The UK is a nation of animal lovers - especially dogs. According to findings from the PDSA, 26 per cent of UK adults have a dog, which is an estimated population of 9.6 million pet dogs.
While you probably don’t need an excuse to spoil your pooch more than you do already, today is the perfect day to do just that.
National Dog Day 2021 is officially upon us, and this is everything you need to know.
What is National Dog Day - and when is it?
National Dog Day is a day to celebrate everything to do with dogs, and its mission is to “help galvanise the public to recognise the number of dogs that need rescued each year and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly every day to save lives, keepy up safe and bring comfort”, according to the website.
It adds: “Dogs put their lives on the line every day...for personal protection, for law enforcement, for the disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage, now they're detecting cancer and seizures...things even humans cannot do.”
It was founded in 2004 by Colleen Paige, who is a pet and lifestyle expert, animal rescue advocate, conservationist, dog trainer and author.
National Dog Day is also against any kind of breed ban, with founder Paige saying: “Dogs should not have to lose their lives because of the atrocities they have been forced to endure at the hands of man.”
Paige has also founded other such days as well, such as National Puppy Day (23 March), National Mutt Day (31 July and 2 December), National Cat Day (29 October) and National Wildlife Day (22 February and 4 September).
The day is celebrated annually on 26 August - this date is significant because it is the date that Paige’s family adopted her first dog from the local animal shelter when she was 10 years old.
How do I celebrate National Dog Day?
There are loads of ways you can celebrate National Dog Day, whether you have your own four legged friend or not.
If you do have your own dog, today offers an excuse to spoil them a little bit more than usual - take them to their favourite park or a long walk, give them some extra treats and maybe even splurge on some new toys as well.
Paige says:“All a dog wants to do is love you and be loved by you. Dogs are amazing, courageous, sensitive and sentient beings that deserve compassion and respect.”
If you don’t have a dog of your own, you could always donate things like money, blankets, food and toys to your local animal shelter.
In honour of the day, you could watch some of the best films starring dogs as well, such as:
Marley & Me
A Dog’s purpose
Isle of Dogs
Lady and the Tramp
A Dog’s Journey
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
What are the best quotes about dogs?
There are some of the best quotes about dogs that you can share on social media to celebrate National Dog Day 2021.
“I want to work like a dog, doing what I was born to do with joy and purpose. I want to play like a dog, with total, jolly abandon.” - Oprah Winfrey.
“If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” - Will Rogers.
“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one is a life diminished.” - Dean Koontz.
“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” - Agatha Christie.
“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” - Roger Caras.
“If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am.” - Charles Yu.
“The dog is a gentleman; I hope I go to his heaven, not man’s.” - Mark Twain.
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” - Gilda Radner.
"Dogs are our link to paradise.” - Milan Kundera.
“No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich.” - Louis Sabin.