National Dog Day on Saturday, August 26, is a time for celebrating and focusing on humankind's best friend whether you are a pet owner or someone who simply loves canines.
It's a day for spending extra time with your dog whether brushing and cuddling, exercising together, hoisting a brew on the patio at a pup-friendly venue and shopping where dogs are welcome. First priority, however, should be tending to your pet's healthcare needs. To have fun, a dog needs to feel healthy.
Visiting a Veterinarian
If you are a pet owner new to the area and need a veterinarian, selecting one and helping your dog become acquainted with the vet during a well-care checkup is an important way to observe National Dog Day. To identify a good veterinarian for your dog, ask pet-loving friends, coworkers and new neighbors for recommendations. Here are some suggested pet clinics in Des Moines, West Des Moines and Waukee.
Going to Dog Parks
The Springs at Jordan Creek in West Des Moines and the Springs at Waukee are pet-friendly communities. We include enclosed dog parks among our amenities. But variety is the spice -- or the good sniffs -- of a dog's life. So, we recommend romping at metro area dog parks as well.
Permits to use public dog parks include a fee and require proof of licensure and basic vaccinations. Here are the licensing rules for Des Moines and West Des Moines. The new dog park in Waukee is scheduled to open in 2018.
Many dogs enjoy hanging out with their humans at local breweries. In its list of pet-friendly, metro Des Moines businesses, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa notes a number of pubs that welcome well-behaved dogs on leash. Some limit seating to decks and patios.
Get a head start on National Dog Day by attending a Yappy Hour fundraiser for the Animal Rescue League Thursday, August 24, 5 to 7 p.m., on the roof of the Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry Street.
Sharing a Run or Walk
If dogs could vote, they would tell you that aside from mealtime, nothing beats going for a walk. But when temperatures are steep, remember that hot pavement can harm their paws. Go walking early or late in the day.
Many dogs also enjoy running with their people. To honor National Dog Day and help disabled clients who rely on dogs as helpers, Freedom Service Dogs of America is holding a fundraiser run to complete any time in August.
Shopping for Treats & Toys
As dog owners who take their pets shopping know, visiting a pet store is a doggy field trip filled with tantalizing smells and objects. Consider taking your dog along to purchase kibble, treats and toys at your local Petco, Petsmart or a specialty pet supply such as Boneapatreat, 2701 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines.
Another favorite, on-leash dog stop is West Des Moines' Three Dogs Bakery, 650 South 50th Street, where yummies range from crunchy "Grrrnola Bars" to chewy "Wheat-Free Pup Cakes."
Volunteering at Pet Shelters
A fine way to celebrate dogs year-round is to adopt one or volunteer at an animal shelter such as the Animal Rescue League or the Des Moines County Humane Society in Burlington at 2000 North Roosevelt Avenue.
Selecting a Pet-Friendly Home
Aside from welcoming pets and providing dog parks, Springs Apartments are pet friendly due to being close to parks and trails dogs love. Contact us today in West Des Moines (515-344-3524) and Waukee (515-344-3525) for more information.