Let's face it. Puppies are absolutely one of the cutest creatures on this planet. From their fresh puppy breath to their adoring puppy eyes to their loving puppy cuddles, puppies have been capturing the hearts of millions for generations. It's no wonder they have their own national holiday! Yes, you read that right. There is a National Puppy Day and it falls on March 23rd every year.


Believe it or not, National Puppy Day was established to help raise awareness around puppy mills and the number of puppies that need to be rescued or adopted each year. Established in 2006 by Colleen Paige, the same person who created National Cat Day, National Dog Day, and other popular national pet holidays, National Puppy Day has quickly gained popularity with the help of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Today, one of the best and most popular ways to celebrate this special day is by posting a picture on your social media account with your puppy using #NationalPuppyDay. This small feat is what inspires those who don't have a dog, to go out and possibly find one. With spring and summertime being the highest intake season at local pet shelters, this national holiday couldn't fall on a better date.

How to Celebrate National Puppy Day

Whether you have a puppy or not, there are so many ways to celebrate this fun and special day. From donating your time or money to spending some quality time with your pup, we've got every possible way to celebrate.

1. Adopt or rescue a puppy

woman kissing a puppy at a pet shelter


With the goal of National Puppy Day being to help puppies get adopted, the #1 thing you could do is adopt one yourself! However, don't do this unless you're 100% ready. Find out if you're ready here! Did you know that adopting a dog vs. shopping is a lot less expensive? While you are going to spend the same amount of money and time over the dog's lifespan, the beginning of the journey is a little cheaper than purchasing a puppy from a breeder. Also, rescuing a pup is literally saving the puppy's life. So, if you've got the time, money, space, energy, and love, check out your local animal shelter and see how you could make an impact on a puppy's life.

2. Donate to your local pet shelter

a box full of donated supplies


If adopting a puppy is too much of a commitment for you right now, consider donating to your local animal shelter instead. Pretty much 100% of the time, shelters are in need of basic supplies like dog food, blankets, raised cots, puppy pads, and toys in order to give the best care to the dogs in their care. On National Puppy Day, call your local animal shelter and find out what they are in need of. Simple acts like this go a long way and can really help the pups in their care. If you just don't have the time, consider a monetary donation instead.

3. Post a picture of your puppy using #NationalPuppyDay

woman taking a selfie with her puppy


Since this holiday is all around raising awareness, what better way to do that than with social media! Set up a small, simple set and take a cute picture of or with your sweet puppy. You can learn how to take the perfect pet selfie here. You can get as creative as you want by creating a full-on set or go with candid moments of your puppy playing. Either way, your followers are going to love it. Who doesn't love looking at sweet puppy pics anyways?!

4. Buy your puppy some new toys

puppy chocolate lab playing with JW Puppy Toys


Show your puppy how much your love him or her with some new toys! JW Pet's puppy line of toys is the best puppy toys you could get your pup! This popular pet brand designs toys made just for puppies. Choose from puzzle toys that stimulate your puppy's mind or choose from chew toys that help relieve teething pain. No matter which you choose, be sure to order them before March 23rd, so that you're ready to celebrate the day of.

5. Take your pup to a pup-friendly bakery

Puppy licking a cake for dogs


Treat your puppy to a sweet treat this year on National Puppy Day. More and more, dog-friendly bakeries are popping up that only make sweet treats for dogs. Using special, dog-friendly ingredients you can now find cupcakes, cookies, cakes, ice cream and more made just for dogs from bakeries.

6. Take your puppy on a field trip

yellow lab puppy sticking his head out the car window


Spend some quality time outdoors with your pup this National Puppy Day. With the weather warming up and days getting longer, there's so much you can do outdoors with your puppy. Grab the leash and take your puppy on a walk around the neighborhood. Use this time to get a leash training session in. Find leash training tips here.

Load up your car with your puppy's favorite toys, a water bowl, the leash, and treats, and head to your favorite park. Once you're there, try teaching your puppy to play fetch with a Chuckit!. Or, get a game of tug going. After playtime, enjoy an afternoon nap in the sun.

