The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper



National Puppy Day

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Thursday 23rd March is National Puppy Day, a day to celebrate your dog and the
unconditional love that your dog has for you. The idea has been running for 10 years
now, with the first National Puppy Day taking place in 2006. Now, 10 years on, the day is
considered as an international holiday.

Despite it sounding like a fun, although slightly bizarre idea, the aim of National Puppy Day
is to raise awareness for puppies without a home and to help save orphaned
puppies. Colleen Paige is the founder of this pioneering puppy saving idea, and she
also runs the National Dog Day and National Cat Day. She has devoted her life to
improving the lives of animals and hopes her idea will educate the public on the
horrors of puppy mills.

There are so many businesses nowadays calling themselves dog breeders, but
despite the government’s attempts to impose stringent rules on the matter, many
dogs are still being held in illegal conditions and people are making a profit out of
these animals suffering.

Therefore it is advised that you adopt puppies or buy them from rescue shelters, like
The Ark, in Stubbington. This way you know your puppy has been cared for, has had
all the necessary vaccinations and is healthy. Furthermore, getting a puppy from a
rescue shelter helps save a dog’s life and give them a home and a loving owner after being, in all likelihood, abandoned.

Some people would say that buying puppies from puppy mills saves the dog from
further misery, but this is not the solution. Buying puppies from puppy mills only fuels
the puppy mill market, allowing more puppies to fall victim to this fate.

If you do plan to buy a puppy from somewhere else, perhaps from a friend of a
friend, there are a couple of things to look out for. It’s important to notice any bad odours and unhealthy conditions in the kennel. For instance, the conditions may be cramped, with over 20 puppies in one small space and it may smell awful, like urine or other similar excretions.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for a limping or especially skinny puppy. These are a key signs that the puppy is not being cared for properly. Genuine puppy breeders treat their puppies like their own dogs, like their own flesh and blood. If one of the puppies looks unwell, don’t be shy, question it. All certified dog dealers should have references and feedback from old customers. If you can’t find any online, don’t be afraid to ask the dealer directly.

If you’re a potential buyer you should also be wary of a breeder that is vague or unwilling to let you see the puppy’s mother or father. If the breeder sounds dodgy, then it’s very likely that they are dodgy. Ensure that the breeder shows you the mother and father of the dog, tells you the breed of the dog and if it is a pedigree breed, that they provide you with an authentic certificate showing the dog’s breed and family history.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances that many puppies are facing this National Puppy Day, it’s can still be a day of celebration. One way is to help your local dog shelters. It’s essential if you want to help save other dogs and puppies. Our generosity and kindness is one of the main reasons for the survival of most puppy shelters. So if you don’t have a dog but want to spread the love, donate

You could also make a difference by hosting a puppy party. Can’t find a theme for Purple Wednesday? How about puppies? A social about puppies will surely be remembered, so grab a tail and some ears and get out to spread the awareness for National Puppy Day and muster up as many donations as possible. Alternatively, you could always have an actual Puppy party. Invite your friends and their dogs, stock up on food and dog treats, and have a great night in celebrating with your dogs.

If your puppy is nervous around people, or all your friends are cat people, how about spending a bit of quality time, just you and your dog? Go for a walk in the park. According to dog experts it is best to keep walks to 5 minutes per month of age, so for a 4 month old dog, this would be 20 minutes.

On the other hand, why not play games with your puppy, like hide and seek? This is great for honing your pets hunting skills and they’ll be so excited when they find you. If that sounds a bit far-fetched for you, how about a simple game of fetch? Spend time with your dog this National Puppy Day and raise awareness for dogs who need help!

For more information on National Puppy Day or to make a donation visit their website.

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