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Dogs are undoubtedly the most commonly owned pets in the planet, and it’s easy to see why. They give us so much in the short life they live – they love us, are loyal to us, and give us the support and comfort we deserve wholeheartedly.
Their presence alone makes us happy. But more than that, our interaction with them helps keeps us healthy in so many ways, science says.
So, dedicating a month-long celebration dedicated to our furry, four-legged pals is only right! And this month of August, we are celebrating National Dog Month in honor of man’s best friend.
Continue reading below to find out more about National Dog Month and how you and your pooch can celebrate it!
What Is National Dog Month?
National Dog Month is a month-long celebration founded in 2020 by the popular dog treat brand, Milk Bone. The company founded the celebration to recognize everything dogs do to make our lives infinitely better.
The celebration also “helps us appreciate the bonds between dogs and people––the #1 human-animal bond in the world”.
Other than celebrating our love and appreciation for our own furry friends, Milk Bone also utilizes National Dog Month as an opportunity to raise money for various dog-related charities.
In 2020, the company was able to raise $10,000 for Canine Assistants, a non-profit organization that trains service dogs and provides them to people with physical disabilities and special needs.
Benefits Of Having A Dog
Since it’s National Dog Month, let’s list down some of the things, backed by science, dogs do that makes life healthier, happier and more fun!
- Dogs improve our mental health. Science says that dogs help our brains release the following “feel good” chemicals: dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, and oxytocin. Our pooches make us happier, therefore improving our mental health.
- Dogs help us cope with negative and stressful situations. Dogs are not man’s best friend for nothing. They help reduce stress and anxiety, and ease our loneliness. The love, comfort, and support they provide to us help us cope with life better. As a matter of fact, a research found that the presence of service dogs has proven to lower post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in those that have it.
- Dogs are good for the heart – literally. Did you know that owning a dog lowers the risk of death? Studies show that dog owners have lower blood pressure levels and have an improved response to stressful situations.
- Dogs may help lower the risk of Crohn’s Disease. A 2022 study presented by Digestive Diseases Week (DDW) reveals that living with a dog during childhood is associated with a lower risk of Crohn’s Disease.
- Dogs make you physically fit. Having a dog keeps you moving. They help you stay in shape through daily walks and play time. Research found that since dog ownership is associated with recreational walking, dog owners are FOUR times more likely to meet physical activity guidelines than those without dogs.
6 Ways To Celebrate National Dog Month
Whether you’re an upcoming, new, or seasoned fur parent, there are a plethora of ways to show your appreciation and love for your pooch this National Dog Month.
Here are a few of our recommendations to celebrate and ensure a happy pooch this month!
1. Make Homemade Dog Treats
Sometimes, it’s truly the little things in life that matter. So, whether it’s delicious cookies or some much needed ice cream, homemade and DIY treats are a great way to show your appreciation for your dog this National Dog Month.
Not to mention, the process of making them can also be a great bonding experience for you and your pooch! Furthermore, giving them something “special” will make them feel a lot more loved.
We have some DIY homemade dog treats recipes you can try this month, and you can find them here!
2. Go On A Dog-Friendly Vacation
It’s summer AND National Dog Month at the same time – just the perfect excuse you need to explore new places and go on a vacation with your furry friend!
August is a great time to hit the beach and beat the summer heat. So, why not go to a dog-friendly beach and have fun in the sun?
Going on a vacation with your pooch will definitely help you create memories that the both of you can cherish for life.
But of course, it goes without saying that you have to ensure the safety of your dog. Make sure that they’ll have fun AND be safe at all times.
So, what are you waiting for? Plan that vacation, pack your bags, and grab your pooch’s leash for a fun summer adventure!
3. Attend A Doga Class
If you want to switch things up or is looking for a healthy and unique way to celebrate National Dog Month, Doga or Dog Yoga might be what you’re looking for.
In a Doga class, your dog can either participate with you by doing dog-friendly stretches/poses or they can play and/or interact with other dogs in the class. It’s a great way to socialize with others while also bonding with your furry friend.
Dog yoga has been rising in popularity again and many yoga studios now offer Doga classes. So, you and your pooch can attend one and see for yourself what all the fuss is about!
4. Set Up Or Have A Photoshoot With Your Dog
Photos have the magic to make memorable moments last forever. And if you want to capture these memories with your dog, then when is the best time to do it but on National Dog Month?
Whether it’s a professional photoshoot or a DIY photoshoot at home, capture the moments that matter with your dog!
Since striking a pose with your dog might be a bit challenging, let them take the lead and snap candid photos of your moments with them. You can then print the photos and display them all over your home or post them on your social media accounts.
5. Go To The Pet Store And Buy New Toys
For dogs, there is no such thing as having too much toys! Instead of choosing one for them, why not go to the pet store with them and let them choose their next addition to their pile this National Dog Month?
From ropes, chew toys, to plushies and balls – the choices are endless! And remember, toys are not just for your pooch’s play time. They help keep dogs entertained, happy, stimulated, and therefore, healthy.
And of course, helping your pooch choose a toy and playing it with them are all great bonding experiences with them!
6. Help Dogs In Shelters
This National Dog Month, we don’t only celebrate our own pet dogs, but all dogs of different breeds and sizes. And this includes dogs that are spending this month in shelters.
You can make a difference AND show some extra love for shelter dogs this month in so many ways! Here are a few ideas for you:
- Adopt a dog. If you’ve been thinking of getting a dog for yourself this month, this might be your sign to adopt one from your local shelter.
- Volunteer. If adopting a dog is out of the question, you can offer your local shelter a helping hand. Most shelters have roles you can apply for, so there can be at least one role you might fit into. You can either help feed and walk dogs, or even offer administrative support for the shelter.
- Donate. Shelters also have bills to pay in order to support their dogs, so monetary donations are very much welcome. However, money isn’t the only thing you can donate. You can also donate beds, toys and foods for the dogs.
- Foster a dog. Shelters can get crowded fast, and sometimes there are dogs that get stressed in such environment. If you think you’re ready and willing to, you can foster a dog until they find a furever home. And while fostering is not an easy job, it can be rewarding and can make a difference in a dog’s life.
Indeed, National Dog Month is a celebration our furry friends deserve. Dogs needs to be appreciated and celebrated for the significant roles they play into enhancing our lives. They love us unconditionally, are loyal to us, and keep us healthy, and at times, are even willing to lay their lives on the line for us.
How will you celebrate National Dog Month this year? Share them in the comments section below!