National Puppy Day: When is it and how can you celebrate?

Golden Retriever puppy on National Puppy Day
(Image credit: Getty Images)

National Puppy Day is fast approaching and we can’t think of a more adorable event to get involved in than this one. Whether you’ve just welcomed a new ball of fur into your family, are thinking of adopting one or just love to love these cuties from afar, National Puppy Day is the paw-fect excuse to celebrate the joy these little guys bring to our lives. 

And aside from making us smile 24/7, puppies come with a whole range of other benefits for us humans too. For example, did you know that owning a puppy can help you ward off depression and lower your anxiety and stress levels? It’s true! Studies have also shown that puppies (and dogs in general) can help you live longer by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. 

One of the other big benefits of being a pet parent to an energetic puppy is it helps keep you active. Not only will every day involve plenty of exercise in the great outdoors, which is great for boosting both your physical and mental health, but invest in a few of the best puppy toys and you’ll be able to carry on the fun at home.  

If you’ve just adopted a puppy or are seriously considering it, our tips for how to train a puppy to walk on a leash will help ensure those daily excursions are fun and safe for both of you. And if you’ve decided that owning a puppy right now isn’t a good fit for you, don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways that you can get in on all the fun of National Puppy Day. 

What is National Puppy Day?

National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 and is the brainchild of animal welfare advocate and pet lifestyle expert, Colleen Paige, who also created National Dog Day. While both days are used as an excuse to celebrate man’s best friend, they also serve a much more important purpose.

Paige established National Puppy Day as a way to draw attention to the horrors of puppy mills while seeking to encourage more humane breeding practices. The day is also used as a way to encourage prospective pet parents to adopt and not shop so that the thousands of puppies in shelters across the country can find forever homes.

When is National Puppy Day?

Get ready for an avalanche of cuteness because National Puppy Day falls on Wednesday March 23. Whether you already have a puppy or just love adoring these little bundles of fur from afar, there are plenty of ways you can get in on all the fun.

How can you celebrate National Puppy Day?

There are more ideas than hours in the day when it comes to how you can celebrate National Puppy Day. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Teach your pup a new trick

Your puppy’s mind is like a sponge in the first 12 months of their life, so there’s never been a better time to teach them a new trick. Whether it’s getting them to sit or lie down on command, shake your hand with their paw, twirl around or roll over, teaching your puppy a trick can help give them a good mental workout and strengthen your bond at the same time. Use positive reinforcement in the form of the best puppy treats and your little one will soon have their new trick mastered.

2. Pamper your pup

Why not indulge your puppy and treat them to a deluxe at-home grooming session? Lather them up with the best dog shampoo (choose a formula that’s suitable for puppies) and get them all nice and clean before finishing off with a soothing dog massage that will likely put them straight to sleep!

3. Watch cute puppy videos

Okay, so we have a feeling your day will slip away if you start doing this, but if you don’t have a puppy and are desperate to get your fill of cuteness, why not watch one of the thousands of great puppy videos on YouTube? You can also search #NationalPuppyDay on social media for lots of adorable snaps of people’s fur babies. 

4. Take your puppy on an adventure

Whether it’s hitting the beach or your local dog park, National Puppy Day is the perfect excuse to get out and get some fresh air together. If the weather’s nice, why not pack a picnic with some tasty human treats for you and a portion of the best puppy food for your little canine companion. Take a long a few toys as well and the two of you are bound to have a super fun day. 

5. Adopt a puppy

Approximately 3.1 million dogs enter shelters across the US every year, so if you're looking for a new forever friend, don't shop - adopt! There are so many puppies just waiting for a loving home like you can offer them, so if you feel you have the time, energy and resources to commit to an animal, heading to your local shelter or rescue center is a wonderful idea. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.