While pet parents show their love every day, August 26th marks National Dog Day! Established in 2004, this annual event is a time to show our pooches some extra attention, as well as thank the hard-working service dogs, police and military dogs for their dedicated service. It’s also a day to showcase the many dogs in shelters who would love to celebrate National Dog Day in a forever home.

How will you celebrate National Dog Day? Some schedule a favorite hike in the woods or a portrait painting by a canine artist. Others celebrate by donating their time or items to their local pet shelter. The options are endless, but a summertime adventure can be easy on your time and money while giving both of you a mini-vacation experience.

Plan Your Outing

Take some time to plan your getaway as if you were planning a vacation. Here are some ideas to get the fun revved up before you even turn the ignition key:

  • Research local parks. Check out the options within a one or two-hour radius of your home – state parks, county parks and those in your surrounding area. You’ll want to make sure you know the park’s rules beyond the obvious picking up your dog’s droppings.
  • Explore dog-friendly local attractions. Make some calls to find out if favorite spots accept leashed dogs. Your dog may love a day at a pick-your-own produce farm, winery, farmers’ market or outdoor market.
  • Find dog-friendly festivals and special events. If you have a dog that thrives on meeting new people and other dogs, try finding events such as fundraising walks for local shelters. Many feature dog exercise demos or have vendors giving cool doggie giveaways.

Pack for Your Trip

  • Eliminate extra stops. Especially in the hot August weather, it’s important to plan ahead and get the car ready to go the day before the trip. Make sure the car is full of gas, the oil is topped off and all mechanical systems are working so you don’t have to make extra stops.
  • Plan for their comfort. Think about ways to make your dog comfortable during the drive. Older dogs may need a ramp for easy entry and exit. Make sure he has enough room to stretch out for a comfy nap. Perhaps your dog would feel more secure in a crate with his favorite blanket.
  • Pack plenty of water. Freezing half-full water bottles the night before, then filling the rest with water the day of the trip, will ensure a cool drink at each stop. Take one with you at your destination along with a collapsible bowl to ensure your dog stays hydrated throughout the day.
  • Plan for an upset tummy. Every dog can get an upset stomach from riding in the car. Some require a calming supplement before the trip; others might get an unexpected wave of nausea. For those bouts of temporary vomiting or diarrhea, carry a bag of freeze-dried bland diet to help soothe the tummy.

Have a Fun, Safe Trip

  • Ensure your pet’s safety. Engage your safety devices to prevent any accidents. Make sure your dog is wearing a safety harness that’s buckled in to keep them secure in case of a sudden stop and keep them from crawling into the front seat. A harness will bring you peace of mind and keep you focused on driving. If you want to open the window so they can enjoy the smells, don’t open it so wide that they can hang their heads outside. Also, never leave your dog unattended in the car.

Related: Buckle Up, Bowser

  • Take your time. No outing is enjoyable if you are stressed out or rushed. Keep the outing simple by focusing on one key event with enough time for spontaneous stops.
  • Think like a dog. You may find certain attractions exciting, but your dog may find them too crowded and stressful. Look for simple picnic areas with lots of shade and places for them to sniff around and enjoy watching nature.
  • Catalog your day. Be sure to take lots of pictures of your outing so you can create a photo booklet of your special day to enjoy throughout the year.

Whatever you decide to do to celebrate National Dog Day is up to you, but don’t miss this opportunity to strengthen the bond you have with your special furry family member.

This blog is brought to you by Under the Weather®, makers of a line of award-winning freeze-dried bland diets for dogs experiencing a temporary bout of vomiting or diarrhea. If your dog gets an upset tummy while riding in the car, these diets can be hydrated using hot water found at any gas station or hotel. We also offer a line of nutritional supplements for dogs including our Calming soft chews.

Under the Weather is also an avid participant in the pet overpopulation cause. A portion of every sale is channeled to the Ruffy Rescue Transport Fund which finances the transportation of pets from overpopulated shelters around the U.S.A. to Vermont for adoption. The fund also covers the cost of spaying and neutering these animals. Get to know more about Ruffy and the inspiration for our company.

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