In 2019, Subaru, in partnership with the ASPCA, joined together to establish the first “National Make a Dog’s Day” celebration to raise awareness for pet adoption, particularly special needs and/or difficult to adopt pets. For those of us whose homes are already full of pets, I like to think of October 22nd as the day to celebrate my animal companions by choosing to do the activities they enjoy most.  Here are my top 10 suggestions for ways to celebrate their special day. Be sure and share how you and your canine companions celebrated by using the hashtag #MakeADogsDay.

Adventure time!

Whether your dog likes to frolic on the beach, walk a trail, or just take a ride in the car with the windows down, taking them out of the house for the day is a great way to celebrate.

Let them choose!

Whether it’s choosing to walk one direction in your neighborhood or another, let your dog make some of the choices today.  Dogs have very few opportunities to choose what they want.  Maybe while you’re out in the car, you can take them to the pet store to choose a new treat or toy!

Play time!

Get in there and play with your dog!  Whether you are throwing a ball, dragging a flirt pole, or playing tug-of-war, your dogs love the one-on-one time they get when you play with them. If you’ve never tried a flirt pole, here’s our favorite.

Dogs love baked goods too!

Pumpkin is good for your dog, so why not bake these healthy pumpkin treats for your pup today?

Follow their noses!

Dogs are all about sniffing and exploring.  Today’s the day to put them on a long leash and let them explore, noses to the ground.  Follow them and see just what they find! Because retractable leashes really aren’t pet-friendly or safe, why not try a long line instead. They are a much safer way to give your dog the freedom to explore.

Snack Break!

Dogs love yogurt and ice cream too, so how about a date to a local purveyor of those yummy, shareable snacks?

Time to try something new!

If you’ve been thinking about trying herding, agility, flyball, or nosework with your dog, now’s the time to sign them up and see if they will enjoy a new challenge

Dogs just want to have fun!

If your dog is a social butterfly, schedule a play date in your backyard for them and their best buddies.

Work on some new tricks!

Tricks training is fun and rewarding for you and your dog and training is a great way to keep your dog focused and engaged.  Don’t forget treats for trying (and succeeding) and keep the training sessions short and fun!

Relax and unwind together!

In the late 1970’s, a woman named Linda Tellington devised a massage technique with horses that improved their quality of life.  Since then, she’s created a version that can be done with dogs to support health and well-being, and strengthen the bond between guardian and pet.  Try a few of the simpler techniques with your dog and figure out what they enjoy and find the most relaxing. Find her book here.

Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at


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