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Where to Find Freebies for Fido on National Dog Day

These deals, discounts and treats will have tails wagging


spinner image a smiling man pets a brown dog outside next to a white fence
Cavan Images/Getty Images

You likely already treat your pooch like the top dog he or she is, but there’s an unofficial holiday specifically observed for spoiling man’s best friend. It’s National Dog Day on Saturday, Aug. 26, and many freebies and deals are available for you to celebrate your loyal companion.​

​Keep in mind: National chains may have different offerings based on location, so it’s best to ask your local haunt specifically what they offer. 

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​And as a word of caution: As delicious as these treats are, Zack Keithy, a former veterinary tech who is now chief editor at Daily Dog Drama, advises that it’s crucial to be cautious.  ​“Some fast-food and chain restaurant treats might contain excess salt, sugar or unhealthy additives that could harm your dog’s health. It’s best to avoid feeding them directly from your fast-food meal and opt for more dog-specific treats,” he says.

spinner image a happy puppy laying on the floor, grabbing a treat from its owner
Anita Kot/Getty Images

Starbucks

While it’s not advertised on the Starbucks site or menu, a quick Instagram search with the term “Puppuccino” shows the item’s popularity. Keithy says it’s simply a small cup filled with whipped cream. “This treat is safe for most dogs in moderation, as long as they don’t have any dairy allergies,” he says. Puppuccinos are free.

Bruster’s Ice Cream

Bruster’s offers free doggie sundaes (a scoop of ice cream and a dog treat) every day of the year — and that promotion will be in full swing on National Dog Day. Bruster’s has nearly 200 independently owned locations in 22 sates. Find the nearest location on the Bruster’s website.

Shake Shack

spinner image Pet owner feeding his Labrador Retriever in home kitchen
Chalabala/Getty Images

Shake Shack is known for having its dog menu available year-round. On National Dog Day, you can treat yourself and your dog: Buy a shake and get a Pooch-ini for free. Pooch-inis are ShackBurger dog biscuits (made with hormone-free, lean beef with cheddar cheese and a bit of power greens for freshness) and vanilla custard. Shake Shack also offers a Bag o’ Bones, a doggie bag of five ShackBurger dog biscuits by Bocce’s Bakery. Prices vary by location, but you can purchase a Bag o' Bones for around $8, shakes for humans for up to $6.19 and Pooch-inis for up to $4.49.

PetSmart

spinner image smiling woman holding dog in a pet shop offering treats for National Dog Day
moodboard/Getty Images

On National Dog Day, the pet retailer will have an online-only deal offering 15 percent off dog essentials. And while you’re shopping to your dog’s content, Keithy reminds owners that many PetSmart locations have bakeries that offer dog-friendly treats. “From freshly baked biscuits to personalized cakes, these options are generally safe and enjoyable for your dog,” Keithy says. Check your PetSmart to see what it’s offering. 

Dunkin ​

While the company is not explicitly offering treats for your pup, you can feel good about grabbing a coffee at Dunkin’ on National Dog Day. When you order an iced latte via the Dunkin’ mobile app on Saturday, the chain will donate $1 to the Joy in Childhood Foundation to support the Dogs for Joy Program. The program helps increase the number of dogs working full-time at children's hospitals.

Health & Wellness

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BarkBox

The subscription box company is making it easier for dog parents to bring joy to Fido every month. If you’re a first-time BarkBox subscriber, you can get your first box for $5, plus shipping and handling. The monthly BarkBox includes two plush toys and two bags of healthy treats, which you can customize to your dog’s dietary needs. Treats are made in the U.S. and Canada and don’t contain corn, wheat or soy. The promotion runs through Aug. 26.

Chewy

For every $100 spent, customers can receive a $30 eGift card for future purchases at the online pet retailer using the code “BOOP.” 

Treats to make at home 

spinner image homemade doggy biscuits and other treats on a kitchen counter
RHJ/Getty Images

If your dog prefers homemade over fast-food options, consider these easy-to-make treats that are healthier, suggests veterinarian Alex Crow, who runs the pethealthguru.com website. ​​

  • Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats

Mix together 1 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of mashed banana and 1/2 cup of oats. Roll the mixture into small balls and freeze.

“These treats are a good source of protein, fiber and vitamins. They are also low in fat, making them a healthy option for dogs of all ages,” Crow says.​

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  • Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats
spinner image A cute German Shepherd Border Collie Mix breed dog is excited to get a biscuit treat
ChristinLola/Getty Images

Mix together 1 cup of yogurt, 1/4 cup of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze.

“These treats are a good source of calcium and probiotics, which are beneficial for your dog’s gut health. They are also low in sugar, making them a healthy choice for dogs with weight concerns,” Crow says.​

Spoil your pup with special activities 

Dogs’ love for food can only be matched with the love they have for their humans. Keithy suggests the following list of activities to keep your best friend entertained all day. ​

spinner image a dog catches a frisbee from its owner at a park
Zave Smith/Getty Images

“Beyond treats, dogs adore spending time with their owners,” he says. “Dog owners can best treat and celebrate their pups by offering love, attention and engaging activities. Playtime, walks and training sessions are essential.” ​​

Here are some dog-friendly outings you can enjoy together: ​

  • Dog parks. “Let your pup run free and socialize with other dogs at a local dog park,” Keithy says. “It’s a great way for them to burn off energy and make new furry friends.”

  • Beach day. “If you live near a dog-friendly beach, take your pup for a sandy adventure. Swimming, playing fetch and lounging in the sun can make for a perfect day out,” Keithy says. ​​

  • Hiking trails. “Many dogs love exploring nature trails. Choose a trail that suits your pup’s activity level and enjoy a day of bonding amidst scenic beauty,” Keithy suggests.

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