How to celebrate Hug Your Hound Day

This September 12th marks Hug Your Hound Day, a day all about appreciating your favourite furry four-legged friend! We’ve collected some adorable ways you can show your canine companion how much you appreciate them, from ideas of how to spend the day to fun and creative ideas like a dog-friendly photoshoot or even a puppy party.

What is Hug Your Hound Day?

Hug Your Hound Day was created by Ami Moore, a dog trainer from Chicago. Hug Your Hound Day is intended to remind all dog owners of the importance of creating a close bond with your dog, and putting in the work to make sure that you have a great relationship for years and years to come.

Hug your dog – if they like hugs

It’s only natural to want to wrap your furry friend up in a big hug – but some dogs don’t like to be confined or handled too much. You know them better than anyone else, so use your best judgement on if it’s safe to hug your dog. If your pooch gets yappy, trembles a little, or goes stiff when you come in for a hug, then maybe they’d rather have you demonstrate physical affection differently. Wait for their cue, or find a different way to show them your love, whether that’s giving them treats, playing with their favourite toys, or slowly petting and brushing them.

Not to worry, though – if a dog hug is out of the question, we’ve got plenty of other ways to show your dog some love on Hug Your Hound Day.

Take them on a nice long walk

Does your favourite four legged friend love nothing more than a long, tiring walk? We’re talking the kind where as soon as you get home, you’re both collapsing into your respective human and doggy beds in exhaustion, knowing you’ve had a proper day out. If you’re both a fan of a good old fashioned day out on a walking route, then grab the lead and head out for a walk at your dog’s favourite spot.

Not got a favourite walk, or feel like trying something else? If you and your pup fancy a change of scenery, then hop in the car and head somewhere new. We’ve put together a list of the best dog walks in the UK for anyone who’s looking for a challenging and rewarding session of walkies!

These dog walking routes are tried and tested, and you and your dog are sure to have a brilliant day out enjoying stunning scenery, seeing the best of what the UK has to offer.

Our pick of the best dog walks in the UK:

  1. Osmotherley, North Yorkshire
  2. Oswald’s Way, Northumberland
  3. Stonebarrow Hill and Golden Cap, Dorset
  4. Sherwood Forest, Nottingham
  5. Kingsford Forest Park, Worcestershire
  6. Wimbledon Common, London
  7. Horner Woods, Somerset
  8. Horsey Mere, Norfolk Broads
  9. Alderley Edge, Cheshire
  10. The King’s Forest, North Wales

Try an agility class

Create some special bonding time with your pup with an agility class! Okay, your trusty companion might not be challenging the Crufts champions any time soon, but an agility class is a fun workout for your dog, and a great way to keep your dog happy and engaged.

Create some canine art

Your pup might not be the next Paw-casso, Barksy, or Salvapaw Dali (we absolutely will not be apologising for the quality of those dog puns) but you can still get them to create a special piece of art.

You could cover their paws with a non-toxic, dog safe paint and get them to wander across a canvas, press their pawprint into clay to make a special keepsake, or take it outside and let their wagging tail flick paint across a canvas. Yes, there’s going to be some cleaning up to do when you’re done, but you’ll have a special memento and a unique piece of art for your home.

Doggy photoshoot

Create some special memories and immortalise your special bond with your dog by hiring a professional photographer to snap some photos of your dog with the whole family.

Find a photographer who’s used to shooting dog photoshoots – they’ll be able to help put your pup at ease if they’re a bit unsure about the camera, and they’ll have lots of ideas for cute poses and photo ideas. Make your pup feel like the star of the show – and create memories that will last forever. Not to mention, your social media feed will be the cutest around!

Get grooming

We know most dogs don’t like a B-A-T-H… but if your long-haired pooch is looking a bit bedraggled, taking them to the groomers is sure to perk them up again. Not to mention, it’s important to keep your dog well-groomed, so they’re not too warm in summer or chilly in winter, or tossing overlong hair out of their eyes all the time.

A wash and dry will get the lugs and dirt out of their fur, and a good trim of their fur and nails will have them looking super smart (maybe just in time for your dog photoshoot!).

Throw a puppy party

If you’ve got a few friends with dogs, then why not get together and throw a puppy party? If your dog is happy to socialise with other pups, then this can be a great way to celebrate the day, and get your dog used to being around other dogs.

Nominate whichever friend has the biggest back garden, and make sure you get some puppy party essentials – we’re talking adorable birthday hats for the cutest Instagram snaps, and maybe even a ‘cake’ of doggy treats that the whole gang can munch.

Volunteer at your local dog shelter

Even if you don’t have your own dog, you can still celebrate this special day by volunteering your time at a local dog shelter, or donating to a national charity like the RSPCA or the Dog’s Trust. Shelters across the country are short-staffed, and even a small donation or giving up some of your time to help them out could make the world of difference to dogs who need some extra help and love.

Cute cards for dog lovers

Looking for the perfect dog card for the dog-lover in your life? Our independent card creators design and make hilarious and well-crafted cards packed with puns and hand-drawn illustrations of adorable dogs and pretty pooches. Here’s our pick of the litter…

Dog cards from thortful

Looking for more cute and creative ideas? Head to the thortful blog to find more guides and suggestions for fun things to do.