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Celebrate National Dog Day on August 26th

For Colleen Paige, Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, August 26 was a significant day in her life. It is the day that that her family adopted her first dog, Sheltie. In 2004, wanting to celebrate canines everywhere, she chose August 26 to celebrate National Dog Day. National Dog Day has grown in the past 12 years to be recognized as a day to celebrate all dogs big and small, mixed breed and pure. Its mission is to acknowledge all the amazing work that dogs do on a daily basis. This work includes detecting seizures and cancer, keeping their police partners safe, sniffing out bombs and drugs and making people smile who have recently been through a tragedy.

The other mission of National Dog Day is to educate people on the cons of purchasing a dog from a breeder, as well as breed bans. Paige, along with a growing number of fellow Americans and pet lovers, believe that although anybody has the right to purchase a puppy from questionable facilities such as puppy mills, backyard breeders, the Internet and newspaper ads, the best way to find a furry companion is through adoption. Another place to find healthy pets is a large chain pet store that hosts adoption events with local shelter and rescues. If a future pet parent is looking for a pure breed, they can always look into a pure breed rescue to see if they have any pets they are interested in. If a future pet parent is still convinced that they want to buy from a breeder, they should verify that a breeder is reputable by checking out their licensing, internet reviews, and reach out to local references to see if they have heard any good or bad things about the breeder. Pet parents should do their research on the breed they are planning on adding to their family as it is important that they choose a pet and breed that matches their lifestyle. Choosing a pet on its looks alone can lead to a poor match and result in the pet being given up.

There are plenty of ways to show appreciation to dogs on National Dog Day. The best way of course, is to adopt a furry friend! But if that's not a possibility, the simple act of dropping off used blankets, tasty treats and new toys will ensure that they are given proper attention and care while waiting for their future families. If trying to make a difference for the lives of animals getting mistreated in puppy mills and labs, pet lovers can organize a peaceful demonstration in front of a community pet store that sells puppies, or even write a letter to their congressman protesting against puppy mills. And if pet lovers just want to show how much they love their pets and have a bit of fun, they can hire a professional pet photographer, buy a pet a new toy, or even take them to a doggy play resort. 

National Dog Day his gained more exposure in the press each year, and hopefully, the continued success of the holiday will give many more lucky dogs their forever homes. So show appreciation to the dogs in your lives and make their day!