Aug. 26, 2014 at 12:26 PM ET
Happy National Dog Day!
While you are probably loving your pooch every day of the year, August 26 is the day to shout it loud and proud.
The annual holiday, founded by pet expert Colleen Paige, began in 2004 as a way to show household hounds our appreciation for all they do, from helping children overcome physical challenges and keeping babies clean and giggling to fainting with excitement when owners return home and putting up with newborn photo shoots.
"I founded National Dog Day to show our deep appreciation for the historical connection of companionship for one another," Paige told TODAY.com in an email. So get ready to party doggy-style with these suggestions from Paige for celebrating National Dog Day:
1. Buy your dog a fun, new dog toy…or two…or five.
2. Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.
3. Brush your dog to eliminate excess fur — or get a pet squirrel to help.
4. Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog.
5. Teach your dog a new trick — like pushing a grocery cart.
"I want the world to celebrate the dogs for their capacity to love," Paige said, "and their ability to impact our lives everyday in the most miraculous ways."