PAWS AND PAGES: Celebrating Dogust | Pets

We’ve all heard the saying “Dogs are man’s best friend” so of course dog parents want to go all out when their birthdays draw near. What if you don’t know what day your dog was born? For parents of dogs who have adopted their best friend from a shelter or shelter, this is a common problem with a super fun solution: Dogust, the Universal Shelter Animal Birthday!

Dogust, which takes place every August, is a national celebration for dogs whose birthdays are unknown. When the staff of the North Shore Animal League America in New York City decided to make sure that even dogs without an official birthday always get their own special day.

“Dogust is the official birthday of all rescued puppies and dogs to celebrate their importance in our lives,” said Joanne Yohannan, senior vice president of operations for the North Shore Animal League America.

Over the years, Dogust has spread to shelters across the United States. Today, the parents of rescue dogs pets are also participating in this pet birthday at a universal shelter. “Dogust is to celebrate all shelter dogs, whether they are still in the care of a shelter or with their new ‘furever’ family,” said Suzi Goldsmith, co-founder of Tri-County Animal Rescue in Boca Raton , in Florida.

So, you might be wondering “How can I celebrate Dogust with my pet?” There is no right or wrong way to celebrate this pet birthday at a universal shelter with your dog, as long as you and your puppy are having a blast.

Here are some ways to celebrate the occasion:

• Throw a birthday pawty with a few close friends and family.

• Plan a poolside party and beat the summer heat with dog pool games and frozen treats.

• Bake a DIY dog birthday cake.

• Take a hike, literally!

• Spend the afternoon at the dog park.

• If your puppy likes water, go to the lake or the beach.

• Plant a tree in honor of your puppy and all the animals in the shelter who are looking for their forever homes.

• Celebrate your pet on social media by sharing photos, videos and a loving written tribute. Remember to use the hashtag #Dogust.

• Curl up on the sofa and watch a movie.

When it comes to birthday gifts, any of your dog’s favorite toys, treats, or other treats will do for a birthday basket!

Remember, Dogust is a day to honor shelter pets, including the thousands of animals who are still waiting for their homes forever. Some prominent shelter leaders have suggested donating to your local shelter or rescue as another effective way to celebrate shelter pets nationwide.

So now you might be wondering, “How can I help my local shelter celebrate Dogust?” Of course, one of the best ways to support your local shelter is to adopt a dog or become a foster family for a pet with special needs. After all, rescues can’t work without animals entering loving homes. If those aren’t options for you right now, there are still plenty of ways to help your local shelter celebrate:

• Donate money.

• Donate pet food, supplies and toys.

• Become a volunteer.

• Ask if you can place a dog birthday cake, “puppy cakes” or other party supplies like birthday hats.

• Ask if there is anything the shelter needs for its other animals, such as cats and rabbits, that are not always included in the Dogust festivities.

Whether you are celebrating Dogust for your furry child or for the homeless furry children from our community in the shelter, know that you are making a world of difference for these animals. Many animals in shelters and rescues have backgrounds that some of us simply cannot understand. Simple gestures during Dogust show our best four legged friends how much we appreciate them and bring them so much joy. A wagging tail is the best form of gratitude you can get.

Devon Apodaca is executive director of the Humane Society of Imperial County.

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