Man’s best friend, loyal companions, trusted confidants. Dogs are a hugely meaningful aspect of millions of people’s lives around the world. Follow along with us to learn more about the official dog holidays that let us celebrate our four-legged friends!
Are There Holidays for Dogs?
Yes! There are many quirky, fun, unusual, and even sobering pet holidays throughout the year; some last for a day, others for a week, and certain holidays can be celebrated all month long.
There are so many dog holidays that if you randomly chose a day out of the year, there’s a high likelihood a canine celebration would be scheduled. From National Puppy Day to K-9 Veterans Day, there are numerous ways to celebrate and focus on our favorite furry friends.
How Many Dog Holidays Are There?
There are approximately 153 holidays throughout the year devoted solely to dogs. That number doesn’t include international pet holidays, which celebrate other animals in addition to dogs. We’ll cover holidays that recognize both dogs and pets in general, though our focus will be on pooches.
Why Do People Celebrate Dogs?
People around the world celebrate dogs for countless reasons. Working dogs like seeing-eye dogs or livestock herders play a valuable role in many people’s lives. Puppies teach responsibility to young children. Police dogs train tirelessly to help keep our communities safe.
Research has even suggested that interacting with dogs is good for our physical and mental health. We certainly believe that’s worth celebrating! Dogs are so loving and beneficial to our mental well-being that it’s only fair we take time to thank them.
Important Dog Holidays
All pet holidays are unique and important to different people for various reasons. There are enough pet holidays to celebrate just about every day of the year. Some of the following holidays even overlap (for example, Chip Your Pet Month and National Pet First Aid Awareness Month both take place in April), so your dog gets twice the celebration!
Month-Long Pet Holidays
National Walk Your Dog Month
National Walk Your Dog Month emphasizes responsible dog walking habits, including proper canine gear for colder weather. The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention found in 2017 that 56% of dogs in the U.S. were overweight. This holiday is meant to encourage regular exercise and dog weight loss if necessary.
Dog Training Education Month
This holiday is similar to January’s dog training initiative, but it also focuses on teaching people how to train a canine correctly. It can be hard work to train a dog properly, and Dog Training Education Month reminds people that all that effort is worth it!
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month was set in February by the Humane Society to “encourage pet owners to spay and neuter their animals before the spring and summer months when litters are at their highest.”
Pet Dental Health Month
Take care of your pet’s teeth and gums so that they don’t have any pain or discomfort while chewing food.
Responsible Pet Owners Month
February may be the month of love, but it’s not limited to Valentine’s Day. The best way to show your pet you love them is by being a responsible owner.
Poison Prevention Awareness Month
In 1961, Poison Prevention Week was established to raise public awareness about the dangers surrounding household poisonous substances.
The holiday has gone from a week-long to what it is today: Poison Prevention Awareness Month. Being aware of the chemicals and plants that are fatal to our pets is crucial to their well-being.
Canine Fitness Month
Physical activity is crucial to a dog’s overall mental and physical well-being, and Canine Fitness Month is all about getting dogs outside and moving.
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month brings awareness to the seasonal emergence of deer ticks that can often carry Lyme disease. To prevent Lyme disease in your dog, use a tick preventer, avoid long grass, and perform daily tick checks on your dog.
National Pet First Aid Awareness Month
We hope that no pet ever needs first aid. If yours does, having a first aid plan makes caring for the animal far easier.
Chip Your Pet Month
Similar to National Lost Pet Prevention Month in July, this April awareness holiday encourages putting a microchip in your pets so you can easily find them.
National Pet Month
Love pets? In May, National Pet Month lets us celebrate all that our furry friends do for us.
National Pet Preparedness Month
National Pet Preparedness Month is a reminder to pet owners to review their family emergency plan and make sure it includes their pets.
When disaster strikes, we want to be sure that our pets’ carriers are ready to go, our food reserves account for an extra mouth, and we have a plan for either getting the dog out of the house or keeping it calm and safe inside.
Dog House Repair Month
While most dogs shouldn’t sleep outside, having a dog house in your yard is the perfect way to provide an oasis of shade and privacy for your pup while you’re both outdoors. Dog House Repair Month is a great time to build or improve dog houses to keep canines healthy, cool, and happy.
National Lost Pet Prevention Month
10 million pets go missing every year, and this holiday aims to reduce that number as much as possible.
Pet Hydration Awareness Month
The July heat can be suffocating, so be sure your pooch has plenty to drink.
National Immunization Awareness Month
Just like humans, dogs greatly benefit from immunization shots. It can be the difference between life and death, so recognize National Immunization Awareness Month by keeping your pet’s shots up-to-date!
Responsible Dog Ownership Month
September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month – a time for dog owners to evaluate and improve their overall dog-care routines. The American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests many ways you can observe this holiday, including exercise, socialization, and emergency preparedness.
Pet Sitter Education Month
During Pet Sitter Education Month, owners show love to professional pet sitters’ commitment and ensuring they are well-educated.
National Pet Insurance Month
Unexpected veterinary bills are never fun, and National Pet Insurance Month stresses the importance of an insurance plan that includes animals.
Animal Pain Awareness Month
September is also a time to spread awareness about pet discomforts such as swelling joints, breathing issues, and obesity.
National Pet Wellness Month
October is National Pet Wellness Month — 31 days where people focus on their pets’ overall well-being. Pet owners can use this month to schedule regular vet appointments, improve their pet’s hygiene, and implement daily exercise routines. This holiday is a great opportunity to surprise your pet with fancy snacks like CBD dog treats that improve their overall wellness.
