In 2004, Colleen Paige founded National Dog Day to celebrate the day her family adopted their dog “Sheltie” from a local animal shelter when she was 10 years old. The spirit of National Dog Day was created in order to celebrate dogs, and spread awareness about adoption.
This year on National Dog Day (August 26), let’s focus on ways to keep our four-legged friends happy and healthy for many National Dog Days to come.
Train Your Dog
One of the best ways to keep your dog healthy is to focus on creating and strengthening your bond as companions. There is more to training than impressing friends with tricks or preventing your labrador from stealing an entire plate of bacon off the counter.
Proper training can save your dog’s life. Knowing and responding to commands like “come,” “stay,” and “drop it” could be critical if your beloved pet is in danger from a speeding vehicle or has something potentially harmful in its mouth.
Training will help both dog and human learn to communicate and bond over accomplishing tasks. The increased confidence you feel when it’s time to go for a walk or head to the dog park can make all the difference when it comes to spending quality time with your dog.
Play With Your Dog
In many ways, setting apart time to play is as important as a training routine. According to a study conducted by Bristol University, dog owners whose pets played less were more likely to develop anxiety and showed increased tendencies towards aggressive behavior.
In addition to combating potential behavioral health issues, taking time to play will keep your dog mentaly sharp and, in many cases, prevent canine obesity.
Playtime can be extremely beneficial for us humans as well. There are certainly days when the demands on our time can feel overwhelming. Even taking a 10 minute break to just play with the dog can help you to refocus and feel refreshed.
Play is crucial for dogs, and it’s hard to overstate its benefits on our own mental well being.
Groom Your Dog
A regular grooming routine can be extremely beneficial to your dog’s wellness. Sure it’s nice when your labrador smells good and isn’t greasy from stolen counter bacon, but regular grooming can help you detect and address potential problems with your dog’s health early.
Grooming doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, taking time to groom and bathe your dog regularly will only increase your emotional bond.
With many dogs, certain aspects of care, like nail trimming, should be taken on by a professional. There are few things more rewarding than picking up your clean and happy from the groomer.
This year for National Dog Day, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the ways dogs enrich our lives. Take a little extra time to play and maybe give your companion a spa day. You both deserve it!