People who have dogs celebrated them on August 26. That's because it was National Dog Day. Every year on that day, owners honor their dogs. Even though dogs are cared for and loved all the time, a special day is set aside just for them.

Origin of National Dog Day

National Dog Day was founded in 2004 by Colleen Paige. She is a pet and family lifestyle expert and animal advocate. Paige is also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day and National Cat Day and many other days that bring awareness to pets and to encourage adoption of them.

When Colleen was only ten years old, her family let her adopt her very first dog that she named "Sheltie." Since then, she had been interested in learning more and more about dogs and how they are treated when they are adopted as pets. She is the publisher of Pet Home magazine. Her parents probably didn't know Colleen would make pets her life work when they gave her a dog at such an early age. However, Colleen and her parents are glad they did.

About dogs

All dogs were celebrated on National Dog Day no matter what breed and size they are. They are in most households and are considered part of the family. Some families have more than one dog, and some families have a combination of pets, and a dog is usually included as one of the pets.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association estimates that there are more than 80 million people in the United States who own canines. A survey conducted by that organization shows that at least 40 percent of pet owners have at least one dog and 25 percent have more than one dog. It is interesting that owners usually do not have a gender preference when they adopt a dog.

Statistics show that just as many females are adopted as males. The statistics also show that less than a fifth of all dogs adopted come from a shelter.

How to honor your dog

Your dog has been described as man's best friend for a reason. He shows you that he cares about you by greeting you every day when you come home from work.

He plays with you and allows you to take him for a walk allowing you to get exercise.

You can honor your dog by giving him an extra treat and playing with him a little longer. You can buy your dog a new toy or a beautiful collar.

Even though August 26 has passed, mark your calendar for August 26 every year so that you can recognize your dog along with millions other dog owners. Remember that you do not have to wait until National Dog Day to love, honor and appreciate your canine.