If you have a Puppy, you probably know that March 23 is National puppy day. It is a time to celebrate puppies of all ages. The celebration was started in 2006 by celebrity pet/home lifestyle expert/author Colleen Paige who is passionate about the care of all pets, not just puppies. National Puppy Day falls on a Friday this year. If March 23 is on the weekend, the celebration will fall on the Friday or Monday closest to that date.

The purpose

Paige organized the day with a two-fold purpose in mind. Her goals include educating the public about the abuse in puppy mills and also to promote adoption of the animal.

No doubt people love their puppies every day, but March 23 is an occasion to give more unconditional love than usual. It is also a day for people to spend more time with and have fun with their puppies. The purpose of this special day is also to raise awareness about the unfit conditions that some unfortunate dogs have to live through in the more than 8,000 puppy mills and backyard breeders in the United States.

Puppy mills are places where the animals are kept in terrible conditions. Some of them don't stand a chance because they are killed when they are no longer fertile and can no longer produce.

'Adopt instead of shop!'

“Adopt instead of shop!” is the official motto of National Puppy Day.

It is an invitation for people to adopt a dog from their local shelter instead of purchasing one from a pet store.

Once someone adopts a puppy and takes it home, it will spend most of the time in its new surroundings just sleeping and eating. It will take about three weeks for it to become adjusted. After the puppy has gotten used to its new home, it will begin to play with family members.

How to celebrate

Puppy owners love to show off their pets and today is a good time to do so. More photos than usual will be shared on social media, and people are using #NationalPuppyDay. If you have a puppy, buy it a new toy or have fun bathing it.

Some people dress their puppies up and take them for extra long walks.

If you don't have a puppy, use this day to work at your local shelter. Working with the animals might give you the incentive to adopt one of your own. How are you celebrating with your puppy on the day for it to be honored? Make sure you check out how others are celebrating theirs.

For your information, National Dog Day is on August 26 -- that includes not just puppies but grown dogs as well. In case you are not a dog owner, National Cat Day is celebrated on October 29.