National Dog Day is Friday, Aug. 26, and if you’re a pup parent who loves any excuse to celebrate your furry BFF, well then this holiday is definitely for you. It’s the perfect day to go above and beyond your daily doting to totally spoil your pup, whether that means treating them to a new toy or a more elaborate gesture, like taking them on the trip of their doggie dreams.
Check out some of our favorite ideas for celebrating National Dog Day this year.
Go for a hike
From Triangle to Purcellville, there are a handful of dog-friendly trails in Northern Virginia where your pup can enjoy the great outdoors and sniff ’til their heart’s content.
Check out a local “yappy hour”
It’s happy hour — but for dogs. Because why should humans have all the fun? Dozens of restaurants around the region host special happy hours for their four-legged customers, like Fire Works in Sterling (21475 Epicerie Plz., Ste. 100), which on Mondays from 3-7 p.m. offers a variety of snacks such as homemade dog biscuits, freshly made meatballs, and chicken breast. And your dog will even get to take home their very own dog bowl.
Treat your pup to a spa day
Woofie’s, a Virginia-based pet care franchise, has a mobile pet spa that will come right to your front door. It’ll make your pup feel oh-so-posh. Woofie’s is also teaming up with Fire Works on August 29, September 19, and October 17 to provide spa appointments for dogs while their humans grab a bite to eat. $20; call the restaurant to book
Whip up a homemade treat
Nothing says love more than a homemade meal, right? Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a DIY dog treat, courtesy of Seasonal Roots, an online farmers market serving Virginia.
Let them pick out a new toy
You’ll love the smile on your dog’s face when they realize they’re getting another toy. Here are a few NoVA pet stores with a great selection of droolworthy toys.
Donate to a local shelter
If your dog changed your life for the better, consider paying it forward by donating to a local animal shelter or rescue group, like Dog World Rescue in Alexandria, which rescues dogs from high-kill shelters and finds them loving forever homes in NoVA.
Schedule a staycation
For a little R&R away from home, why not book a staycation at a dog-friendly hotel? Starting August 26, The Alexandrian (480 King St., Alexandria) and Morrison House (116 S. Alfred St., Alexandria) will unveil a “Pampered Pups” package that includes a comfy in-room dog bed, blanket and bowl. It also includes a doggie swag bag with chef Tomas Chavarria’s treat of the week, toy, and discounts from local business like Lost Boy Cider, Barkhaus, The Dog House, Frolick Dogs, and Whole Dogz. Or, if your dog would enjoy seeing some city sights, book a room at Viceroy Washington DC (1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW), which is a short walk from the White House. The hotel will host a National Dog Day celebration from 3-7 p.m. on August 26.
Book a weekend getaway
If you and your dog are up for an adventure, consider spending a few days in southern Delaware. There are nearly two dozen accommodations in the area that’ll treat your dog just like family, such as the Dogfish Inn (105 Savannah Rd., Lewes) and Canalside Inn (34 Sixth St., Rehoboth). And with more than 26 miles of Atlantic coastline and over 40 pet-friendly dining destinations, you and your pup will have plenty of entertainment and good eats.
Visit the historic home of George Washington
Dogs are welcome on the grounds at Mount Vernon (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon). With so much to see and even more to sniff, your pup will love spending a nice day outdoors. Just note that doggos are not allowed inside the mansion or other indoor spaces.
Schedule a check up with your veterinarian
Show your dog how much you love them by getting an annual exam on the calendar, so you can help them live a long, healthy life. Pack Animal Care (8921 Ox Rd., Ste. 50, Lorton) is a new veterinarian office that just opened in Fairfax County and is currently accepting new patients.
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