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PUBLIC AWARENESS EVENTS DEDICATED TO DOGS AND SERVICE DOGS


August and September are an important time of year for the service dog community as well as organizations that promote animal welfare. This is because several public holidays focusing on dogs and their welfare have been formally designated to August and September. Specifically, August is National Dog Month, August 26th is National Dog Day, and September is National Service Dog Month. Below you can learn more about these three important public holidays and how their existence helps to promote public awareness of how service dogs work and their benefit to humanity. 

AUGUST: NATIONAL DOG MONTH 

The summer month of August has been designated National Dog Month, to celebrate the number one most owned pet in the world and to help share the many benefits that dog companionship brings to the world. Not be confused with National Hot Dog month which comically takes place in the adjoining month of July. The creation of National Dog Month has been met with companies and organizations nationwide hosting special summer pet-friendly events for dog and service dog owners. Some examples of where these events have popped up are farmers' markets, restaurants, bakeries, and breweries. While some communities and organizations are more pet centered than others culturally, over the last several decades research has increasingly shown that dog companionship can come with a great number of benefits such as stress reduction, happiness, and an increased feeling of security pushing industries to acknowledge dogs as well as their value to humanity in new and improved ways. 

AUGUST 26: NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL DOG DAY

National Dog Day, August 26th, was created by a pet and family lifestyle expert and behaviorist, Colleen Paige in 2004, in addition to National Cat, Puppy, and Wildlife Day as philanthropic holidays. The creation of these days has helped animal-focused organizations and communities around the world rally each year to help unwanted animals find homes and obtain funding for animal welfare. The creation of these days has also helped with promoting volunteer participation in dog shelters. Colleen has been driven by her passion for animals, but also the desire to increase public awareness around inhumane dog trading practices, breed banning, and negative misinformation surrounding Pitbull breeds that have become associated with behaviors such as violence or aggression. To provide some background, August 26th was initially created as National Dog Day, because this was the date during Colleen’s childhood that she and her family adopted their first dog. Today the day is intended to honor and celebrate all dogs no matter their breeding and to help increase awareness of the value of dogs in society.

SEPTEMBER: NATIONAL SERVICE DOG MONTH 

The month of September has been dedicated to raising awareness about the beautiful unique benefits of service dogs and to show appreciation for the invaluable support they bring to the individuals and communities they interact with. This month helps organizations promote a better understanding of the skill sets service dogs provide and their value to society, especially those seeking greater independence from health challenges or difficult life experiences. Whether a service dog is trained to provide alerts to diabetic individuals, those who experience seizures, or individuals living with PTSD symptoms service dogs provide a highly diverse support network. This is a type of support that much of the general population is not yet fully aware of, but National Service Dog Month helps to do its part in providing broader education to the public on service dogs.

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References:

  1. Admin. (2021, April 4). National dog day 2021 - history, facts, events, quotes & activities. Pitbull Time. https://pitbulltime.com/national-dog-day/  

  2. National dog day. National Dog Day. (n.d.).https://www.nationaldogday.com/about1.  

  3. Pet & Home Lifestyle Expert Colleen Paige. Home Family Pets. (n.d.). https://www.colleenpaige.com/about ​​​​​​​

  4. Sassafras Lowrey, C. T. D. I. (2020, January 13). Service dog awareness month: What it's really like having a service dog. American Kennel Club. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/news/what-its-really-like-to-have-a-service-dog-national-service-dog-month/.

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