If there’s one occasion that Fido has likely circled on his calendar, it’s National Pet Day. Colleen Paige, Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert & Animal Welfare Advocate, started this holiday in 2005 to give owners a dedicated time to appreciate their loyal companions. While you may not be able to take your pup on long walks in the park these days, you can still pamper him from the comfort of home. This year on April 11, celebrate your pooch with these nine activities.
Posted by Billy Francis
1. Go Viral (In a Good Way)
When you show your dog the latest hilarious canine clip online, does she look up at you with big eyes as if to say, “I could do that!?” Whether your furry star’s talent is singing, dancing or just being her clumsy self, now’s your chance to hone those skills and distribute to a captive audience around the world. What better way to celebrate your pup on National Pet Day than with all the likes? Just remember the four rules of pet insta-fame: take quality photos, post consistently, engage with other wannabe influencers and use the right hashtags (like #BringFido!). You might even end up on our gram.
2. Duet With Your Dachshund
Singing releases endorphins that make you feel good and help alleviate stress. If you can’t hold a note, then tickle the ivories or strum your ukulele and let your dog grab the mic. These howling hounds demonstrate how (not?) to do it:
Teaching your dog to sing is relatively easy, but you might not like what you hear. Grab a treat and hold it above your dog’s nose. She should start to get excited if you wave it around and tempt her with it. Continue to do this until she makes a noise. When she does, reward her with the treat. Add a command like “Speak” and practice until she sounds like she’s headlining her own music festival.
3. Paint a “Master-paws”
Painting with your pet requires a lot less cleanup than painting on them. Gift your “sitter” a finely painted portrait of her best side, or failing that, a “Paw-casso”-esque picture of her bad side. When you gaze lovingly at your masterpiece, you’ll always be reminded of the time you spent sketching with your Scottie.
4. Stretch in Downward Dog
Humans would love to possess the canine ability to live in the moment. Yoga with dogs is one way for two-legged participants to try and reach this state of calm. Take time away from modern life on National Pet Day, and breathe in the vibes from your good boy (or girl).
5. Host a Virtual Party
The canine world is more connected than ever before. At the click of a button, you can receive a daily update from your second cousin’s foster puppy or take a peek at what Fido’s friends from the dog park are getting up to at home. Link up with local dog lovers group online and enjoy a virtual party on National Pet Day.
6. Learn New Tricks
Now’s the ideal time for self-improvement. Teaching your old dog new tricks is a great way to build your bond, entertain your pup and make both of your lives easier. Does Fido pull on the leash or ignore you when he’s playing with his pals at the dog park? These awesome training tips go from the basics of “Sit” to more difficult commands that you can learn while you’re social distancing with your dog.
7. Transform Your Backyard
What do you get when you mix everyday items lying around the house with a fenced backyard? A one-of-a-kind, DIY dog park, of course! If your best bud can’t get to his favorite place in the world, then you’ll just have to bring it to him. Spend National Pet Day designing, building and attending the grand opening of your pooch’s personal bark park. Who knows, it might even end up looking like one of these.
8. Bake it Off
Ready, steady, cook! Fido can fulfill his daily role as a portable garbage disposal system while you whip up his favorite treats in the kitchen. How about a batch of scrumptious cookies? Follow this simple recipe:
For the cookies:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup mashed banana
- 1/4 cup vegetable, chicken or beef stock
For the icing:
- 1/4 cup carob powder
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine flour, peanut butter and banana in a large mixing bowl. Add the stock and stir until well-combined into a thick dough.
- Roll dough into individual 1-inch balls. Press each ball into a flat, oval shape like a football and place it on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until brown around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the carob powder and boiling water. Mix until smooth and a paste forms. If the icing is too stiff, add in water 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
- Spread icing over the cooled cookies.
9. Do Nothing Together
It’s okay if you don’t feel like doing anything extraordinary on April 11. Dogs around the world will be having the best National Pet Day ever because they’ll be spending it with their owners, perhaps for the first time. So sit back, relax and crack open a couple of cold ones together while you plan next year’s escapades to far-flung places.
How will you and your dog spend National Pet Day? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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