National Puppy Day has something for everyone. Here are a few ways you can celebrate on March 23rd and throughout the year.
If you’re one of those people who calls all dogs, “puppies” (even if they’re clearly greying) National Puppy Day is for you. Created by Colleen Paige in 2006, National Puppy Day is intended as a day to celebrate puppies and raise awareness about the horrors of puppy mills.
Whether you have a puppy at home, are thinking of bringing a puppy into your family, or just want to share your love of puppies far and wide - National Puppy Day has something for everyone. Here are a few ways you can celebrate on March 23rd and throughout the year.
Five ways to celebrate National Puppy Day
1. Volunteer at your local shelter
Volunteering at an animal shelter is one of the best things you can do to help out dogs and puppies in need. You can do a quick Google search for shelters in your area, or use Petfinder’s search for animal shelters and rescues. Most shelters will need volunteers who can come at a consistent time, so think about how often you can show up to volunteer before contacting a shelter.
This is me, volunteering with puppies at a local shelter.
If you’re strapped for time, you can always ask shelter’s what supplies they need and make a donation or do a fundraiser in your community. Many organizations are now partnering with affiliate websites (like Amazon smile) to make online shopping an easy way to donate. In addition to supplies and cash donations, there are many other ways to help out shelters. If you’re a photographer, see if your local shelter needs photos of their adoptable animals. If you happen to have extra room in your home, foster a puppy! Or two!
3. Learn about puppy mills and take action
“A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs,” says the ASPCA. States have varying laws regarding puppy mills and they’re unfortunately still a widespread problem in the United States.
Puppy mills like this one are still legal in some states!
Beware of mall puppy stores and disreputable breeders. Puppy mills often sell their dogs to mall stores or breeders post on online sites, and if you sense that this is the case, look into it. Successful mall store boycotts have led to puppy mills being shut down, and the state of California recently passed legislation to require stores to only sell dogs and other animals from rescue organizations. When it comes to puppies, adopt, don’t shop!
4. Celebrate your puppy!
While you surely celebrate your puppy everyday (if you’re lucky enough to be a proud pup-parent) you can make National Puppy Day extra special. Just as some pet parents choose to celebrate their dog’s “Adoptaversary” date, starting a tradition for celebration your pooch is just plain fun. Try baking them a special treat made with pumpkin, oats, or other human foods dogs can eat.
5. Sign up for a puppy training class
Training your puppy is a great way to improve your bond and instill good doggie behavior early on. Many shelters offer puppy training classes, or they can often recommend a good local class or trainer. Group puppy training classes also help socialize your young dog and can clue you in on how they react in new situations. Make sure you bring your learnings back home, and use positive reinforcement when your puppy does something good.
Fetch! Puppy training is fun and important for dog and parent, not only on national puppy day.
For the love of puppies
No matter how many puppies are in your life, National Puppy Day is a way to share the love and spread awareness against puppy mills. Support adoption of puppies and never buy from a disreputable breeder or puppy mill. Choose any (or all!) of the ways above to celebrate, and keep advocating for proper puppy care the other 364 days of the year.