How much do we love our dogs? Let us count the ways! According to the American Pet Products Assn (APPA), more than 60% of all US households have a pet, and more than 70 million of those are dogs!
To help us honor our 4-legged friends and family members, September 24-30 marks the 84th annual National Dog Week (NDW). Established by Captain William Lewis Judy in 1928 to celebrate military canines, companion animals and responsible pet ownership, NDW has grown with our canine population and today boasts its own facebook page and blog!
Not that we need an excuse to heap extra love and attention on our dogs, but here are a few ideas to show yours how much you care during NDW:
Make Quality Time
Spend at least 15 minutes every day next week indulging your dog in his favorite activities! Don’t know what they are? Get busy and find out! Jogging with you? Playing with a ball? Fetching a Frisbee? Belly rubs? Discovering Fido’s Top 5 will help you build a stronger bond with your dog.
Stock up on goodies from a local bakery – such as Bone-A-Patreat or Brown Dog Bakery – or try making your own yummy homemade treats.
Fun doesn’t have to be expensive! Try making hand-made toys or finding new ways to entertain your pooch. It doesn’t have to be pretty – it’s the thought that counts …
Pamper Your Pooch
Not all dogs love a trip to the groomer, but most enjoy a good brushing and muscle massage from their home peeps!
Share the Love
NDW is also a good week to bestow time, money, food, toys or other acts of goodwill on local rescues or pet charities. Luckily, there’s no shortage of awesome animal organizations in the metro. To name a few: Animal Rescue League of Iowa, AHeinz57, Animal Lifeline, Pet Project Midwest, (programs include Iowa Pet Alert, Pet Food Pantry and Fence Project Des Moines). On Saturday, Sept. 22, stretch your legs to raise money for service dogs in Paws & Effect’s 2 mile “Paws for a Cause” dog walk.
Got dog? Don’t leave home without him! Take Rover with you to run pet-friendly errands. Visit area Dog Parks, if appropriate, or enroll your dog in daycare for a few sessions of structured socialization and playtime.
Learn New Tricks
It’s never too late to educate (you or your dog!). Teach new tricks at home, or commit to taking a class you haven’t tried before – obedience, rally, nosework, freestyle, agility and more. So many possibilities for fun with your dog!
Not THAT election – we’re talking about our Back to School Challenge! Finalists’ videos will be posted online during NDW for public voting at www.CanineCraze.com. Help pick the winner who will receive a year’s worth of FREE daycare!
However you choose to celebrate, we hope you and your dog enjoy National Dog Week. Remember, happy dogs = happy homes and happy people!
Ask the Trainer: Renee Jetter, ABCTC, CPCT
- Professional dog trainer; co-owner of Canine Craze Performance Center in Urbandale – an 18,000 sq-ft. dog training, daycare, boarding and events facility. Animal Behavior College, 2006 graduate.
- Expertise: puppy development; positive reinforcement training; obedience; competition; agility; tricks; freestyle; scent detection; canine good citizen/therapy dog testing; Paws & Effect volunteer service dog trainer.