WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL DOG DAY?
International Dog Day, celebrated annually on 26 August, was founded in the US in 2004 by Colleen Paige, an Animal Advocate and a Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert, and marks the date she adopted her first family dog, Sheltie; 26 August has since been adopted as International Dog Day as the day to celebrate and appreciate the love and value that all dogs bring to humans around the world.
Colleen wanted to raise awareness of dogs in rescue centres, whether they be mixed or pure breeds and encourage all dog lovers to show our canine friends how much we love them, at the same time as recognizing that there are thousands of dogs around the world facing cruelty and difficult conditions.
Amazing Doggie Facts to celebrate!
We all know the benefits of having a human’s best friend in our home but do you know these amazing facts?
- An average dog has a similar mental ability to a 2-year-old child and can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-year-old child), including signals and gestures; more intelligent dogs can learn 250 words. How many words do you think your dog recognises?
- Some pooch breeds are known to have a high IQ:
- Border collies
- German shepherds
- Golden retrievers
- Shetland sheepdogs
- Labrador retrievers
- Your dog’s sense of smell is 100,000 times better than a human’s! Which is why they are able to smell your feelings - when a human is scared, they usually perspire and with their super sensitive nose, a dog can pick up the chemicals in sweat and react accordingly.
- Dogs can be trained to detect cancer and other diseases in humans. That super nose may even be able to sniff out cancer cells simply through smelling someone’s breath!
- The longest living dog recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records, is Bluey, an Australian cattle dog. Bluey lived to be 29 years 5 months old and lived from 1910 to 1939.
- 3 dogs travelled first class on the Titanic and survived! They were 2 Pomeranians and 1 Pekingese.
- Dogs poop in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field! That’s why you will see them move about before finally deciding on the right spot.
- A dog’s nose print is unique, much like a human's fingerprints.
- The shortest dog recorded by height is Miracle Milly, standing tall at 9.65 cm (3.8 in) to the shoulder, as confirmed in 2013.
- The tallest dog recorded is Zeus, a Great Dane standing up to an unparalleled 111.8 cm (3 ft 8 in) from the ground to the withers - about the equivalent of just over 11 Miracle Millys!
HOW TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL DOG DAY…
...With your own dog
26 August is a great day to make your dog feel even more special! Why not set the day aside to have some extra special bonding time together.
Make a cake: With carefully selected ingredients, you can make your favourite pooch their very own doggie cake - just make sure they only have one slice at a time! After all, there’s nothing wrong with extending the celebrations for a few days!
Organize a play date: Arrange a get together in the park with your dog’s favourite buddies. Don’t forget to take lots of balls and frizbees to keep them all happy - and plenty of water for doggie refreshment.
Learn a new trick: Despite the old adage, teaching an old dog a new trick is definitely possible. Although training a dog is easier when they are young and more receptive, training an older dog just takes more time, repetition and patience.
Don’t forget the camera: Capture those memorable moments and make an album of the great times you share with your dog. You don’t need to try and get your dog to pose (that’s almost impossible!) but you can get some beautiful pictures when you are out walking, at playtime, or even just when you are having some quiet time together. Here’s how to find out if your dog might be an Instagram Star! Don’t forget to post them online on your favourite social media channel and raise awareness too!
Play a new game: We’ve talked about how clever a dog’s nose is. Have you tried playing scent games with your dog? From playing hide and seek, to finding the treat, you can have some great fun in the house and in the garden scent training your pooch and playing games at the same time!
Chilling out: What better way to end International Dog Day than by chilling out together? After playing with his buddies, learning new tricks and games, starring in a photoshoot and tucking into their favourite cake, why not sit down and watch a dog themed movie together whilst giving them a relaxing grooming session.
Use ADAPTIL: Using an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser all year round will help your special friend feel calm and relaxed in all situations around the home. Use ADAPTIL Spray when travelling in a car, and an ADAPTIL Calm On-The-Go Collar to provide constant comfort and security to your pooch when out on a walk.
... For other Dogs
Your dog is lucky to have a loving home, but on International Dog Day, consider other ways you can help the international canine community:
Volunteering at a local rescue centre you may be able to help with doggie care, tending grounds or gardens, help in one of the doggie charity shops or help with the doggie training classes.
Donations are always welcome at local dog rescue centres; this could be donating food, blankets or doggie toys.
Sponsor an Assistance Dog. We know how special an assistance dog is, but before dogs are allocated to their new impaired owner, they need a lot of special care, socializing and training. Sponsoring a puppy or dog will help with specialize their training and day to day care, including any veterinary costs.
Walk another dog: Some people are unable to walk their dogs regularly; this may be because they are at work, off sick, or elderly and unable to walk far themselves. Walking someone else’s dog on International Dog Day - and any other day - will help both humans and canines alike.
However you and your closest pooches choose to celebrate, enjoy the day!