Mark your calendar, dog-owners—National Dog Day (also known as International Dog Day) is coming up quick! Of course, every day of the year is the perfect day to celebrate the love, affection, and joy that our pups bring into our lives but to give our doggos the proper credit they deserve, this upcoming Thursday, August 26 is their official day to play, bark, and just be their paw-some selves.
Want to commemorate your favorite four-legged friend? Keep reading for 55+ ways to celebrate National Dog Day!
55 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day
1. Buy your pup something special at Chewy.com
2. Grab a (usually free!) Puppuccino at Starbucks
Pricing at each Starbucks can vary, but for the most part, Puppuccinos are usually free. (If you're new to ordering this hip drink, what it really is is actually just a cup full to the brim of dog-friendly whipped cream.)
3. Take the pack for a hike
4. Donate to a dog shelter or charity
You can do a straightforward donation by writing a check or you can buy pet products that give back to rescue animals in need. One of our personal faves? Each purchase of MO MI Dog Shampoo donates a percentage to Waggytail Rescue NYC to help pups in need of their fur-ever homes.
5. Sign up for DOGTV
DOGTV is a television network made specifically for canine TV watchers. From dog-friendly programs to channels with advice for dog-loving humans, DOGTV has everything your household needs. It even helps to soothe symptoms of separation anxiety by providing calming comfort to dogs at home alone.
6. Adopt a dog!
Don't have a dog yet? Or maybe you're looking to expand the pack? Check out some of our favorite shelters with adoptable dogs: Muddy Paws Rescue, Vanderpump Dogs, North Shore Animal League, Southampton Animal Shelter, and Angel City Pitbulls.
7. Snag a dog-friendly deal at Fable
Just in time for Dog Day, premium dog brand Fable Pets is offering a 20% off sale. Grab The Falcon Toy for just $23, The Game for $55, their luxurious bed made of human-grade memory foam for $97, the Magic Link hands-free leash for $65, the Fable Carrier for jet setting pups for $225, and The Crate for $395.
8. Watch some aww-friendly dog content on Reddit
You may not have previously known it but Reddit, in fact, is a very dog-friendly place. Check out some of the most noteworthy subreddits for dog-lovers: r/dadswhodidnotwantpets—featuring one dad who didn't want another dog but then, OBVI, immediately fell in love—r/zoomies—you won't stop aww-ing at this video of a blind husky who was so excited to play in a snowstorm—r/animalsbeingderps—for whenever you need a laugh—and lastly, r/beforenafteradoption—which features feel-good stories about dog adoptions.
9. Buy your pup the first-ever interchangeable apparel harness
Yep, you can change your dogs' outfits simply by swapping them out through the same apparel harness. It's called the Dog Harness by K9Wear and just about any jacket or fit can be clipped onto it so long as your dog is wearing it. Think: jean jackets, raincoats, hooded sweatshirts—the fashionable options are endless!
Related: Do Dogs Get Bored?
10. Visit the dog park
No, it's not for everyone, but if you're a #DogParkFam, now's the time to let the pups run wild (while fenced in).
11. Make a 'barkcuterie' board
This one comes from our friends at pet food brand Stella & Chewy's: Make a "barkcuterie" board! Modeled after the human-friendly charcuterie board, a barkcuterie board can feature all types of dog-safe foods like Greek yogurt, apples, peanut butter, and more.
12. Pose Fido for a photoshoot
Because you can never have too many pictures of your dog (especially to post on Dog Day!).
13. Sign up for a training class
There's no such thing as a dog who has had too much training! Whether you've dabbled in the past or are totally new to training, it's a meaningful way to solidify the bond between pet and owner. Not to mention, you could see some positive changes to your dog's behavior after just a few classes.
Related: Pet Quotes
14. Volunteer with your dog
In order for your dog to become a certified therapy dog, you and your pet will have to undergo a training program (usually they last a few weeks or so). Once certified, you and your dog can visit hospitals and schools to provide pet therapy to those in need.
15. Watch a dog-friendly movie together
May we recommend Togo, the 2019 live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp, and Max. All three are guaranteed to get inquisitive (and sometimes loud) reactions from your fellow movie-goer.
16. Freeze some homemade frozen dog treats
An easy way to create a high-value treat at home is to simply freeze Greek yogurt, peanut butter, or even chicken broth in a Kong or other treat-release toy. The frozen nature of these treats makes them irresistible to dogs and also keeps them busy for longer. Plus, it's a bit more high-value than a standard bone.
