World Dog Day (International Dog Day)
World Dog Day, which takes place on August 26, is reflected in many ways around the world. The annual celebration aims first to pay tribute to an animal which has – through its many qualities – carved out a special place for itself with man for millennia. This date also aims to inform and act in favor of the only canine that has come into our homes.
International Dog Day: August 26
International Dog Day is held on August 26 each year. The celebration was initiated by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) with the aim of caring for and protecting the rights of man’s best friend. The day has its origins in National Dog Day, celebrated in the United States since 2004.
International Fund for Animal Welfare: what is it?
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was established in Canada in 1969 by Welsh-born activist Brian Davies. The global non-profit organization has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. From seals and elephants to koalas and dogs, the organization is taking action to save endangered animals on the planet. IFAW is present in more than forty countries. Its international headquarters are in Washington DC in the United States and its French representation in Reims.
What is International Dog Day?
International Dog Day was initiated by IFAW to encourage doggie owners and enthusiasts to celebrate and pamper them. The organization works daily to improve the living conditions of dogs around the world by supporting all projects dedicated to improving the quality of care provided to them. On August 26, the initiatives undertaken at the international level intend to provide all types of information on the canine universe and act for the well-being of the dog while also highlighting the mistreatment to which he is the object in distant lands and also to our doors.
August 26: an information day
On International Dog Day, the organizers are implementing initiatives emphasizing the bonds that humans and dogs have maintained for thousands of years. The information relayed underlines this unique relationship through various facets:
Domestication. The day of August 26 is a reminder that the dog remains the only domesticated species of the canidae family (which also includes the wolf, fox, coyote, jackal, etc.). In the Paleolithic Age, game hunted by dogs and humans frequently put them in competition. Hominids would then have quickly seen the benefits they could derive from the animal’s abilities (keen sense of smell and hearing, speed and endurance). The first associations aimed to use the dog (wolf, at the time) in hunting activities and incidentally to guard the camp;
Cooperation. In recent centuries, the many qualities of the canine have made it indispensable in certain missions that man has set out to entrust to it. Thus, it is called a utility dog or working dog when it performs tasks for which it has been selected and bred. Examples include hunting, guard, sled, herd, research (narcotics, disease) or assistance dogs;
The company. The dog has found an environment in humans in which it has adapted wonderfully well. This adaptability has enabled the species to spread across the globe and to display admirable morphological and behavioral diversity. This unique evolution in the animal world has generated a perfect integration in our urban societies and within our homes where it has become a full member of the family;
The health benefits. Supported by studies, the dog is a mine of virtues for his master. Thanks to the outings it needs and the gentleness it provides, the doggie is a remedy in itself: improvement in cardiovascular health (stroking a dog has a beneficial effect on heart rate and blood pressure), better shape physical, reduced stress level, reduced depression or even more active social life.
August 26: a day of action
If animal protection structures work on a daily basis, the date of August 26 helps to highlight the phenomenon of abuse and neglect and to raise public awareness of the canine cause. In this context, associations are encouraged to put in place actions promoting the adoption of dogs. On this occasion, it is recalled that France holds the sad European record with more than 100,000 abandons of domestic animals per year, including 60,000 during the summer season. As International Dog Day takes place in the summer, organizations provide guides listing natural hairball sites and the list of dog care organizations so that every member of the family has a peaceful holiday.
To celebrate International Dog Day, everyone is invited to make a gesture according to their possibilities: adopt an animal, make a donation to an association, relay information on the canine world or even share their happiness on the internet through photos or videos of his best friend!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons