You love your dog so much that you think they deserve their own national holiday. Well, we’ve got good news for you: There already is! National Dog Day is an annual celebration for pups and their parents all across the country, and there are plenty of ways to join in the fun. From posting pics of your furry best friend on Instagram, to surprising them with special treats, to sharing the love with your local shelters and rescues, your options are as limitless as your dog’s adoration for you (and vice versa).
So when is this special day to honor your dog, and what’s the best way to get in on the action? Read on to find out all about National Dog Day, and join us in celebrating all puppers great and small.
What Is National Dog Day?
National Dog Day (not to be confused with National Puppy Day) is a holiday dedicated to celebrating all things dog, of course! Sure, it seems like a pretty simple concept, but it’s as complex and deep as our love for the dogs in our lives. The bond between a pup and their person is life-changing, after all; our dogs’ support, comfort and, yes, hilarious antics make our lives immeasurably better. They keep us active with their daily walks. They ease our minds with their snuggles and loving looks. Many of them even do jobs for us, like therapy dogs who help PTSD survivors and service dogs who assist people with disabilities.
Clearly, every day should be National Dog Day. Showering them with unlimited love for one day each year seems like the very least we dog lovers can do! And ever since the first National Dog Day in 2004, that’s exactly what dog parents across the country have done, honoring the love and service our dogs give us. But National Dog Day isn’t just for family dogs, of course—it’s for every dog, including those waiting to be adopted at shelters and rescues. After all, when you tell your loved ones about all the joy your pup has brought to your life, you just might inspire them to open their home to a dog in need, too. And a forever home is pretty much the ultimate National Dog Day present.
When Is National Dog Day 2023?
OK, you’re all in on this pup-perfect holiday. But when is National Dog Day, exactly? National Dog Day is celebrated annually on August 26th.
In 2023, it falls on a Saturday, so you could (dare we say, should) spend the whole weekend spoiling your favorite pup.
How to Celebrate National Dog Day
So, what’s the best way to honor your pup on National Dog Day 2023? As long as you’re sharing your love for your furry friend, you’re doing it right. Check out the ideas below to get your inspiration flowing.
Snap Some Special National Dog Day Pics
Who doesn’t love seeing adorable dogs in their Instagram feed? No one! (Or at least not anyone who follows you—with your frequent “pupdates,” they’d have unfollowed you long ago.) Posting a pic of your dog on social media is one of the most popular ways to celebrate National Dog Day, and for good reason: Each photo helps spread the holiday’s message of support for dogs, both those in forever homes and those at shelters and rescues. Besides, your posts about your dog’s latest antics are always the biggest crowd-pleasers, so it’s a win-win.
Check out these epic #dogsofinstagram shared by pet parents in the Chewy community, then post your own National Dog Day image to your feeds.
Share your pics with us by tagging @Chewy. Remember: There’s no such thing as too many dog pics.
Share a Meaningful National Dog Day Quote
Every adorable dog pic needs an equally adorable caption. Looking for the perfect National Dog Day quote? Try these homages to man's best friend on for size.
- “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” –Dwight D Eisenhower, former U.S. president
- “I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.” –Doris Day, actor
- “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” –Roger Caras, activist and animal advocate
- “I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” –Gilda Radner, comedian
- “Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling the emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.” –Thom Jones, author
- “When an 85-pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it’s hard to feel sad.” –Kristan Higgins, author
- “My fashion philosophy is, if you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty.” –Elayne Boosler, comedian
- “Petting, scratching and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” –Dean Koontz, author
- “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” –Charles M. Schulz, “Peanuts” cartoonist
- “Dogs are our link to paradise.” –Milan Kundera, author
Who Said It?
Support an Animal Shelter or Rescue
Every dog deserves to have a happy National Dog Day—including those still waiting to be adopted. Animal shelters and rescues work to keep homeless pets happy and healthy until they find their forever families, and you can help, too. Chewy’s Wish List feature makes it easy to donate the supplies your local animal organizations need. Just search your zip code to find a shelter or rescue in your area, and add products from their Wish List to your shopping cart. When you check out, Chewy will deliver those products directly to your shelter or rescue’s doorstep.
Want to do more? There are so many ways you can help shelters and rescues on National Dog Day. Have you considered volunteering to walk dogs or take flattering photos of pets up for adoption? Even simply resharing a shelter’s social media post about an adoptable dog can help their future family find them. For more ways to help shelters and rescues, click here.
Adopt a Dog
It’s the ultimate act of love for a dog: Adding them to your family. Across the country, a large number of dogs are looking for homes, so if you’re sure you’re ready to adopt, National Dog Day can be an especially meaningful time to do so. Chewy’s adoptable pets service allows you to search thousands of available dogs at shelters and rescue organizations across the country. You can even filter by location, age, sex, breed, color and more. Begin your search now, and you just might be able to combine two holidays in one: National Dog Day and your new pup’s “gotcha” day!
Savor the Day With These 5 Fun Activities
Sure, your dog loves being showered with attention during one of your epic photo sessions. But there are so many more ways you can make memories together. Why not switch things up and try a new adventure this National Dog Day? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Book a trip. You know you’ve been dreaming of getting away, and your dog will be happy as long as they’re by your side. Check out our top dog-friendly travel destinations, and make sure you and your pup are fully prepared with our guide to traveling with a dog.
- Take a hike. If a full-fledged vacation isn’t in the cards, set aside some time to escape into nature with your dog, whether it's on a hike or just at the local dog park. Here’s everything you need to know to go hiking with your pup.
- Bake a treat. It’s easy to whip up DIY dog treats like these frozen “pupsicles”—perfect for summer!
- Test out a new toy. Maybe we’re biased, but you’ll find the most adorable picks here, including this super cute champagne and flute squeaky toy set—the perfect way to raise a toast to your dog.
- Play a game. Take a break for some fun with these 15-minute games to play with dogs. (Don't forget to work in some cuddle time, too.)
The Best National Dog Day 2023 Dog Gifts
More Ways to Celebrate