National Dog Day History

August 19, 2013

The dog days of summer have a bad reputation, but not when you’re celebrating National Dog Day! Animal rights activist Colleen Paige established this holiday in 2004 to recognize the search and rescue dogs at Ground Zero and the service dogs who contribute to the lives of thousands. Today, the holiday celebrates your pooch, the special connection you have with him, the value of dogs in all of our lives, and the importance of humane treatment for dogs and all animals.

In 2013, National Dog Day will be held on August 26. You can celebrate with friends or one-on-one with your pup – many of the suggested activities for the holiday are simple things you can do to improve your dog’s quality of life. Even something as simple as a complete brushing or a new toy are ways to recognize your pet. If your dog likes to socialize, invite a few of his friends over for a backyard party!

National Dog Day also has a strong activism component, and is a great day to volunteer at your local animal shelter, write your congressman a letter about area puppy mills. This day encourages, as always, prospective dog owners to adopt from shelters rather than buying from pet stores. You can read more about rescuing dogs by meeting Sailor, the holiday’s current mascot, who now lives with a loving family.

The holiday’s organizers accept donations online, which go toward improving the future for dogs all over the country. Mark your calendar with a pawprint for this special afternoon, and set aside some time for your best friend!

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