by Melody Keilig
As if one day dedicated to dogs is enough, we get a whole week to celebrate our furbabies this month! So, get ready to celebrate your dog from September 20th to 27th while raising awareness to help lost, homeless, and abused dogs find loving homes.
So how did this special week get started, and how can you get involved in helping dogs? Let’s find out!
How it Got Started
National Dog Week began in 1928 by a World War I veteran named Captain William Lewis Judy. Other than serving in the war, Judy was also a canine advocate who wanted to educate dog owners about the responsibilities that come with adopting a dog.
At that time, dogs weren’t considered part of the family and were often chained up in the backyard. Upon returning home from the war, Judy acquired Dog World Magazine and continued publishing the magazine for more than 40 years. Today, Dog World remains the oldest all-breed dog magazine in the country.
Judy’s newfound service to dogs also brought him to become the founder of the Dog Writers Association of America. He believed that a week-long celebration of dogs was the best way to recognize the service of dogs, as well as honor them as companions.
How to Celebrate National Dog Week
There are many ways to celebrate National Dog Week, from fun activities to helping animal shelters. The significant difference between this special canine week and other dog-centric holidays is educating people about proper pet care.
So, try to make pet education the primary focus while having fun or raising awareness about pet adoption. How can you get involved?
Plan Fun Activities with Your Dog
Take the week to appreciate the special bond you have with your dog. In the hustle and bustle of life, you can sometimes easily forget how much your dog means to you. So, take the time to plan special activities with your dog in your free time. Even if you have limited free time, try to plan at least one fun activity you can do with your dog.
That could be:
- Baking healthy dog treats
- Playing a game
- Going to a local dog park
- Taking a walk
- Any other activity your dog enjoys
If you’ve already gone through the above list and need something new to do, try your hand at pet photography! Don’t worry if you don’t have a professional camera: your smartphone will work perfectly. It’s all about spending time with your dog and making them the star of the show, even for an hour.
Raise Awareness about Pet Care
Luckily, attitudes towards dogs have changed since Captain William Lewis Judy’s day. Now, dogs are considered a part of the family and deserve equal treatment. How dogs were treated back in the day would be considered neglectful or abusive today. Could you imagine someone calling a dog their “furbaby” back then?! It would be completely unheard of.
Although it’s great that most people treat pets with respect now, there are still situations where well-intentioned people treat dogs as accessories and trends. For example, someone may be a dog lover and treat their dog well but only adopted or bought their dog based on superficial reasons.
When new movies, tv shows, music, and other forms of entertainment feature a certain aesthetic, it can quickly become a fast internet trend. Unfortunately, this means certain dog breeds can become trendy accessories due to the entertainment industry.
For instance, when the latest John Wick movie was released, the Belgian Malinois breed instantly became popular among dog lovers. This caused many people to adopt or buy these dogs as puppies without knowing the breed.
Experienced dog trainers advise against the average person bringing a Belgian Malinois into their home. Because the breed needs intensive training, lots of regular exercise, and frequent stimulation, caring for this breed is a lot of work.
You can raise awareness about “trendy” pets to advise people against impulsively buying certain animals out of their sudden popularity. Once some people discover that the latest popular dog breed requires more work than they are willing or able to give, these dogs get dropped at animal shelters.
Promote pet education about properly caring for them, especially dog breeds that become popular overnight. Encourage people to do their research so they know what to expect when adopting a specific dog breed. As well as information on finding a dog trainer best suited to instruct you on training and caring for that particular dog.
Don’t Forget Pet Care Basics
Remember that some people wanting to adopt a dog aren’t aware of the average annual cost of caring for them. With the pandemic came many adoptions from animal shelters, which was great in and of itself.
However, some of these pets became too high of a financial cost for their owners. Then, they were abandoned or brought back to the shelter. Unfortunately, some people impulsively get the two most popular domestic pets, dogs and cats, thinking their pet care are extremely easy.
Although dogs and cats are very popular pets and make great companions, they still need proper pet care. Cleaning up after them and giving them food is easy, but it gets challenging if they become sick or require special needs.
Puppies and adult dogs are more work than they appear on social media, so being open about the rewards and struggles of pet parenthood is essential. This can help curb impulsive adoptions and promote better preparation before people adopt pets.
So, this National Dog Week spread the message of loving dogs and providing them with the proper care they deserve.
Do you have ideas about raising awareness for proper pet care? Let us know in our official Porch Potty Facebook community! Share your thoughts, product ideas, and photos of your furbabies. We’d love to hear from you!