by Melody Keilig
International Dog Day is also known as National Dog Day in the United States. Started by Pet Lifestyle Expert Colleen Paige in 2004, Paige wanted to spread animal advocacy. She is also behind creating other dog holiday campaigns. But why August 26?
Paige was inspired by the day her family adopted their first shelter dog, named Sheltie. This dog holiday focuses on bringing awareness to dogs in shelters and rescues who await adoption.
Even though the day was initially made for the U.S., it’s also become an international dog holiday. Because, after all, dogs are worldwide! And many of these dogs around the world need help to find their forever home. So no matter where you are in the world, check out these fun activities with your dog and things you can do to raise awareness and encourage adoption!
Host a “Yappy” Hour!
Ever heard of “Yappy” Hour? It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, even for our furbabies! So, celebrate International Dog Day with a fun cocktail (or mocktail) hour with your fellow dog parents. Think of Yappy Hour as a sophisticated doggy date with plenty of dog-friendly treats.
Some cities even host Yappy Hours, so check out your local bar to see if there’s already an event happening nearby. But, if the event has been started yet, here’s your time to shine! Gather your fellow pawrents and talk about booking an event somewhere. Or, if possible, have the event at your place for a smaller get-together.
Get a Pet Portrait & Support an Artist
As dog parents, we all have endless photos of our dogs on our phones that we will scroll through to show off the true love of our lives. But do you know something you probably don’t have of your dog? An original painting!
What better way to honor your dog with a one-of-a-kind work of art? You’ll have something beautiful to put on your wall while supporting a talented artist.
You can find numerous pet portrait artists online. But try to find a local artist first so you can give back to a small business in your community. If this isn’t possible, commissioning an artist through their website is also a great way to support a small business.
Depending on the size of the portrait, the time it takes for the artist to paint, and other factors, pet portraits can get pricey. However, the artist dedicates their time and talent to create a beautiful portrait of your dog. So, please respect the artist’s rate and don’t try to negotiate the price. The great thing about business is that if one artist’s work is above your budget, you can find another who fits the bill perfectly!
Be sure to give the artist a crisp and clear photo of your dog, or multiple photos, if they ask for more. During the planning process, you and the artist can talk about what colors you’d like to have in the portrait or have the artist surprise you with the whole concept!
Organize Drive-in Dog Movies at the Park
Who doesn’t love a classic Drive-In-style movie night? This activity may need more preparation if you want to hold a large event at the local park because you’ll need permission from your city.
If you get the thumbs up, spread the word about a Drive-In movie night with films starring dogs! Organize some friends to help you run a smooth event and encourage everyone to bring their dogs for a fun night.
But, a dog movie night will also work perfectly in a friend’s backyard or your apartment for a small get-together. So, get the dog treats and the popcorn for a lineup of everyone’s favorite canine flicks!
Assist Dogs and People in Your Community
If you’re looking for a way to give back on International Dog Day, assist someone in your community who needs help walking their dog. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor who could use a helping hand sometimes, or you know someone who isn’t able to drive their pet to the vet’s office.
Let the people around you know that you’re there to help them with their pets anytime, but make International Dog Day the ice breaker to offer that help. You could also encourage others to check in on their neighbors to see if they need help with their pets.
This kind of volunteering can make a huge difference in someone’s day, so reach out to other people in your area who have pets. If someone you know has difficulty taking their dog out to potty, ask your friends, family, and neighbors to donate a few dollars to buy them a Porch Potty.
Adopt a Dog or Encourage Adoption
International Dog Day is all about giving a dog their forever home! So, if you can bring another dog into your life, go for it. We know times are tough right now, so make sure you’re financially able to care for this dog.
We know that’s a total bummer to think about for a day meant for spreading the love for dogs, but it is essential to consider before adopting. It’s better to not adopt if you can’t afford another dog than to go through with the adoption and be forced to surrender them later due to financial difficulties.
If you know a friend looking to adopt a dog, tell them about the dogs you’ve seen at the shelter. You can also offer to join them at the shelter or rescue to look at available dogs if they’ve never had a dog before.
Check out other ways to encourage adoption to a broader audience of people, like on social media. You could also reach out to animal shelters and rescues and offer to volunteer.
Give a Helping Hand to a Fellow Dog Parent
We talked about helping elderly or disabled neighbors walk their dogs or bring them to the vet’s office. But what happens if you know someone faced with the difficult situation of surrendering their dog?
If there’s a way you can help your friend keep their dog, offer what help you can. Don’t feel terrible if there is genuinely nothing you can do to help. Instead, do what you can to assist in the situation. For example, it could be offering to house the dog until your friend is back on their feet. You could also ask around your social circles to see if anyone would be willing to foster the dog for a while.
With everything above, do your best to help spread the word about dog adoption and the rewarding experience of being a pet parent. Of course, having a dog has its good and bad days, but in the end, it’s truly a blessing to raise these fantastic companions. So let’s do our best to give back to the dogs under our roof and in our community!
Are you looking to connect with fellow pet parents? Of course, you are! Check out our official Porch Potty Facebook group to chat with other dog lovers and share photos of your darling furbabies. We’ll see you there!