No day is more anticipated by dog lovers (and probably the entire internet) than National Dog Day. Colleen Paige founded the holiday on Aug. 26, 2004, and every year since it becomes more popular. While many of us use it as a way to celebrate man’s best friend, the goal of the day is also to raise awareness about the importance of adopting dogs and caring for them properly.

In honor of National Dog Day, here are 16 ways you can celebrate as a dog owner or enthusiast.

photo of national dog day with a couple cuddling with their dog

Celebrating with your dog

While dog lovers show their four-legged friends plenty of love every day, here are 12 ways you can really spoil them on National Dog Day.

Cool pup basket
  1. Go to the park. Does your dog run around with excitement every time he sees the leash come out? Make today one to remember by spending the whole afternoon at the park.
  2. Buy him something special. Surprise your dog with something fun from the pet store, such as a new bone or bed.
  3. Have a photo shoot. Hire a professional photographer or ask a friend to take some pictures of you and your furry best friend. Now, you’ll have these memories frozen in time for years to come.
  4. Show them off. You now have all those pictures to choose from, so why not make your pup feel like part of the family by putting their picture in a personalized frame?
  5. Take a class. Spend some quality time with your pup, all while improving their listening skills and behavior.
  6. Send an “a-DOG-able” arrangement. Don’t forget to honor the owners in your favorite dog’s life as well! The a-DOG-able collection will put a smile on any pet enthusiast’s face, and they also make a fun surprise for your pet.
  7. Adopt a dog. Whether you think it’s time to add to your existing furry family or want to become a proud, first-time dog owner, there’s no better day than National Dog Day to adopt a rescue dog.
  8. Have a party. Are your friends also fellow dog lovers and owners? If so, this is the perfect excuse to get together and have one last picnic in the park before summer ends.
  9. Pamper your pooch. Your dog is so wonderful, he deserves a “spaw” day.
  10. Bring him someone new. There’s nothing dogs love more than exploring new places. In honor of his special day, take him somewhere that’s full of new smells and adventure.
  11. Give him a special treat. While you shouldn’t be feeding your dog treats every day, make today their “cheat day,” if you will. In moderation, apples, bananas, watermelon, and celery are all dog-friendly fruit options.
  12. Visit with an elderly neighbor. Dogs are excellent companions, and are often used to reduce stress and improve people’s moods. While you’re out for your daily walk, stop by an elderly neighbor’s house and let them spend some time with your dog.

Celebrating without a dog

Dog owners aren’t the only ones who can enjoy the furry fun of National Dog Day. Even if you don’t have a dog, there are plenty of ways you can show your love for canines today.

13. Visit a dog café. Yes, they’re real! Especially in major cities like Los Angeles and New York City, dog cafes let you visit with rescue pups, all while sipping on your favorite latte.
14. Make a donation. Local pet shelters are always in need of a little extra help. Whether you donate money, blankets, or your time, we’re sure they’ll appreciate it your generosity.
15. Watch your favorite dog-inspired movies. Old Yeller, Lady and the Tramp, Marley & Me, and Air Bud are some of our favorites.
16. Grab a friend’s dog for the day. Become a pet sitter for the day and offer to take care of a friend’s dog, even if just for a few hours.


Tara Carlson graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Public Relations and loves any and all things creative writing - which is why she is thrilled to be working with Petal Talk. When she's not writing, you can probably find her swimming at the beach, playing soccer, and catching up on the latest movies (she's a big fan of award season)!

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