It’s International Dog Day – let’s celebrate!

some of our favourite suggestions on how to make it tail-waggingly special!

Like most things in life, it’s easy to take for granted the things that we love most in our lives and the loyal and unconditional love that we get from our canine companions can be one of these things.

International Dog Day was set up to celebrate the dogs we have as our pets, dogs that offer support within therapy, incredible service dogs that make a difference to so many lives around the globe, and also for all the dogs looking for their forever homes in animal rescue centres. Today is a day to honour our beloved four-legged friends, whether it’s with an extra walk, spending more time playing with them in the garden or local park, or helping other dogs by making a donation to your local animal shelter. Whatever you choose to do, make it tail-waggingly special!

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Here’s some of our favourite suggestions that we’ll be doing today.

Hide & Seek

Hide and seek is not just a favourite for children, our dogs adore it too! Find something tasty and scented to hide such as dog treats and try out your dog’s 'sit' and 'stay' command. If they are not that well-rehearsed then it is a great way of getting in some fun training for such a key command.

As well as treats you can also hide yourself or your children for your dog to discover, little giggles may be as easy to track as tasty dog treats! Have your dog stay where he is while you or the kids hide, and once you’re done call out your release word and wait for your dog to discover you. Don't forget to reward your dog with lots of positive enforcement on completing their challenge.

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Sniffing out Fun!

Following on from Hide & Seek, our dog’s noses are incredible tools and by using them to find food or scented items we can raise the happy hormones in our dog’s brains. With games such as Find It, you can make the search as easy or difficult as you like - Try wrapping up some tasty treats in a towel for your dog to unravel, or, have three containers and hide a treat under one, shuffling their positions and then ask your dog to find the treat. By using commands like 'find it' you can soon teach your dog the games’ name and what he needs to do. Hiding treats in closed cardboard egg cartons is another great example of creating a DIY puzzle game.

Create an Obstacle Course

You can create your very own indoor, at-home agility course with everyday household items like chairs, brooms, boxes, blankets and pillows. Teaching your dog to complete the course could give the family hours of entertainment. For dogs who are natural performers, then think about ordering some indoor agility equipment to set up at home or in the garden, before you know it you may be entering local competitions!

The power of touch

As long as your dog is comfortable with being touched, stroking them or having cuddles can be mutually beneficial for both dog and owner. If you’re not sure if your dog does enjoy being stroked, then practice gradually and gently. Try stroking them for three seconds and then move your hand away. If they move back in towards you for more, you know they approve! Touch creates another great feel-good hormone - oxytocin, which is the love and bonding hormone. With socially distancing and a clear lack of hugs on tap with our human friends, why not gently hug it out with your dog!

Yum!

Like us humans the way to a dog’s heart is also via his tummy (and don’t we know it!) Why not try out a little baking with our DIY carrot, apple & oats dog biscuits.

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Walkies!

With research showing that 93% of dog owners wish they could walk their dog more often, and knowing that walking our dogs makes us feel happier, meet new people and encourage more time outside with our family and friends, it really is time to grab the lead and go. Check out our Great Dog Walk Challenge to help rediscover the joy of walking and also how to walk more mindfully.

Caring is Sharing

Of course there are so many incredible charities across the UK that provide love and care for dogs in need. To nominate your local charity to receive food donations from Forthglade share their details with us. We choose three charities every month to support.

We’d love to see how you have celebrated International Dog Day, share your pics on social media using #Forthglade and #internationaldogday.