International Dog Day (or commonly called National Dog Day) is perfect for those of us who want another reason to celebrate our canine companions. This annual holiday means more than just surprising our dogs with gifts and displays of love but also supporting a powerful message to animal lovers around the globe.

Celebrating this holiday means bringing support and awareness to the adoption of dogs who need homes, and the best part is, even if you cannot adopt another furry friend to welcome into your home, there are still many ways you can help.


National Dog Day was started in 2004 by Colleen Paige, who you might know for her work in Pet and Family Lifestyle, Animal Rescue Advocate, Conservationist, and Dog Training content published online. Colleen and dog lovers around the world encourage newcomers to embrace honoring these pets by emphasizing the importance of adoption and rescue, rather than shopping from national pet stores or getting one through an un-reputable breeder.

There are many reasons why adoption is a better route to take vs shopping in pet stores, un-reputable breeders, and online ads. We'll list some of those below:

1. Pet stores have been known to use puppy mills which essentially breed dogs for sale and profit. Many national organizations such as the Humane Society have actively been working to stop the usage of these mills because of the occurrences of neglect and overbreeding running rampant throughout these facilities.

2. What's known as "backyard breeders" are breeders that do not always have the expertise, standards, or respect for dogs that is necessary to breed dogs in a safe, standardized, ethical, and loving environment. These breeders are often money-driven, breeding dogs too quickly or overbreeding them. Part of National Dog Day is bringing awareness to these amateur breeders and reasons not to buy from them.

3. Buying dogs over the internet or through an ad is generally not the best route to take to get a dog. Online ads for pets can sometimes be a scam, also where the dog is coming from can be inaccurate – you may think you're adopting from a great breeder, only to find out later that they came from a puppy mill.

Perhaps you have a dog already, or maybe you're just beginning the process of getting one. In the spirit of National Dog Day, we hope you adopt or rescue your new canine companion rather than choosing one of the methods above!


a dog playing with a JW Hol-ee Football Dog Toy


Inter(national) Dog Day is August 26th, the perfect time to get outside and treat your dog to an adventure day, whether your perfect pooch would enjoy a hike, an afternoon at the dog park, or an extra-long walk.

If you live in an area where outdoor space isn't very accessible, treat your dog in other ways! Bring them to an indoor dog park or take them to visit with their favorite dog friends. You could even spoil your dog with a new toy, get them a special treat, or just give them the attention they deserve with a night in.

Don't forget to show them off! Whether you and your dog are just lounging around, celebrating with zoomies, or donning their cleanest collar, snap a picture and post it on your social media account using #nationaldogday for all your friends to see.

If you don't have a dog yet, celebrate by visiting an adoption center or humane society near you, talk with friends about the elements of dog ownership to help educate yourself and research what type of dog will best fit into your lifestyle.


an older, happy couple sitting at a table with their dog sitting in the middle of them


At its core, National Dog Day is about taking time to appreciate and love our dogs! Whether you have a purebred or a mixed family companion, big or small, a brand-new puppy or an elderly pet, they all deserve love, a safe home, and to be celebrated. It is also a time to bring awareness to adoption, how to safely get a dog, recognize just how many dogs are available for adoption, and so much more.

There are many important roles that dogs play in our society. They are family members and companions which means they have important jobs! Companionships may be most common, but they also help us find people in emergencies, assist disabled and at-risk individuals, protect people in danger, and participate in many other roles.


Whether they are the superhero dogs of the rescue teams that assist in saving lives or play the valuable role of bringing joy to their owner's lives, dogs are worth celebrating . So, take the time to pay tribute to and celebrate the dogs in your life by celebrating National Dog Day on August 26, 2021.

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