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National Make A Dog’s Day 2024: When It Is & Ways to Celebrate

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By Nicole Cosgrove

a dog with its owner outdoor

October 22nd every year marks National Make A Dog’s Day. It is a special day for the goofy, four-legged creatures that enrich our lives with unconditional love. On this day, dog lovers across the globe are encouraged to make the day extra special for their pets.

The core aim of National Make A Dog’s Day is to highlight the plight of dogs in animal shelters. According to the most recent statistics, up to 3.1 million dogs enter shelters annually in the United States.1 Overpopulation in animal shelters makes it necessary to euthanize up to 15% of these canines yearly.

Read on to learn more about National Make A Dog’s Day. We will discuss why the day is important and how you can celebrate it to make the world a better place for dogs worldwide.

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What Is National Make a Dog’s Day, and When Is It?

National Make A Dog’s Day is celebrated on October 22nd. It was started by Subaru of America, Inc. in 2019 as a way for the automaker to thank dogs for their love, support, and invaluable contribution to enriching people’s lives.

Subaru uses National Make A Dog’s Day to promote awareness about how dogs improve lives with love and loyalty. They also encourage people to adopt at least one of the millions of dogs in shelters. One of the best ways to celebrate the day is to visit a local animal shelter and adopt a dog and give it its forever home.

Most importantly, Subaru uses National Make A Dog’s Day as a reminder to consider adopting older dogs and those with disabilities. The automaker dubbed these generally “unadoptable” pets the underdogs.

Subaru stands true to its commitment to dogs with hearing impairments, mobility issues, and other disabilities. Together with the Subaru community, the automaker donates $100 for every underdog adopted from the hundreds of partner shelters across the United States.

Girl volunteer in the nursery for dogs. Shelter for stray dogs
Image Credit: David Tadevosian, Shutterstock

Is National Make a Dog’s Day the Same as Adopt a Dog Month?

October is special for dogs because it also marks “Adopt-a-Dog Month.” Subaru commemorates National Make A Dog’s Day by donating part of its proceeds throughout October!

Still, Adopt-a-Dog Month and National Make A Dog’s Day are two different holidays. They are similar in encouraging dog lovers worldwide to visit animal shelters and adopt dogs. While the American Humane Society encourages people to adopt any dog, Subaru also focuses on the “underdogs.”

The History of National Make A Dog’s Day

The National Make A Dog’s Day provides the perfect opportunity for dog lovers worldwide to give dogs an extra special day. Founded by Subaru of America, Inc. in 2019, the day is aimed at raising awareness about pet adoption.

Subaru invests heavily in campaigns that educate people about the individual rewards of making a dog feel wanted and loved. In 2008, the automaker donated over $42 million through an initiative dubbed “Subaru Loves Pets.” The funds went towards supporting animal shelters countrywide and resulted in the adoption of over 350,000 pets!

By 2022, efforts through National Make A Dog’s Day had reached 68 million people, leading to the adoption of roughly 60,000 dogs.

The Subaru’s love promise to pets extends to dogs that may be less admirable because of their age, disabilities, and care needs. With each passing year, the company devotes the entire month of October to raising awareness about the plight of all pets in animal shelters.

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The 6 Ways to Celebrate National Make A Dog’s Day

There are more ways than one to celebrate National Make A Dog’s Day. After all, it’s a day to make the pup in your life feel extra special. You can also make the day for a dog in a shelter special by adopting it.

Here are a few great ideas for celebrating National Make A Dog’s Day.

1. Engage Your Pup in Its Favorite Activity

labradoodle dog and woman owner at the park
Image Credit: Lopolo, Shutterstock

If you already have a pup, you can make the day extra special for it in several ways. First, consider adopting another dog to give the resident canine a play buddy. If this is not an option, engage your pet in the activity it likes most.

Does your dog love adventure?

Plan a long walk using a path you have never used. Make sure you have enough time to stop for photos and a quick round of petting. Most importantly, remember to carry your pup’s favorite treats. Make the holiday a little vacation where you can spoil your pet with all the attention and affection it deserves.

2. Make the Day Extra Special for Your Dog

Another excellent way to celebrate National Make a Dog’s Day is to spoil your dog.

If your doggo particularly likes your friend’s pup, organize a playdate at your home or the local dog park. Engage the pets in interactive games, letting them run around to their heart’s content.

Irrespective of the activity you opt to indulge in, National Make A Dog’s Day gives you a perfect excuse to spoil your animal. You can make the day extra special by showering it with praise and gifts. Also, don’t shy away from giving treats. Let it enjoy a few additional minutes of petting, and don’t forget to let it know how much you love it.

3. Invest in Your Dog’s Health

Thoroughbred Corgi dog is examined. Veterinary clinic
Image Credit: Andrii Medvednikov, Shutterstock

There’s no better way to spoil a dog and make it feel special than to invest in its health. As a responsible pet parent, you should not wait for October to stay on top of your pup’s health needs. Still, National Make A Dog’s Day serves as a reminder to schedule full-body checkups and even invest in some dental work.

Start by having your pet spayed or neutered to help control the population of unwanted dogs in shelters. Also, ensure your pup is at pace with all the recommended vaccinations. If you don’t have a pet health insurance policy, this would be an excellent time to sign up for one.

4. Adopt a Dog

If you don’t have a dog, adopting one is an ideal way to celebrate National Make A Dog’s Day. Visit a local animal shelter and start the adoption process of a furry friend. While you can consider adopting a dog of any age or breed, it would be extra kind if you took home an underdog.

A senior pet or one that is physically impaired is just as adorable, loyal, and lovable as any other canine. Ask the experts at the pet facility for a list of the care needs of different animals. Remember only to adopt an underdog if you are ready to keep up with the responsibilities of keeping it healthy and happy.

5. Donate or Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelter

male volunteer petting dog in animal shelter
Image Credit: Max kegfire, Shutterstock

Unfortunately, some hurdles may hinder some people from becoming pet parents. If you don’t have a dog and cannot adopt one, consider volunteering or donating to a local animal shelter.

With a population explosion in animal shelters, volunteers offer invaluable help to keep the pets happy. You can offer to take a shelter dog for a walk. Sticking around the facility throughout the day to give several goofy friends a good round of petting would also be helpful. Any support you can offer counts.

Also, you can donate money or even items to a local animal shelter. The facilities always need funds for food and other pet supplies. You could also drop by to donate items like pet toys, dog treats, or blankets.

6. Join Online Campaigns

Another excellent way to celebrate National Make A Dog’s Day is to join efforts with the Subaru community. Use the hashtag “#MakeADogsDay” on all your social media platforms and spread the word about the plight of pets in animal shelters. Ask your friends to adopt a pet or donate funds and pet supplies.

Another ideal way to participate is to post photos of you and your dog enjoying the day. All dogs are Insta-worthy, and you can encourage your friends to adopt one by showing them how your pup enriches your life. Again, remember to use the hashtag “#MakeADogsDay.”

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Final Thoughts

The National Make A Dog’s Day that occurs every year on October 22nd is a special day in honor of man’s best friend. Subaru is incredibly passionate about animal welfare. On this day, the automaker encourages everyone to go out of their way to give at least one dog the best day of its life.

If you have a pup in your household, plan to make the day extra special for it. If you don’t, celebrate the day by visiting an animal shelter and adopting a dog instead of buying one from a pet shop.

But what if you cannot adopt a dog? There is so much else you can do to celebrate National Make A Dog’s Day.

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Featured Image Credit: Inna Astakhova, Shutterstock

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