Dog Holidays | Pupford

May 16th, 2023

Filed under Lifestyle + Stories

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We’re not saying you need dog holidays to celebrate your pup or do something fun in their honor -- but it doesn’t hurt to have an excuse right?

So get ready to mark your calendars, because today we’re talking about some fun dog holidays!

We're going to take a month-by-month look at all the days throughout the year that you can celebrate with your dog -- and some creative ways to do so!

dog holidays

Let’s get right into it!


focused-dog-with-beef-liver-treats 2 | Pupford

Fun fact: January is National Train Your Dog Month! Whether you’re welcoming a new pup into the family or made it your New Year’s Resolution to teach your dog fun new tricks, it’s a perfect time to commit to a training schedule.

The Pupford Academy gives you access to the ever-growing library of dog training courses (even if it's not National Train Your Dog Month)!

January 24th: Change a Pet’s Life Day

Welcoming dogs into our home changes our lives forever -- now it’s time to do the same for them!

This is the perfect day to adopt a dog searching for their forever home, to sponsor a dog in need, or to volunteer at a shelter to give a dog a little extra love and playtime.

Even the smallest gesture will change their life!


The Humane Society of the United States named February Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. Since there are a lot of questions around this topic, we put together this Dog Spaying and Neutering Guide to help dog parents make responsible decisions.

February 3rd: Doggie Date Night

We’re sure you don’t need an excuse to spend a night with your pup -- but this is a great time to get creative with it.

Doggie Date Night was established by groups of businesses who wanted a way for people to include their dogs in otherwise human-only activities. You can also celebrate by bringing your dog on a puppy play date, or making a “date” to volunteer to walk/play with a dog in a shelter.

February 22nd: Walking the Dog Day

dog-owner-walking-their-dog | Pupford

It’s important that your dog gets daily exercise, which is why all of the dogs in the world came together to petition for Walking the Dog Day! 😉

Ok, maybe that’s not exactly how it happened, but there is no clear backstory for this national day so that’s the one we’re sticking to!

Make it a point to walk your dog on February 22nd and get fresh air and exercise together. You can also reach out to family and friends who may not be home during the day and volunteer to walk their dogs!


March 13th: K-9 Veteran’s Day

We celebrate Veteran’s Day for the people who have served their country, we should honor the dogs who have served too!

K-9 Veteran’s Day is observed on March 13th, the same day in 1942 that the Army began training for the War Dog Program, marking the first time that dogs were a part of the military.

For K-9 Veteran’s Day, you can organize a doggy parade like our human counterparts do to get everyone together and celebrate. If that’s not possible, you can use this day to support organizations like America's VetDogs.

March 23rd: National Puppy Day

a-young-yellow-lab-puppy | Pupford

Floppy ears, paws they haven’t quite grown into, that energetic personality… there are endless reasons why we love puppies!

National Puppy Day was brought to existence by author and animal advocate Colleen Paige in 2006 to not only give everyone an opportunity to show their puppies extra love but to raise awareness of puppies in need and puppy mill abuse.

To celebrate, post a picture of your pup on Instagram and tag @pupford! Then, research some local rescue missions you can support to get dogs out of puppy mills and into loving homes.


April is Active Dog Month so we’d like to challenge you to accumulate as many steps or minutes of playtime with your pup as much as possible. Have a friendly competition with the other dog parents in your life.

April 10th: National Hug Your Dog Day

This day is an ode to emotional support dogs, who became recognized by federal legislation in 1973. Hugging your dog not only makes you happy, but it also can show your pups you love them too!

This is a great day to gather the whole family and host a photoshoot where each member can get a pic hugging the pup!

April 30th: Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

While this doesn’t apply to dogs specifically, we felt that it was important enough to share anyway!

If you are in a position to welcome a shelter dog into your family on this day, we promise it will be life-changing for both of you in the best way.

If you are not able, that’s understandable, you can still honor the day by volunteering at a local shelter or donate needed items.


May is National Pet Month, so be sure to include all your animals in your celebrations!

May 20th: National Rescue Dog Day

If you have a rescue dog, you know how special they are. Join the movement by showing your pup off on Instagram with the tag #nationalrescuedogday and get others to do the same!

The best way to celebrate is by opening your home to adopting or fostering a shelter dog. But if you want your celebration to focus just on the rescue dog you have now, that’s fine too, they deserve it!


a-dog-in-a-birthday-party-outfit | Pupford

June 21st: National Dog Party Day

Not only does June 21st kick off the first day of summer, but it’s also National Dog Party Day!

This is a great day to gather your human and dog friends together for a backyard party. If you need ideas, this article about dog birthday parties has plenty!

