With tons of tail-wagging ideas, making a dog's day also gives you much-needed canine therapy.

According to the National Day Calendar, National Make a Dog's Day is celebrated each year on October 22. What a fun day to celebrate and bring joy to our canine companions who wag their tails consistently each time we walk in the door!

“Everything I know I learned from dogs.” – Nora Roberts (author, The Search)

Dogs are faithful. Dogs are playful. Dogs are the best of friends. The unconditional love and affection dogs freely give us inspire us to celebrate them (even more often than once a year).

You still have time today to plan something special for your own dog or to intentionally let other dogs know they're special ... just because.

Making a Dog's Day By Adopting

Rather than giving a dog a bone, consider giving a dog a home. Visit a shelter and begin your life as a dog-person. And to take some pressure off, you can visit the shelter without intent on adopting that day (or ever). Shelters often welcome visitors to bring new chew toys or to take dogs on short walks. Check your local shelter's website for a list of needs and visiting details. The Humane Society of the United States is also looking for volunteers. 

Adopting (rather than purchasing) a dog comes with delightful perks. Most shelters have adoption fees that include veterinary check-ups, shots, and wellness information.

"Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter shelters in the United States annually, many being relinquished by their owners. Worse still, approximately 35% of the animals that enter shelters are euthanized. While numbers continue to decline, the need for adoption continues to be overwhelming. One sure way to make a dog’s day is giving them a new, loving home through adoption," says ASPCA.org.

When you're serious about adoption, you have multiple resources available. Visit your local Humane Society or browse a number of online adoption services. Many of the online services provide adoption for pets other than dogs as well.

  • Adopt a Pet: North America's largest nonprofit pet adoption website. Search for dogs, cats, and shelters in your area.
  • Petfinder: Celebrating more than 20 years of pet adoption. Explore a list of available dogs and research tips about dog care.
  • Rescue Me: A nationwide database of dogs (and other animals) available for adoption. You can browse by dog breed and by location.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace.” – Milan Kundera (Author, The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

Making a Dog's Day By Playing

If you already have dogs, consider what your canine companion would enjoy most today. A special treat? Fresh and fancy dog food? A new chew toy? A new bone? Best yet, your dog would enjoy spending extra time with you. Take off work a bit early today and go for a long walk with a stop at a nearby park. Is it too much to consider letting your dog sleep in your bed tonight? Just this once ...

Or plan a playdate with other dogs. If you have other dogs in your neighborhood, plan an informal playdate at the neighborhood park. Enjoy interacting with friends (human and canine). You can also venture to a nearby dog park and allow both you and your dog to meet someone new.

Making a Dog's Day By Being Healthy

When was the last time you took your dog to visit the veterinarian? Schedule an appointment now to be sure your dog is healthy, is up-to-date on all vaccinations, and has been spayed or neutered. Research the latest trends in dog food and check your own selection of dog food to see how it measures up. Give your dog the best life by choosing to be healthy throughout the year.

What did you do today to make a dog's day? Tell us more in the comments below.