International Dog Day – 26th August 2023
We all love our furry friends, don’t we? But did you know that there is a whole day dedicated to dogs for the companionship and loyalty that they show towards their owners? International Dog Day is celebrated annually on 26th August and this year, it falls on a Saturday. It is a great awareness day – a time to showcase what these remarkable animals do for us. Humans and dogs have a longstanding relationship which has evolved over centuries, and this special bond is built on trust, cooperation and kinship. So, what exactly is so amazing about dogs? Well, this is not an exhaustive list but they…
- Are man’s or woman’s best friend.
- Keep us safe – often sacrificing their own safety to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.
- Selflessly guide us and bring us copious amounts of joy.
- Work with law enforcement
- Work with emergency services/rescue services
- Work with the army
- Are the eyes and/or ears for people who have sensory impairments.
- Can be therapy dogs for individuals who may need additional support.
- Consistently show us unconditional love and comfort – somehow working out the days we need their support the most.
- Have special and unique gifts which make them so in-tune with humans.
- Are adorably cute with their waggy tails and toothy grins!
International Dog Day not only celebrates our pets, but it also raises awareness of the unfortunate need to rescue so many of our canine friends. There are so many dogs in the world in need of a ‘forever home’ and an adoring family. Through reasons which are no fault of their own, many dog shelters and rescue centres are bursting at the seams with abandoned dogs. The awareness day can act as a gentle reminder that we need to try to help these wonderful animals where we can. Rescuing a dog from a rescue centre, as opposed to buying one from a breeder or pet shop, can be incredibly rewarding. Many people opt for getting an older dog rather than a puppy as puppies can be a lot of hard work, requiring lots of training, time and money.
Amazingly, this year, International Dog Day has been going for 19 years! It was first established by dog-lover, Colleen Paige. She is a pet and family lifestyle expert and general advocate for animals. She created the day – 26th August – to mark the date that her family adopted their first dog when she was 10 years old. The dog was named ‘Sheltie’ and was adopted from a rescue centre. Colleen hopes to encourage others to adopt a dog instead of buying one from a breeder or pet store.
Over the years, International Dog Day has gained in popularity and caused some stirs across the world. Countries and communities all over the globe have celebrated all kinds of dogs - all breeds, shapes, sizes and personalities. In 2013, the awareness day was adopted into the legislation of the New York State – showing just how important International Dog Day is to New Yorkers.
Fancy getting involved in International Dog Day? You may even be thinking about getting a dog – then why not visit your local shelter to find your future best friend? You may already be the proud owner of a delightful pup – why not get the camera out and get your dog on social media? Maybe you’ve got or know of a great doggy rescue story that you’d like to post about. Don’t forget to use the following hashtag… #InternationalDogDay.
If you are thinking of getting a dog, here is a quick round up of some essential doggy care facts which might help you decide:
- Dogs need lots of space to exercise.
- Dogs need to wear a collar/tag with their owners’ name and address.
- Dogs should eat ‘complete’ foods (think commercial brands) to provide them with all the essential nutrients they need.
- A dog’s diet depends on their breed, age, and health – feeding your dog the right dog food at the right age is extremely important.
- Dogs need to be microchipped by law in the UK (since April 2016).
- Dog walks should be between 30 minutes and 2 hours every day.
- For dogs, a harness/collar, a lead/leash, and waste bags are essential for their daily life.
Did you know that sheepskins have also been found to help dogs? Sheepskins have natural temperature-regulating properties which means that they are perfect for keeping your furry friend warm in the winter but also cool in the summer. They are also antibacterial, hypoallergenic and dirt/stain-resistant. The lanolin which is naturally found in the wool of sheepskins acts as moisturiser – keeping your canine companion’s coat conditioned and glossy. Sheepskins are very much a choice for older dogs as their soothing properties are ideal for arthritic limbs and achy joints.
Finally, to leave you on a fun fact – the world’s oldest dog was a thirty-year-old Australian cattle dog! She was called ‘Maggie’ and died in 2016. We wonder if she had some Australian sheepskins at hand to help her live to that ripe old age!?So, Happy International Dog Day – let’s give those wonderful creatures a round of a-paws for being so brilliant!