On National Puppy Day, a little girl joyfully sits on a wooden bench with a pomeranian dog she just brought home.

When and What is National Puppy Day All About in Australia?

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They say every dog (and puppy) has its day. Does that mean there’s a National Puppy Day in Australia? In this article we seek to uncover the answer to this question, along with tips for bringing home a new puppy.

After all, the only thing better than becoming a puppy parent is becoming a PRO puppy parent. What better way to learn the ropes than on National Puppy Day. Assuming there is one, of course.

Let’s take a peek!

A black and tan German Shepherd puppy sitting in the grass yawns cutely.

Is there a National Puppy Day in Australia?

OK, now for the big question. Is there a National Puppy Day in Australia? Fingers crossed, toes too…

The answer is YES! Of course! As one of the biggest pet loving nations on the planet, we had to have a National Puppy Day. To be precise, although it’s colloquially referred to as a national day, it’s really Inter-National Puppy Day because it’s celebrated around the world.

Nearly half (48%) of households in Australia are home to a dog/s.

Who could resist, right?

Celebrate National Puppy Day by bringing home one of these adorable puppies sitting in the back of an old truck.

When is National Puppy Day in Australia?

OK, great – now that we know there is indeed a National Puppy Day, when is it? Here’s the answer:

National Puppy Day takes place on 23rd March every year.

That means it shifts by a day of the week each year and this year we celebrate this glorious day on a Saturday. What could be better than celebrating this furbulous weekend by researching or taking ownership of a new puppy or dog?

Speaking of which, don’t overlook the more mature canine companions if you’re deciding to bring home an adopted dog. Find out all about the pros and cons of older dogs for adoption. (Remembering they don’t have many options if they don’t get a second chance in life).

In fact, National Puppy Day all started with a 10 year old shelter dog. More on this, next.

A woman is bringing home a new Husky dog puppy from a shelter

When did National Puppy Day start?

National Puppy Day was started by an animal behaviourist, animal rights advocate and author named Colleen Paige. She decided the start this special pet day of the year to shine a spotlight on puppy mills.

Her own dog, Sheltie, was 10 years old when she adopted her. This inspired Colleen to lay the groundwork for National Puppy Day by first launching National Dog Day. National Dog Day is on 26 August, the day Colleen adopted Sheltie.

The idea behind National Puppy Day is to raise awareness around the number of puppies, dogs and pets in general that are in shelters. Every one of these animals deserves a second chance.

Shelters in Australia are under pressure

Despite our massive love of pets in Australia, shelters are under immense pressure. Unplanned litters and changes in peoples’ life circumstances are leading to high numbers of abandoned and unwanted animals. Many of these are euthanised when they don’t get adopted timeously.

Unfortunately, even more dogs ended up in shelters after lockdown ended. Realisations from pet parents who’d adopted during lockdowns but couldn’t care properly for their pet as they went back to work were heart-breaking.

Work, travel and other commitments have returned to the forefront of people’s minds, leaving a lot of dogs – and cats behind. Read more in our article about Australians giving up a pet to a shelter because they can no longer care for them.

A man pets a puppy that he's considering bringing home from a dog shelter

Tips for adopting a dog on National Puppy Day

Bringing home a new puppy or dog could be the ultimate way to celebrate National Puppy Day. But don’t rush in! Make sure you’ve got the time, money and love to give your potential pooch the quality of live it deserves first.

If you’re adopting a dog (or even decide to adopt a cat for that matter), make sure you’ve got your essentials in place. Here are some important reads to get you started:

We’ve also put together 10 tips for settling your puppy in well from day one.

1. Get first time introductions done the right way

First impressions last. Make them meaningful by introducing new pets to existing members of the household with due diligence. Generally, this takes some planning so you can do it over some days or even weeks.

Introductions between existing and new pets are like wine. Take it slow and the relationship will mature well. We’ve compiled steps by step tips for introducing your kitten and cat and introducing your puppy to a cat.

If you’re reading this and you’ve already got a dog but are expecting a new human, check out our how-tos for introducing your dog to a new baby.

On National Puppy Day, woman tenderly pets a white Pomeranian puppy she's considering bringing home from the pet shelter.

2. Don’t skimp on training and socialisation

Puppies are falling over themselves with excitement at the sheer joy of life. They need a bit, or rather a lot, of direction. Providing them training and socialisation helps keep them in check and gives them confidence.

They enjoy the learning process and stability that training offers them. Not to mention the happiness they see you expressing towards them for being a well-behaved dog.

Here are several tips for training and socialising your puppy:

Take time out to bond with your pet each day. No matter how fast life seems, knowing you and your pet will get through the thick and thin together helps make it all worthwhile.

If you have a rescue pet know that patience is a virtue. They may have had a rough time and need that extra reassurance everything is going to be OK. If they seem to be struggling, consider a pet behaviourist to help set them on course sooner.

A puppy playing with a piece of cloth on National Puppy Day.

3. Get everything you need and balance your budget

Like human kids, pets cost a lot. But provided you’ve planned for their needs, this needn’t be a shock nor break the bank. Before bringing home a new puppy, it’s important to get your head around the real price of new pets.

Learn how to budget for vet bills and other pet care costs so you don’t get any nasty surprises along the way. This includes a range of food and health requirements, which we’ve looked at here:

Pets respond well to the security of routine. Establish when playtime, exercise and feeding times are early on so yours can get well settled in.

Consider giving your pet a den they can call their own, somewhere they can retreat to that has all their favourite things, from toys and bedding to one of your worn T-shirts! Some dogs enjoy having their own dens, so read whether to crate train your puppy. You’ll also want to read our Dog Crate Sizes: How To Pick The Right One guide.

woman celebrates her puppy on national puppy day

Celebrate National Puppy Day with pet insurance

When you’re bringing home a new puppy, consider giving them the safety net of puppy insurance. Pet insurance means spending more time together bonding, rather than worrying about potential vet bills.

Your pet’s policy can help pay for hospitalisation, X-rays, surgery, bloodwork and much, much more. It covers a wide range of treatment and diagnostics and can even cover dental depending on the level of cover you choose.

That’s why pet insurance is so important – it empowers you to make quick decisions on medical care so you can focus on the positives of pet parenting. Plus, PD Insurance gives you one or more months of FREE pet insurance when you buy your pet’s plan online.

Take two minutes and get a quick quote now, simply by clicking below.

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