Bark, Adopt, Repeat: The Tail-Wagging Tale of National Dog Day!

Bark, Adopt, Repeat: The Tail-Wagging Tale of National Dog Day!

Vanessa LeRoux

Way back in 2004, the fabulous Colleen Paige, a pet and family lifestyle guru, had a paw-some idea. He thought, 'Why not dedicate a day to our furry, four-legged BFFs?' And just like that, National Dog Day was born!

But this wasn't just any ordinary day of belly rubs and fetch. Oh no! Colleen had a bigger bone to pick. He wanted to shine a spotlight on all the tail-wagging buddies waiting in rescue centres, dreaming of a family to call their own. "Adopt, don't shop!" became the bark of the town.

And guess what? National Dog Day isn't picky! Whether you're a dashing Dalmatian, a mysterious mutt, or a charming Chihuahua, this day celebrates You. Every dog has a day on this special occasion, from the regal pure breeds to the marvellous mixed breeds.

Celebrating Our Furry Best Friends: International Dog Day 2023

As the calendar pages flutter by, we find ourselves once again on the cusp of a day that holds a special place in the hearts of many: International Dog Day. This year, on the 26th of August, which falls on a Saturday, we pause to celebrate our four-legged companions who bring boundless joy, love and comfort into our lives.

A black Labrador service dog walks with her owner in the street.

Standing By Us: The Unspoken Loyalty of Our Four-Legged Friends

Dogs are not just pets; they are family. Their unwavering loyalty and affection remind us daily of the simple joys of life. From the wagging tails of our household pets to the disciplined focus of working dogs, their contributions to humankind are immeasurable. They've earned the title of "man's best friend" not just in words but deeds, standing by our side through thick and thin.

A brown, black and cream dogs look ready to be adopted this international dog day. Adopt don't shop.

Adopt, Adore, Advocate: Every Dog's Right to Love and a Loving Home

Yet, as we bask in the warmth of their companionship, it's essential to remember the countless dogs awaiting a loving home. The adoption journey is one of the most rewarding experiences, offering a second chance to those who've faced hardships.

While pure breeds are alluring, the charm and uniqueness of mixed breeds - especially our own Canis Afrikanis - are equally enchanting. Every dog, regardless of its lineage, deserves love and care.

Guardians of the Innocent: South Africa's Rescue Welfares and Shelters

In our communities in South Africa, rescue welfare and shelters play a pivotal role in safeguarding these innocent souls. Breed rescues focus on specific breeds, ensuring they find suitable homes. Rescue welfares and shelters provide a sanctuary for distressed dogs; they forge ahead in their communities through education and animal-care services.

Read on for an outline of the animal welfare organisations Petworld partners with and learn about their life-saving work. Also included at the end of the article is a list of breed-specific rescues and popular dog parks in South Africa.

A Border Collie rides along with his doggy hooman onboard a sup. Looking happy together the two ride down the river.

Making International Dog Day 2023 Unforgettable: Fun Activities to Dive Into!

Wondering how to make this International Dog Day a barking good time? Dive into our curated list of delightful and unforgettable activities that will have your dog's tail wagging in joy.

From simple gestures to grand adventures, these terrific ideas are the ultimate way to say, "I woof you!" So, read on and get ready to create some bark-worthy memories! Don't forget to pack some taste-tastic dog treats for extra fun and boosted energy.

Whatever activity you choose, we find that eco-friendly poop bags are always a vital take-along:

A pointer and friend stroll across the sand with the waves rolling in behind them.

Beach Day Out:

Grab the sunscreen and your dog's favourite toy, and head to the nearest dog-friendly beach. Let your furry friend run on the golden sands, chase the waves, and maybe even try a bit of beach volleyball with other doggy pals!

Set up your gazebo, tent or umbrella and lay out a blanket or a towel underneath it where your hound can rest easy or nap in the shade. Remember to pack plenty of fresh water for both of you!

Nature Trail Adventure:

Explore the beauty of nature with your best friend by your side. Whether it's a serene woodland path or a trail alongside a bubbling brook, the sights and sounds will be a treat for both of you. Keep fresh water handy at all times. Don't forget to pack a picnic – maybe, no definitely, some dog-friendly treats for your companion!

Goldendoodle stands on a bench enjoying the wide open vista of lake and cliffs.

Mountain Hike Challenge:

Feeling adventurous? Take on a challenging hike with your dog. The climb might be tough, but the view from the top, coupled with the sense of achievement, will make it all worth it.

Ensure you have sturdy shoes and your dog has its protective gear on! Your pooch needs to be fit enough to take on the challenge. If you've got a couch potato for a doggo, start your hiking vision off with progressively longer walks until she's rearing to go.

Doggy Playdate:

Organise a fun-filled playdate at your local park. Invite your dog's best buddies and watch them frolic, play fetch and maybe even indulge in a friendly tug-of-war. Or take your pup along to the next get-together or braai; they'll love hanging out with their doggo buddies and their very own canine family members. It's socialising for them and a joy to watch for you!

