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10 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Week

national dog week


National Dog Week is September 22–28, 2014, making this the perfect time to celebrate your best friend. There are so many things you can do to show your appreciation to the dog who gives you unconditional love, friendship, and constant companionship. Here are the top 10 ways to celebrate!

#1: Fundraise for Your Favorite Animal Charity
Your dog has a safe, loving home—here’s your chance to give to those pets who aren’t so lucky! Think of a fun, creative way to acquire donations. Involve your kids and ask them to sell lemonade on your block. Organize that garage sale you’ve been considering for the last few years, and let your unwanted clutter save some lives. Encourage your teenagers and their friends to arrange a car wash, or participate in a local fun run and get friends to sponsor you. Make it clear that all of the proceeds are going to a wonderful pet charity.

#2: Throw a Fabulous Pooch Party
What better way to celebrate National Dog Week than to…you know…celebrate? Throw a party for your dog and his furry friends. Send out funny canine-themed e-vites to your dog-owning pals. Scatter plenty of toys and chews, and set up different stations for games, like ball throwing, tug, and hide-and-seek. Find recipes for homemade dog cookies and cake. Make party favors and include treats and toys for the guests to take home.

#3: Adoption Option
If you’ve been thinking about enlarging your family with another four-legged friend, why not check out your local shelter or rescue? Adopting a dog in need will make you feel great, and more importantly, will save the life of an animal in need.

#4: Learn Pet First Aid or CPR
Could there be a better way to celebrate National Dog Week than by learning how to save a pet’s life? The American Red Cross (www.redcross.org) not only offers courses on how to save people, but it offers a pet first-aid class as well. Their training covers how to administer medicine, give pet CPR, treat wounds and electrical shock, and care for injuries.

#5: Toys! Toys! Toys!
We know money can’t buy happiness, but buying a new toy for your dog comes pretty close (for Fido, at least). If you haven’t checked out your local pet store or chain in a while, take your dog and go peruse the aisles. He might spot something irresistible that makes his day! Just ensure that the toy is safe and durable.

#6: Day Tripper
Embark on a day trip to a new spot your dog will love. Is there a great dog park you’ve heard of a couple of towns away? Or maybe there’s a dog-friendly beach that’s perfect for digging in the sand and retrieving balls from the water. Some towns and cities even get in on the act and hold “Dog Days,” events where vendors and other businesses welcome four-legged friends.

#7: Train a New Skill
Take the time to teach your dog a new skill. You may consider dog training to be “work,” but if you use positive reinforcement, your dog will deem it lots of fun—and he’ll get to spend one-on-one time with you, which is a huge bonus! There are lots of books and videos available that can take your training to the next level. In no time you will be impressing friends and family with your dog’s “jump through the hoop” trick.

#8: Picture Perfect
Now is the time to take those “beauty” shots of your dog that you always wanted. If you can, arrange a session with a photographer who specializes in pet shots. A professional can bring out your dog’s unique personality. If that’s not an option, check out a book or website that demonstrates how to take better pet photos. Spend the day snapping away at your pooch during his funny, rambunctious, and quiet moments. Frame your favorites or put them in an album. You can finally throw away your collection of “awkward dog photos”!

#9: Get Social
Time to get social—social media, that is. Set up a Twitter or Facebook account for your dog. Send out funny messages and photos from his point of view. This is a great way to get your creativity flowing and also commemorate your best friend. And who knows, maybe your own sweet dog’s blog will catch on and become the canine version of “Grumpy Cat.”

#10: Go Au Naturel
This might be a great time to try something new! Consider jumping on the natural health bandwagon and trying a holistic therapy for your dog. Choose a natural remedy or technique (like Bach flower essences or T-touch) that has the benefits of de-stressing and relaxation and that has also been proven harmless to dogs. Read up on the technique you’d like to try and then go for it.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to celebrate your dog—as long as the two of you get to spend time together, every day can be a celebration!

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