Canine Culture: Celebrate National Dog Week!

Show your dog how much you love him during National Dog Week, Sept. 24-30!

How much do we love our dogs? Let us count the ways! According to the American Pet Products Assn (APPA), more than 60% of all US households have a pet, and more than 70 million of those are dogs!

To help us honor our 4-legged friends and family members, September 24-30 marks the 84th annual National Dog Week (NDW). Established by Captain William Lewis Judy in 1928 to celebrate military canines, companion animals and responsible pet ownership, NDW has grown with our canine population and today boasts its own facebook page and blog!

Not that we need an excuse to heap extra love and attention on our dogs, but here are a few ideas to show yours how much you care during NDW:

Make Quality Time
Spend at least 15 minutes every day next week indulging your dog in his favorite activities! Don’t know what they are? Get busy and find out! Jogging with you? Playing with a ball? Fetching a Frisbee? Belly rubs? Discovering Fido’s Top 5 will help you build a stronger bond with your dog.

Got Treats?
Stock up on goodies from a local bakery – such as Bone-A-Patreat or Brown Dog Bakery – or try making your own yummy homemade treats.

Get Creative!
Fun doesn’t have to be expensive! Try making hand-made toys or finding new ways to entertain your pooch. It doesn’t have to be pretty – it’s the thought that counts …  

Pamper Your Pooch
Not all dogs love a trip to the groomer, but most enjoy a good brushing and muscle massage from their home peeps!

Share the Love
NDW is also a good week to bestow time, money, food, toys or other acts of goodwill on local rescues or pet charities. Luckily, there’s no shortage of awesome animal organizations in the metro. To name a few: Animal Rescue League of Iowa, AHeinz57, Animal Lifeline, Pet Project Midwest, (programs include Iowa Pet Alert, Pet Food Pantry and Fence Project Des Moines). On Saturday, Sept. 22, stretch your legs to raise money for service dogs in Paws & Effect’s 2 mile “Paws for a Cause” dog walk.

Got dog? Don’t leave home without him! Take Rover with you to run pet-friendly errands. Visit area Dog Parks, if appropriate, or enroll your dog in daycare for a few sessions of structured socialization and playtime.

Learn New Tricks
It’s never too late to educate (you or your dog!). Teach new tricks at home, or commit to taking a class you haven’t tried before – obedience, rally, nosework, freestyle, agility and more. So many possibilities for fun with your dog!

Not THAT election – we’re talking about our Back to School Challenge! Finalists’ videos will be posted online during NDW for public voting at  www.CanineCraze.com. Help pick the winner who will receive a year’s worth of FREE daycare!

However you choose to celebrate, we hope you and your dog enjoy National Dog Week. Remember, happy dogs = happy homes and happy people!

Ask the Trainer:  Renee Jetter, ABCTC, CPCT

  • Professional dog trainer; co-owner of Canine Craze Performance Center in Urbandale – an 18,000 sq-ft. dog training, daycare, boarding and events facility. Animal Behavior College, 2006 graduate.
  • Expertise: puppy development; positive reinforcement training; obedience; competition; agility; tricks; freestyle; scent detection; canine good citizen/therapy dog testing; Paws & Effect volunteer service dog trainer. 

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David Leonard September 25, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Every week is Dog Week, and if you don't believe, just ask my dog.
cjschoon September 25, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I wish everyone felt as you do about your loyal family dog. Steve King, who's running for re-election in the 4th District, obviously doesn't feel that way. He's the only Iowa legislator to vote AGAINST a bill prohibiting adults from taking children to illegal, brutal dog fights and cockfights. It's part of King's long-standing opposition to any law aimed at lessening the suffering of animals in out state. The Humane Society created an ad pointing this out to Iowa voters; but some TV stations are refusing to run the ad. Voters in Iowa need to know what King's position is on this. King claims he's against dog fighting; but as his legislative actions documented above prove, he thinks a law keeping our kids away from dog fights shouldn't be enacted. Despite his words, his actions reveal his true principles, or lack thereof, on the issue. Talk is cheap, Steve. Iowa voters in the 4th District need to know that King's values don't line up with theirs (unless, of course, they think taking kids to dog and cockfights is a good idea). Steve Kings needs to be soundly voted out of office in November, before he does any more damage to our state and to the companion animals who share our lives. Here's the link to the ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDqP1nS0YVo&feature=player_embedded
Renee Jetter September 27, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Ha, David! So true ;)
Renee Jetter September 27, 2012 at 04:13 AM
We wish everyone loved their loyal family dog like we do too! Sadly, we know the world can be an ugly place :( Hopefully brighter days ahead ...


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