Related: 15 Easy Homemade Frozen Dog Treats
17. Take your dog on a sniffari
Also known as a "sniff safari," a sniffari is just a fun way to say, let your dog lead the way during a walk. Instead of rushing them, encourage them to sniff every last blade of grass. After all, they can smell just about everything—their sense of smell is so much more heightened than ours.
18. Bake a dog-friendly cake or "pup-cake"
The internet is full of dog-friendly cake and cupcake—or rather, pup-cake—recipes, but if you're not sure where to begin, the following ingredients are usually a safe bet (unless your pup has allergies): banana, carrots, pumpkin, white rice, and sweet potato.
19. Take as many selfies as your dog will allow
Pro tip: Check out the Pooch Selfie Original Dog Selfie Stick. It pops onto the top of your phone and holds a tennis ball inside its grip. There's no better way to get your dog to look directly at the camera!
20. Volunteer at a local shelter
Most animal shelters never turn away an extra set of hands, so if you have the time, stop by your local shelter and lend a hand by walking a few of their dogs. After all, shelter dogs can always use more attention and more exercise.
21. Take your dog to a pet store or a hardware store
Wait—a hardware store? Hear us out: Most pet stores and hardware stores allow animals inside (after all, there's no human-grade food sold at either). Pet and hardware stores are great opportunities to bring your pet out and about where they can potentially interact with our dogs and humans. It's a great training experience for dogs of all ages.
22. Add a new supplement to your dog's routine
From Mobility Bites for proper hip and joint function to Probiotic Bites formulated for gut health, Zesty Paws—a leading pet supplement brand—is offering 20% off their yummy, functional supplements just in time for Dogust (that's a dog-centric August).
23. Hit the water
Whether you and your dog enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, or surfing, water activities are a great bonding experience.
24. Bring your dog to the brewery or winery
You may have to do some local research first but if you'd like to celebrate your dog by bringing them out of their hoe for a doggie's day out, most breweries and wineries allow pets. Certain watering holes even host "yappy hours," which is basically just a happy hour that dogs are allowed at within a specific time frame.
25. Brush your dog's teeth
No, seriously—brush your dog's teeth. Over 80 percent of dogs develop active dental disease by the time they're three years old, according to VCA Animal Hospital. That's precisely why it's important to scrub your dog's teeth every now and again (most vets recommend once a day). But even if you don't brush that regularly, today's the perfect day to break out the toothbrush.
26. Stay at a pet-friendly motel
On the go this Dog Day? No worries—Motel 6 is an affordable hotel brand where dogs can actually stay for free (it's one of the few hotel chains that let pups lodge for free!) More on the specifics of their pet policy here.
27. Build your dog an obstacle course
You don't need much—maybe a few hula hoops and some inexpensive agility equipment from Wayfair—in order to transform your yard (or even living room!) into a dog-friendly obstacle course.
28. Get your first month at Dutch for just $1
A platform that connects veterinarians and pet-owners, Dutch offers veterinary telehealth and just in time for Dog Day, is offering the first month's subscription for just $1. For a buck, you get a custom treatment plan that even includes a free consultation with a veterinarian to review possible chronic conditions—anxiety, dermatology, fleas and ticks, and the like. Prescriptions go straight to your door for ultimate convenience!
29. Sign your dog up for a massage at a pet spa
Yep, doggie massages at the pet spa are a real thing! Check out Groomers-Online.com to find a local pet spa near you.
30. Visit the dog beach
Similar to a dog park, some local municipalities actually have designated dog beaches where dogs can be either on- or off-leash to roam through the sand, sniff around, and enjoy the water.
31. Order a personalized dog portrait
Personalized gifts are some of the best you can present to a dog-owner, but nowadays, there's so much more to choose from than a commissioned dog portrait. If a portrait-style painting isn't your thing, there are always pet-themed embroidery portraits, sweatshirts, mugs, and more.
32. Send a letter to your congressman
Sure, there's lots to write to your congressman about, but on Dog Day, we recommend writing and sending a letter expressing your opposition to puppy mills and gas chambers in your home state.
33. Throw a paw-rty!
Have a few neighborhood dogs (and their humans) over for a little four-legged soirée. Not only will they snack on yummy treats and get lots of belly rubs, but they'll also tire each other out by playing.
34. Help out a nearby dog owner
Do you know of an elderly neighbor or family member who has a pet? Extend your assistance by offering to take their dog for a walk or even on a mini-trip to the park.
35. Brush your dog
And not just their teeth. This time of year, most dogs are shedding like crazy thanks to the warm, muggy temperatures and at times frequent rain. The more you brush their coats, the more comfortable it is for them and the less fur on your couch.