June 23: Take Your Dog to Work Day

In response to the popular “Take Your Child to Work Day,” Pet Sitters International created Take Your Dog to Work Day in 1999. If your workplace allows, take your pup with you for the day!

Just be sure to bring water, a water bowl, food, treats, toys, and incorporate walk breaks into your day.

If taking your dog to work is not an option, or you work from home, you can have your dog be part of a video conference, or get their face put onto a mug so you can always have them with you at work!


Did you know that July is Dog House Repair Month? Since July is a warmer weather month, it’s a great time to make sure your dog’s outdoor spaces are up to law requirements -- and the latest trends of course.

July 1st - ID Your Dog Day

July 1st was named ID Your Dog Day in preparation for the 4th of July.

Unfortunately, thousands of dogs are frightened by fireworks and escape each year. Even if fireworks are no sweat for your pup, this is a great time to check that all information on their ID tags is up to date and visible.

A cool new tag and collar are a great way to celebrate!

Related Reading: Dogs & Fireworks


August is a big month for dog holidays -- maybe that’s why they’re called the dog days of summer?

August 1st: DOGust Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs

Shelter dogs often don’t get the birthday treats and love that dogs in homes do, and often it’s impossible to know a shelter dog’s real date of birth, so the North Shore Animal League of American named August 1st the day to celebrate!

Make a dog-friendly birthday treat and bring it to your local shelter so all the dogs can have something special.

If your dog’s DOB is unknown, be sure to celebrate them this day!

August 10th: Spoil Your Dog Day

dog-favor-ideas-for-a-dog-birthday-party 2 | Pupford

You’re welcome for giving you another excuse. But aside from continuing to do what you do every day, try something new with your dog -- it could be an adventure like a hike, a tasty treat, or a new toy.

You know they deserve it!

August 26th: National Dog Day

Colleen Paige, who founded National Puppy Day, is also responsible for National Dog Day! It was founded in 2004 and is celebrated on August 26th to commemorate the day her family adopted her first dog when Colleen was a child.

Use this day to spend quality time with your dogs, help out a local shelter, or create care packages to send to dogs in need.

It’s also a great excuse to arrange a doggy play date!


September 16th: Responsible Dog Ownership Day

The third Saturday in September was named Responsible Dog Ownership Day by the American Kennel Club in 2003, as that was the 119th anniversary of the AKC’s existence.

It celebrates all of the responsible dog parents and sheds light on the importance of caring for our dogs the proper way.

Take this day to be mindful of the steps of responsible dog parenthood, including:

  • Discussing spaying/neutering with your vet
  • Getting proper veterinary and grooming care
  • Providing adequate food, water, exercise, and mental stimulation
  • Proper waste disposal (check out our new poop bags!)
  • Staying up to date on shots

Then, celebrate by gathering all of the responsible dog parents you know for a playdate or trip to a dog park!


October 17th: National Fetch Day

dog playing fetch | Pupford

Created by Petmate in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Chuckit!, the third Saturday in October has been known as National Fetch Day since 2018.

Fetch is a great way to give your pup the physical and mental exercise they need.

Grab your dog and some friends, and head to a dog-friendly park and organize a giant game of fetch to celebrate!


November has been named Adopt A Senior Pet Month by the ASPCA. There are thousands of senior dogs in shelters that go overlooked, even though they are often well-behaved and have so much love to give.

Keep senior dogs in mind when you are deciding to welcome a new dog into your home! (This is one of my favorite dog holidays, senior pups are the best!)

dog smiling on grass | Pupford

November 1st: National Cook For Your Pets Day

While the origins of National Cook For Your Pets Day is unclear, the celebration couldn’t be more simple! The rest of your family gets to enjoy home-cooked meals every day (pizza nights count in my book), so why doesn’t your dog?

Take this day to make a special dog-friendly recipe. Before you get cooking, be sure to check this list of fruits and vegetables that dogs can and can’t eat.

For some extra fun, get the whole family involved. Have your kids or other family members help you make a meal for the family along with a dog-safe version!


December 9th: International Day of Veterinary Medicine

While there are no dog holidays in December, there is a day so important that it’s celebrated around the world. International Day of Veterinary Medicine was first celebrated in 2000 by the World Veterinary Association to highlight the life-saving work done by veterinarians that year.

While your pup may not be on board with paying a visit to your vet to say thanks, you can still show your gratitude for the doctors that keep your dog healthy.

Try making a unique craft with your dog and dropping it at the vet’s office -- they’ll love it just as much as you will!


So there you have it -- all (or at least, most of) the dog holidays in the year!

Remember you can add all of these holidays to your personal calendar by clicking below ⤵️

Google Calendar – Dog Holidays

What other dog-inspired holidays have you heard of? Let us know in the comments!


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