National Pit Bull Awareness Month
National Pit Bull Awareness Month is all about showing some love for the spunky and sometimes misunderstood Pit Bull breed. Sadly, Pit Bulls often get a bad rap, and many people assume they’re dangerous or aggressive. In reality, Pit Bulls are sweet, silly, lovable dogs, and this holiday showcases those qualities.
Animal Safety and Protection Month
In October, celebrate Animal Safety and Protection Month to spread awareness of the responsibility that caring for a pet requires.
National Senior Pet Month
Everybody loves puppies and kittens, but National Senior Pet Month reminds us that there are plenty of elderly pets in need of a home!
Week-Long Pet Holidays
4/1 – 4/7 – International Pooper Scooper Week
We’re sure you’re a good pet owner who picks up after their animal, but not everyone is so responsible. During International Pooper Scooper Week, remind others to toss their pet’s leavings so that others don’t have to!
4/11 – 4/17 – National Dog Bite Prevention Week
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), this week is meant to educate people on preventing dog biting. The AVMA offers helpful resources on dog bite prevention, including training tactics to implement during puppyhood.
4/17 – 4/23 – National Pet ID Week
National Pet ID Week is all about tags. Whichever animal you own, some sort of identification is crucial for getting lost pets home.
5/3 – 5/8 – Puppy Mill Action Week
Puppy Mill Action Week is observed the week before Mother’s Day, which is fitting because it’s the mother dogs who suffer most at puppy mills. Female breeding dogs at puppy mills are consistently forced to become pregnant and birth litter after litter of puppies, damaging their bodies over time.
This week reminds us that there are millions of dogs in need of adoption. They’re as excited to find a loving home as you are to meet your new furry friend!
8/1 – 8/7 – International Assistance Dog Week
The first week of August is all about honoring the arduous work of assistance dogs around the world. According to the holiday’s official website, International Assistance Dog Week aims to recognize assistance dogs and their trainers. Without these people and their tail-wagging students, we wouldn’t have the benefit of their heroic community work.
One-Day Pet Holidays
3/3 – National Specially Abled Pets Day
All specially-abled pets deserve love, and May 3rd raises awareness specifically about disabled dogs that still need a home.
3/11 – National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day reminds us to include our pets in emergency plans.
3/14 – International Chihuahua Appreciation Day
Need we say more?
3/23 – National Puppy Day
Besides being a celebration of puppies’ overwhelming cuteness, National Puppy Day brings awareness to the number of dogs needing adoption from shelters. It’s also meant to discourage people from supporting puppy mills. Adopt, don’t shop!
4/8 – National Dog Fighting Awareness Day
Founded by the ASPCA, National Dog Fighting Awareness Day aims to spread the word about “breaking the chain” of illegal dog fighting in America. Dog fighting is a cruel form of abuse that thousands of dogs are illegally subjected to every day.
If you’d like to stand up against dog fighting, the ASPCA lists several ways you can help.
7/11 – American Pet Photo Day
If you’ve got a pet, odds are you’ve also got a camera roll full of adorable pet photos. On American Pet Photo Day, be sure to share those pics with everyone!
7/15 – National Pet Fire Safety Day
Kennel Club and ADT Security founded this holiday for National Pet Fire Safety in 2009 to remind owners that fire safety is just as important for dogs as it is for us. Make a fire plan with your dog today!
9/12 – National Hug Your Hound Day
National Hug Your Hound Day is a day encouraging people to take a moment, slow down, and hug their dogs. The best way to take advantage of this day and spread the love is by sharing photos of time spent playing and cuddling with your pooches.
9/18 – Puppy Mill Awareness Day
Puppy Mill Awareness Day is the third Saturday of each September. It’s a day for spreading awareness about the cruelty and neglect that dogs in puppy mills go through, often for most of their lives. Join the ASPCA in spreading awareness about puppy mills and promoting adoption.
10/1 – National Fire Pup Day
National Fire Pup Day is a holiday honoring the bravery and service of dogs who work alongside firefighters. Dalmations were the first breed to become fire dogs in the 1800s, but since then, all sorts of breeds have joined various fire-fighting crews.
10/1 – National Black Dog Day
Black Dog Syndrome is a phenomenon in which people adopt fewer black dogs from shelters than their lighter-coated companions. Some people say it’s because they look more aggressive, and others say they don’t look as good in photos. National Black Dog day reminds us that every dog is beautiful and worthy of love and adoption!
10/14 – Pet Obesity Awareness Day
Over 50% of both cats and dogs are obese, and Pet Obesity Awareness Day encourages exercise and healthy eating habits.
Ways to Celebrate Dog Holidays
There are many fantastic ways to celebrate the various dog holidays listed above. From hugging your hound to improving your pet’s wellness routine to respecting service dogs, you can show your appreciation for canines with small gestures throughout your day, every day.
The most impactful way to honor a dog holiday is to go out and adopt a dog in need. If you’re able, please consider saving a dog or two from a life of isolation. If you’re unable to take a dog in, you can still show your appreciation for canines by volunteering at shelters or donating to them!
Final Thoughts – Dog Holidays
While we celebrate our furry friends every day, these dog holidays are adorable, informational ways to raise awareness and show our pups some extra love. From the silly ones like Take Your Dog to Work Day to the serious ones like Pet Fire Safety Day, we have plenty of opportunities to celebrate dogs!