36. Teach your dog a new trick
New pup or old dog put aside, all pets can learn a new thing or two. Try to teach your dog a new trick—whether that's a basic like "sit," "stay," or "lay down" or something more complex like "spin," "roll over," or "jump through a hoop."
37. Take a puppy paw art class
Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like. You'll basically dip your dog's paw in paint and in a similar fashion to fingerpainting, your dog's prints will be forever immortalized in art form.
38. Attend Pups in the Park
OK, so it's a few days after Dog Day—August 31 and then September 18, 2021 to be exact—but it still counts! Every year, Major League Baseball dedicates a day or two to their four-legged fans. Pet owners can bring their animals to Nationals Park to catch a game and it's certainly a unique experience you won't soon forget.
39. Teach your dog Hide-and-Seek
Recommended as one of the first bonding games to play with your pup in their young age, Hide-and-Seek is a great way for animals to learn their way around your house and to bond with you, too. But no matter what age of your dog, you can always try to teach them the game of Hide-and-Seek by keeping it easy the first few times (hide under a blanket or behind the couch before they get acclimated).
40. Let 'em dig
Listen, most pet-owners don't exactly love that our dogs enjoy digging. And while it's probably not recommended from a training standpoint, we don't see too much harm in allowing man's best friend to dig a hole or two without getting reprimanded. You know, just a little one.
41. Turn your dog into a Where's Waldo? book
Or something like that... Basically, instead of Where's Waldo?, this child-friendly seek-and-find book from Yappy.com stars your pet as the protagonist. Enlist the help of young kids and other family members as you try to locate your dog on each page of this personalized activity book.
42. Feed your dog a homecooked meal
While it's not recommended to switch your dog's food out too often, it can sometimes be a nice change of pace to treat your dog to something fresh and homecooked. Plain boiled chicken or white rice is usually a fan-favorite option amongst dogs (good for their bellies, too) but you can also find some recipes online that incorporate pumpkin and even yogurt.
43. Buy matching outfits
Listen, if you want to match your doggo's outfit then go for it!
44. Take a dog-yoga class
They're called "doga" classes and similar to goat yoga sessions, these yoga classes incorporate your pet into all of the poses... not just Downward-Facing Dog.
45. Invest in a GPS tracker-slash-exercise-monitor
There are plenty of GPS trackers and exercise monitors for dogs on the market right now, but you want to make sure you choose the right one for you and your dog's lifestyle. Not sure where to start? Tractive, Fi, Link, and Whistle are some of the top brands in the space and each makes tracking your dog's activity levels and location a breeze.
46. Make your dog an Instagram account
Dog accounts aren't for everyone but if you love social media and love to share pics of your dog on social media, it may be time to make your pet their own designated IG. Plus, who doesn't love puppy pics?!
47. Go on a bike ride
If you've got a particularly agile, high-energy dog who loves a good run, there's no reason why you can't train your animal to jog next to you as you bike along the path. Plus, it's probably more intuitive for your dog than you may realize!
48. Relive last year's Puppy Bowl
Honestly, it never gets old.
49. Buy your dog a plush lookalike
It can be for your dog or it can be for you, but everyone in your family guaranteed will appreciate Petsies, a personalized plush version of your doggie.
50. Microchip your pet
Most puppies and recently adopted dogs (within the past few years) likely already have been outfitted with a microchip. Still, if there's any chance that your pet isn't microchipped yet, check out your local pet store or veterinary office for more info.
51. Take a doggie picnic
Picnics are always fun but this time, bring your fur-baby along. Sure, it may be difficult to keep them from getting into your food, but if you pack enough yummy snacks and toys to keep your pet busy, you might just find that your dog enjoys picnics more than you could imagine.
52. Go swimming together
Not all breeds are water dogs, but if your doggo isn't afraid of a little splishin' and splashin', head to the beach or nearby lake (or maybe even your pool?) for a quick dip together.
53. Throw the frisbee
You don't have to get all fancy to celebrate Dog Day. Just throw the frisbee around the yard and you'll soon find yourself with one happy pupperoni.
54. Blow some dog-friendly bubbles
Yes, pet-friendly bubbles actually exist. Think about it: Most dogs love chasing after and chomping on bubbles, but it's not exactly safe to snack on soap. Pet Qwerks Incredibubbles are peanut butter-flavored and are made with a non-toxic formula that won't upset any puppy tummies.
55. Get a tattoo of your furry BFF
For the truly dog-obsessed animal lover, you could always top off the day by getting fresh ink inspired by your beloved pet.