Croton: Treat Your Dog on National Dog Day

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Sunday is National Dog Day. Don't forget to fete your pet (and all dogs) Photo Credit: Deb Bennetts

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y - You can take him to the park, send him a card or throw him a party. Regardless of how you celebrate, Sunday is the eighth annual National Dog Day.

Founded by the Animal Miracle Network, National Dog Day reminds pet owners to celebrate the invaluable role dogs play in humans' lives by honoring canines of all breeds -- from working dogs to family pets -- and encouraging pet parents to honor their Fidos, Fifis and Rovers.

Here are a few suggestions from the Animal Miracle Network on how to fete your pet:

  • Adopt a dog from your local shelter or pure breed rescue organization.
  • Volunteer at a local shelter.
  • Donate blankets, food and toys to a local pet shelter.

Or, you can provide him or her with a big, sloppy treat.

"We wanted to do something special to acknowledge the importance of dogs in our lives," said Deb Bennetts, dog lover, owner and president of Best Friends Pet Care. She added: "We know most dogs love ice cream, so we decided that giving away free ice cream to all our doggy friends would be a fun way to celebrate National Dog Day."

To celebrate this special dog day, Best Friends will give a free doggy ice cream treat – made from yogurt or soy in dog-friendly flavors, such as peanut butter, banana and honey -- to dogs visiting Best Friends in White Plains and Harrison. Canine guests must be on leash and accompanied by a human companion.

As for humans (whose appetite for ice cream is well known), no treats for you this time, but maybe your dog will treat you to a cone sometime soon – on National Human Day, perhaps?

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Citizen Jeanne:

What a great idea! As dog lovers, and owners of several wonderful beasts over the years, my husband and I would like to add that treating one's pet or working dog well on a daily and ongoing basis is the best way of honoring your dog.

For one thing, this includes not leaving your dog alone in a car, ever. We continue to see this everywhere, year around. Even in the cooler weather, once the motor is off the car heats up and dogs cannot regulate their body temperature the way humans can; moreover, something could go wrong with your car while you are away. Further, some people will leave the car's motor running with the A/C on only to return and find that the A/C shut off and their dog is in distress or worse, or they leave the windows rolled down leaving their animal vulnerable to passersby. Dogs can suffer, have their systems weakened, be injured or abused, be let out of the car, bite someone and be taken from you, dognapped or even die while left unattended.

Another way to be kind to your dog is to feed him or her a high-quality dog food that is prepared with less corn and other fillers and more protein, and refrain from feeding him/her table scraps that do not contain the proper vitamins and minerals they need and often contain dangerous additives that affect dogs more quickly and severely than they affect humans.

Don't let your dog run loose unattended, scream at or hit him or her when you become frustrated, or leave dangerous items around to be ingested, especially around the holidays (tinsel and Easter basket grass can be deadly to both dogs and cats).

Finally, bathe and groom your dog often and lovingly. You'll both be glad!

I'm sure others will have even more tips!

Dogs are our best friends and they deserve our best in return.

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