Every dog owner and lover knows – there’s no other love more pure and unconditional than a dog’s love. They love their humans without judgment and despite their faults. They will protect their humans even if they get hurt in the process. Dogs truly are man’s best friend.
That is why in honor of their dedication, we celebrate National Dog Day – to recognize the great service they have done for societies worldwide. For many decades, numerous trained dogs have been in service to humans and saved lives by guarding houses, guiding our disabled, detecting drugs and bombs, identifying patients with serious illnesses, providing therapy to hospital patients, pulling out victims in search and rescue operations, and the list goes on.
National Dog Day is celebrated annually every 26th of August. The day is celebrated all over the world through awareness events on how important a dog’s role is in our society. Yet, countless of them remain abused and abandoned. Millions of dogs are killed in pounds and slaughtered in dog meat trades just because they have no owners or are unwanted. This day is also encouraged to help get dogs adopted in shelters.
10 Great Gift Ideas for Your Dog on National Dog Day
Dogs only live a short lifespan. They deserve a life of love and purpose. So on this special day, let us show our little dog friends just how much they are appreciated. Below are some wonderful ideas on what you can do to have a special bonding day with your dog and dog friends.
1) Treat your dog to a full day of outdoor adventure
If you haven’t been outdoors for a while, this might be a great time to plan something with your dog. Whether it’s an outdoor camping trip or just a long walk around the city, it will surely satisfy their curious nature. Search for a dog-friendly park, a beginner’s hiking trail, a non-commercial beach or a riverside that both you and your dog can explore together and maybe camp in or have a picnic.
Nothing makes a dog happier than having a full day of exploration. Will they be happy? Definitely! Walks and runs are generally good for their mental stimulation, exercise, training, and of course elimination. And it’s not only the dogs that would benefit from this activity. It is very healthy for you too.
2) Let your dog socialize with other pet friends
Throw a small and manageable backyard party for your dog and invite your fellow pet owners. This is a fun way to allow your dog to be exposed to other dog (or even cat) friends. Socialization is very important for dogs to manage their aggression and behavior.
3) Buy your dog a great meal and special treats
Every dog loves treats and they usually have a favourite. On this special day, you can buy them their favourite with a little extra steak dinner on the side. Just remember that not all treats are safe for dogs. Rawhide for instance, has already been flagged as deadly because it is processed using toxic materials and can cause digestive obstruction.
To be safe, buy those that are labelled as natural, organic and have no artificial flavors. Try turkey and duck treats, those containing CBD oil, and wheat and soy-free options. CBD oil for dogs treat are excellent for training your dog. It can be used as a reward every time they show good behavior. Make sure to stock up on these so you’ll always have a behaved dog.
4) Get your dog a new toy
Take your dog to the nearest pet store and let him choose a new toy. Some dogs love squeaky toys while others like chew toys. If your dog loves peanut butter, buy a hollow toy and put the peanut butter inside. If your dog loves to munch on ice, buy an ice block maker and freeze some of his favourite food like orange, apples and bananas so he’ll enjoy melting the ice, slowly revealing his treats.
5) A day of pampering at the vet
A trip to the vet doesn’t always need to be a bad experience for your pet. Don’t bring them in only when they’re sick or they need to be updated on their vaccine. This can be a place for them to get their nails trimmed, ears cleaned, groomed or to buy some high quality pet food. Veterinary clinics also usually have a resident dog or cat within the premises. Get your dog acquainted with the neighborhood pets.
6) Get your dog a permanent companion
Make National Dog Day even more memorable by doing something big for your dog. Commit to another living being by going to the nearest shelter to adopt. Give your lone pet a permanent companion and playmate. If your pet has become too clingy, having a companion to play with will eliminate their boredom almost immediately.
It reduces the need to buy toys and minimize your efforts to entertain your pet. Release them together in the backyard and they will have their own little adventure.
7) Create a backyard obstacle course
This is a one-time effort that could benefit your dog for a long time. Surprise your dog by creating an obstacle course in your backyard that will surely entertain. You can do this even when you’re on a budget. Get the materials from a junkyard such as wood planks, metal drums, and old tires.
Map out the course as it needs to have a section wherein the dog can jump, go through a tunnel, walk through weave poles and balance walk over a board. This is a great way to exercise and train your dog even when you’re just at home.
8) Bring your dog along for a joy ride
Nothing beats boredom more than a joyride. Let your dog feel the breeze on their face through a half-open car window. Dogs usually stick their tongue out during car rides because it’s their way of receiving odor molecules and detecting scents. When they’re in a moving car, they are able to smell numerous scents coming from the environment.
Map out your stopovers during this joyride. You can bring your dog to the place where you work (if allowed of course), visit a leash-free dog park, or visit other family members to simply say hello.
9) Give your dog a new bed
Some dogs really love lying down on soft fluffy things such pillows and blankets. Get your dog a new set of bed and blankets to keep them warm, especially during the cold season. If your dog has been sleeping on the porch, dog house or a small old dog bed, a new and bigger one might make him more comfortable.
10) Give your dog a pet massage
Dogs love belly rubs and what else can make them happier than getting a nice, long and relaxing pet massage. Bring them to a dog spa or do it yourself at home. At the dog spa facility, your dog can be treated to a full bath, nail trimming, fur cut, brushing and even a relaxing massage with calming music.
Remember that this day is all about the dogs and not about the people. A $100 dog collar is not a gift for the dog but for the satisfaction of the owner. It does not take a lot to make dogs happy. They only need time and a lot of love.
Every dog lover’s wish and hope is that one day, the lives of dogs will be respected, whether freely on the streets or with a human family. It is a dream that each one will be properly vaccinated or spayed and neutered as needed. National Dog Day every August 26 is a day of encouraging everyone to adopt a pet or donate to non-kill shelters and rescue organizations that are tirelessly doing everything they can to protect the welfare of dogs and other animals worldwide.