Happy birthday to all the shelter dogs out there!

Happy August 1st! Otherwise known as DOGust 1st, the universal birthday for rescued dogs whose actual birthdays aren’t known.

Falling right into the dog days of summer, this is the perfect time to celebrate the pooch in your life, and I’ve got a few ideas on how to do just that!

Plenty of Pets

Let your dog know that today’s a special day by laying the pets on thick. Scratch that special spot behind his ear and spend more time than you usually would stroking your pup’s smooth coat. This is a simple way to start off the celebration that costs nothing, takes very little energy, and even has some stress-reducing benefits for you too!

Take a Special Walk

If simply giving your dog extra pets doesn’t feel like enough of a birthday celebration, why not go for a special walk together? DOGust 1st is the perfect time to revisit your pup’s favorite trail or try a whole new hike.

Take time to smell the roses, or whatever it is that seems to capture your dog’s attention every three steps or so. And, if your dog loves to swim, today may be the day to let him finally hop in the creek you always call him away from on your walks (if it’s safe to do so, of course!)

Sure, you’ll have to put down some towels in the car, but you’ll have one happy pooch!

Go to the Groomer....Or Not

You’ll have to make the call on this one based on your dog’s individual personality, but if they like going to the groomer, now would be the perfect time to go and get a birthday haircut.

If they hate going and avoid it any time you try to take them in, maybe reschedule that nail trimming appointment to a different day!

Bring on the Treats

If you’ve never been to a doggy bakery, now is the perfect time to visit one. You would be surprised how many there actually are! Even human-focused bakeries sometimes have dog treats on hand or even a separate dog-friendly menu. Search around your area to see if you can find a place like that to get a cute birthday treat for your pup.

If not, you can always use some of your dog’s favorite, high value or rarely given treats. If you’re feeling a little bit extra, you could even make this doggie birthday cake made with peanut butter, carrots, and honey!

Schedule a Playdate...

An afternoon of running around with your doggie bff is one of the best ways to celebrate a dog’s birthday. Bonus points if the other dog is a rescue also and they both get to celebrate their birthday together!

Plus, this will give the humans time to hang out with each other as they watch the dogs play and make sure things don’t get out of hand.

Or a Party!

If your dog is a social butterfly and has made many friends around the neighborhood, you may want to invite them all over for a big pooch party! Invite friends or family with dogs, neighborhood dogs, and any other pups your dog knows and likes over to your house to run around in the yard together, play games, take home a doggie bag full of treats, and maybe even partake in a slice of doggie birthday cake. Your social dog will have a blast!

You’ll need to be careful when forming the guest list to make sure that all the dogs invited will get along well together. If you’re worried about aggression at all, have all dogs kept on their leashes. Don’t forget about your human guests, too! Make sure they’re responsible pet owners, and consider how many young children you want to have present at the event, if any.

Buy a Present

If you want to celebrate your dog’s birthday the human way, a present certainly wouldn’t go amiss. Try a new collar, a comfy bed, a new leash, or even a photo-op ready doggie bandana from DoneGood-approved brands like Flowfold, Boots&Arrow, and Brentwood Home.

If you want to up the excitement factor even more, you could even let your dog unwrap their gift themselves. Wrap it up in paper (or in a gift bag if your dog is new at this) and let them tear it out and start playing. Just make sure to keep a close eye on them as they’re doing this and make sure they don’t eat any of the paper bits!


Kayla Robbins
DoneGood Contributor

A freelance writer working with bighearted businesses who wants to better our world.

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