Go pet your pup – today is National Dog Day!

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who own a dog… go rub it behind its ears today, or give it an extra treat. Because it’s their day. August 26 is celebrated as #NationalDogDay!

National Dog Day encourages the ownership of dogs of all breeds. While looking for a new companion, be sure to consider mutts, mixes, purebreds, and everything in between.

Whether mixed or purebred, seize the opportunity for all dogs to live a happy, safe and abuse-free life. They give us all company. Moreover, they protect us and help those in need. The dogs are playing. Well, they also play many roles in our lives! They keep us healthy, both physically and mentally.

While many days focus on finding loving homes for dogs, this day expands that consideration to look beyond the breed. Look into the heart of the animal. The goal of the National Dog Day Foundation is to save 10,000 dogs each year.

A dog is man’s best friend.

Breeds

Thoroughbreds are animals whose parents were both of the same breed. Although the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes official breeds, not all dogs whose parents are of the same breed are considered official by the AKC. One of the advantages of purebred animals is that characteristics such as behavior and size are predictable.

With mixed-breed animals, the genetics become uncertain and some of the predictability is lost. However, when it comes to choosing a dog to add to your family or training one to join a team, purebreds and mixed breeds can still do the trick. Both types of dogs, young and old, find their way to shelters.

Many popular breeds fill shelters due to recent movies or TV shows. Families buy an animal imagining that it will make the perfect pet, but are unprepared for the training, care, and other responsibilities that come with canine care. Regardless of their genetics, all dogs need grooming and training. If there is a particular race that has captured your heart, check the shelters. You might be surprised to find either a thoroughbred or a mix of the kind you like.

When dogs find a forever home, their companionship creates lifetime benefits. They bring with them joy, loyalty and devotion. Eventually, no matter the breed, these pets become a family.

How to observe National Dog Day

When considering adoption, adopt, don’t shop around. If you care about a purebred companion, consider visiting a website like bestfriends.org or petfinder.com to find one at a shelter. Find out how organizations like these are changing the way we adopt. As you search for your new family member, prepare yourself. Keep in mind the needs of a small dog versus a large dog. Until you find your forever companion, consider volunteering at your shelter or becoming a foster parent.

Use #NationalDogDay and post pictures of your dog on social media. Walk your dog. If you don’t have a dog, ask to walk your neighbor’s dog or volunteer at a shelter.