Make new friends at your local dog park. If your puppy is old enough, big enough, and socialized enough take a trip to your local dog park to let your puppy spend some time with other puppies their size. It'll be fun for you to watch how your puppy interacts with others and just how well-behaved your pup is. As always, make sure your puppy has all of its vaccines before you head to the dog park.

7. Volunteer

an animated


If you don't have a puppy, but still want to celebrate National Puppy Day, consider volunteering at your local pet shelter. Local pet shelters can always use an extra set of help to help out with cleaning, feeding, watering, walking, and playing with the dogs in their care. You never know, you may find your furry companion while you're there!

8. Help Someone Else Walk Their Puppy

Do you have a busy or elderly neighbor who may not have the time to take their puppy outside during this holiday? Extend the love by offering to help walk their puppy for them and ensure every furry friend gets to enjoy the day.

9. Join an Online Community to Celebrate

National Puppy Day doesn't just happen in the real world – it happens online, too!

Look around your favorite social media sites for a community that can't get enough of puppies. Whether you're on Facebook or Reddit, you're guaranteed to find a collection of fellow dog lovers who are happy to trade pictures of their pets, share training tips, and more.

10. Set Up a Community Event

If your community has yet to offer a special event on National Puppy Day, consider starting the first one yourself! Ask friends, family, neighbors, and more to help you create a dog toy drive, a dog-walking event, or anything else you'd like to do to celebrate your pets.

11. Expand Your Puppy Knowledge

Being the parent of a puppy is a job that never stops. However, it's one that can be easier if you know the right tools and tricks to ensure your relationship with your puppy is the best it can be.

As such, take some time this National Puppy Day to read up on the latest information regarding puppy care from experts in the field. Whether you're learning how to teach them a new trick or identifying ways to treat certain health conditions, your puppy will only benefit from your updated knowledge.

12. Get a Puppy Portrait

Your dog won't be this small forever! Capture the special moment by having a portrait painted of your puppy and enjoy the memory for years to come.

13. Buy Your Puppy Some New Gear

Though it might not excite them as much as a treat or toy, new dog gear is one of the best ways to show your love for your furry friend. So, consider celebrating National Puppy Day by purchasing a new collar and leash that'll keep them stylish and comfortable on their next walk.

14. Buy Your Puppy a New Bed

After all the celebrations, your puppy will need a good night's sleep! Keep them comfortable and well-rested by providing them with a new, supportive bed that'll benefit their health in the long run.

15. Clean their Existing Items

Your puppy likely has a few favorite items you simply can't get rid of. Whether it's a special blanket or a toy, give it a good cleaning to prevent it from deteriorating.

16. Make an Appointment for a Health Exam

Puppies require consistent health exams to make sure they're developing properly. This National Puppy Day, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to double-check they're on track for a long, healthy lift and to update them on any vaccines they might need.

17. Microchip Your Puppy

Puppies are curious creatures by nature! Ensure you never lose track of your puppy by microchipping them his holiday.


About 30 years ago, dogs were just considered the family pet. It was normal for dogs to stay outside all day and eat scraps from dinner leftovers. It was just the way it was. However, over the last decade, dogs have become so much more than just the family pet. They are now considered family members. Some even consider their dogs their children. Dogs have become such important parts of the family because of their loyalty and the companionship they offer.

puppy kissing a little boy


If you have a puppy, celebrate National Puppy Day to show your puppy just how much you love and appreciate them. Whether you got your puppy for your mental health well-being or for companionship, or just because you have extra love to give away, your puppy didn't choose you. You chose your puppy and loving your puppy a little extra on this special day will only make the bond between you two stronger.


National Puppy Day is one of the most popular pet holidays. The goal of this special day is to raise awareness around puppy mills and the thousands of puppies available for adoption every year. By posting on social media using #NationalPuppyDay, you help bring awareness to this cause. Dogs have become extremely important members of the family over the last decade. Celebrating National Puppy Day with your pup doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as taking a walk! Whatever you decide to do, HAPPY NATIONAL PUPPY DAY!

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