National Dog Day August 26

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http://www.nationaldogday.com/

National Dog Day (Also known as: World Dog Day, International Dog Day & National Dog Appreciation Day) is celebrated August 26th annually and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.

ways to celebrate:

1. Adopt a dog from your local shelter or pure breed rescue organization. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a dog or play with a dog, clean cages or anything else they need help with.

2. Have a safety check of your home to make sure it’s safe for your dog and others.

3. Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.

4. Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies.

5. Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of Puppy Mills and Gas Chambers in your state.

6. Order an adorable dog shaped flower arrangement from 1-800-Flowers.com and enjoy a 10% discount by using code GOODLIVING when placing your order!

7. Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs!

8. Spend the day taking photos of your dog and then enter our photo contest!

9. Buy an official National Dog Day Tee here and sport it proudly!

10. Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog.

11. Have a portrait painted of your dog to suspend the fleeting magic of dogdom.

12. Buy your dog a fun new dog toy….or two…or five.

13. Give your dog some fun exercise by taking him or her to a doggy play resort.

15. Brush your dog to eliminate excess fur.

16. Give your dog a massage or holistic spa treatment.

17. Teach your dog a new trick.

18. Buy your dog a fashionable collar and leash.

19. Hire a professional pet photographer for a fun photo shoot.

20. Take your dog to the beach.

How to Make Your Dog Happy

DHI (1) 

I don’t know about you guys but I spend far too much time staring into my dogs eyes trying to understand if she is happy.

I know a few things for fact:

  • She loves snuggles
  • She loves treats
  • She loves elephant the toy she’s had since the day I got her 13 years ago (Who I have managed to not lose, which I consider a feat, even though he may have been damaged slightly by a curling iron once and years of her playing with it..)

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Souffie happily asleep after getting hours of cuddles

The there’s all those human things I think I project on her- her need for having more dog friends her desire to sniff a new scent. So even though she is not exactly what you would call friendly towards other dogs, I still feel she needs to socialize and keep trying to help her make friends. This is a losing battle. I’ll also try and spice up our walks and take a different path so she’s not bored by the usual smells and sights on our walks.

But all this wasn’t enough for me. Because doing this once in a while wasn’t going to make her happy in the long run.

So I’ve devised a method to measuring Souffie’s happiness. While not a direct formula (snuggles x treats x 20 minute walk) this at least makes me feel like I am taking care of all her needs. And I’m sharing it with you, because I’m sure I’m not alone in this!

After a bit of research, I found Tamar Geller’s Loved Dog. And I love it. In the book she talks about the 7 needs a dog has. Building on that I’ve broken it down into 3 main elements that I call the Doggie Happiness Index, DHI, which address a dog’s needs: physical, mental and social.

Physical- pretty straight forward… but happiness starts with health right? Here I look at all health, exercise and nutrition. Making sure she is moving enough, not eating too much and not getting over spoiled with treats

IMG_0513Souffie on her way to attend a wedding

Mental– dogs crave routine and security for peace of of mind. So I try to make sure Souffie has a built and established routine (which is not always easy). Also I make sure she is mentally stimulated. She spends a lot of time on her own so I like to get her games that require some thinking, like puzzle toys and treat balls and when we are together try and play more challenging games or teach her a new trick (it is possible to teach and old dog new tricks!)

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She demands to be the center of everyone’s attention

Social– well obviously snuggle time falls in this category. And we can’t forget that dogs are pack animals and like hierarchy (which is also linked to their sense of security) so I make sure to get her around other people (and dogs when possible) and make sure she feels loved all the time.

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In fact she wouldn’t even let me write this post since it was Souffie time!

So that’s my DHI. This is still a work in progress and would love to hear from you if you have any more ideas or improvements!

I love using Hachiko to help me track all of this! I can set goals for Souffies activity, with an added bonus of knowing how active she was on her own, so I know for how long we need to talk. Also I make sure to log her food and treats so I can both set a routine and also make sure I don’t over feed her (she is getting a bit well… huskier lately!).

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Souffie with her Hachiko Sensor. Stylish and fun!

Hachiko Smart Sensors are a great way to keep track of your dog’s activity and behavior. To set routines and make sure they are receiving the care they deserve. Learn more about it and how it can help you keep your dog happy on their website. And to make you happy use the promocode HAPPYDOG to get $5 off!