chance to chow down on that special bone as you settle down to watch a movie. Try dog themed films like Bolt, All Dogs Go to Heaven, or 101 Dalmatians. Then you can end your National Dog Day in the same way you started—snuggling together in bed.