Happy DOGust! In 2008 the North Shore Animal League America, the largest no kill shelter in the nation, declared August 1st as DOGust, the universal birthday for shelter dogs. Animal shelter workers can’t often pinpoint exactly how old a shelter pet is when they come into the shelter because most of them have unknown histories and birthdays. Some people celebrate their dogs’ birthday as their “gotcha day,” to commemorate when they brought their new pet home. While that day is certainly important, it’s still not a birthday. And for all the dogs waiting in the shelter for their future family, shouldn’t they get a birthday, too?
By starting DOGust a decade ago, there is now a special day that pet parents can celebrate their adopted pets birthday, while also bringing awareness to other animals who are waiting for forever homes in shelters around the nation. So what’s the best way to mark the occasion? If you are ready to open your heart and home to a new pet, the ultimate celebration would be to visit a shelter and pick out a future furry best friend. However, that is not always possible, giving a donation is easy and much appreciated. Sharing adoptable pets on social media feeds is another way to bring attention to DOGust, maybe someone else will find their furry best friend through you. Spread the word of DOGust by using the DOGust# hashtag.
Already have a pet adopted from a shelter? Then there’s no better time than to throw a party for the pooches! Since August is almost always hot and humid, invite dog loving friends and their pets over for a pool party. Whether it be a kiddie pool, an actual pool or even a sprinkler, the dogs will love it. Add some DIY frozen treats to keep the dogs cool, a cake from a pet bakery and the day is made. Hopefully by the end of the day, all the dogs will be tired and happy. If a pet isn’t into being social or is shy, letting them unwrap a new toy or taking them for a long walk can be their birthday present.
With so many animals waiting in shelters, they will love the extra attention lavished on them on DOGust when they do find their forever home. Will your pet be joining millions of others on their special day, or do they have an official day? No matter how it is celebrated, it’s the perfect time to honor and return the love dogs give us every day.