A forlorn doggo, most likely a cross between a Corgi and a St. Bernard looks hopefully through the chain link fence in search for her forever family.

Shelter Love:

When you want to spread some doggy love, visit your local shelters. Donate, volunteer, or spend time with the dogs there. Your presence can make a world of difference to a dog waiting for its forever home. Read on to learn about animal welfare organisations you can bless and support.

A pile of multi-coloured puppy biscuit treats.<br>

Treat Time:

Whip up some homemade doggy treats or buy their all-time favourite from the store. Maybe even set up a mini 'treat tasting' session for them. Watch their tails wag in delight with every bite!

There are plenty of human foods to give your dog as a treat. It's all about mixing up a paw-fect blend of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to keep those tails wagging and noses sniffing in top form. Snacks should only form 10% of your dog's daily food intake.*

Safe Food for Dogs to Snack On*
Apples Avoid skin & seeds Small Ice chips Limited amount
Bananas Avoid peel Lettuce Low Calorie
Carrots Go bananas! Peanut Butter Dog friendly only
Strawberries Rinse first Pea Pods Low Calorie
Blueberries Limited amount Popcorn No salt & butter
Oranges Avoid skin & seeds Pumpkin In moderation
Eggs Serve fully cooked Raspberries Limited amount
Green beans Go bananas! Sweet Potatoes High calorie
Rice Cooked & limit regularity Squash Avoid strings & seeds
Cheese Limited amount Greek yoghurt Limited amount

Where Compassion Meets Commitment: Petworld's Vision for Animal Well-being

At the heart of Petworld's forward-thinking vision lies a deep-rooted commitment to the well-being and happiness of pets, especially those who've yet to find their forever homes. Petworld stands as a beacon of hope for countless animals in South Africa.

The company's dedication extends far beyond its store walls, as it actively collaborates with local animal shelters, ensuring that every animal receives the love, care, and attention they deserve.

By fostering a community centred around a shared passion for pets, Petworld champions the cause of animal welfare, making a tangible difference in the lives of both pets and their potential families.

A young bulldog mix struts her stuff with an "Adopt Me" purple coat on.

Petworld's Community Partners in Sanctuary, Shelter and Adoption

K9 & Bridgers Animal Rescue Service

The K9 & Bridgers team is built on love, passion and grit. They believe it takes a village to care for the people and animals of Lourensia Park, Somerset West.

They are dedicated to building this community and really changing the way animals are seen and treated. Rain, wind or shine, you will find them at their posts breaking the cycle of animal mistreatment through education.

This devoted team treasures every small step forward towards better pet care. Success stories include allowing a chained dog to run free in their garden, watching an emaciated cat restored to health and vigour, or being spontaneously hugged because you saved an animal's life. Contact details: Phone Number: 0796292830 or

A large wire-haired mixed breed pup sits patiently waiting  for her forever home.

Cast Aways Animal Sanctuary

Cast Aways is a pro-life, non-profit animal sanctuary operating in the West Rand area. They typically serve their community by rescuing, sterilising, rehabilitating and rehoming pets that have been abused, abandoned, lost or neglected.

This compassionate organisation is committed to giving all rescued pets a place where they can feel comfortable, be fed appropriately and receive medical treatment until they are placed in their forever homes.

They have made it their quest to put homeless pets into the hearts and minds of people in such a profound way that putting companion animals to sleep becomes completely unacceptable.

Cast Aways believes that every pet deserves a loving home. Another essential part of their mission is reuniting lost animals with their owners. Contact dtails: 072 812 3333 or

Medium size, cute mixed breed dog sports a heart shaped poster that says 'be mine'.

HAWK - Human Animal Welfare Koinonia (means community)

Hawk is a no-kill shelter operating without government support in the rural outskirts of the greater Atlantis area. They assist these impoverished communities by conveying that all animals' lives matter. They are the voice of the voiceless.

Their commitment is to an ongoing willingness to help animals regardless of whether they are sick or old. To give them all a fighting chance at life. Hawk believes in education and sterilisation before confiscation.

The many and varied success stories bring joy to this remarkable organisation. They have found forever homes for disabled, old and blind animals. Animals that have suffered abuse have found refuge, rehabilitation and the chance to start fresh with a new family.

After adoption, HAWK remains committed to their animals. Their doors are always open to ensure a pet remains in good care. Contact: 072 933 4630 or

German Shepherd cross Husky, another doggo ready for adoption this international dog day.

Peaceland Grace of God Animal Sanctuary

Nestled in the heart of Malmsbury lies a special haven - the Peaceland Grace of God Animal Sanctuary. This labour of love is sprouting on the founder's family farm, Kilpvlei.

Their quirky bric-a-brac shop is a treasure trove of building materials, which they sell to the public. Every purchase helps raise funds for the shelter, proving that every little bit counts when it comes to caring for our furry friends.

Imagine a space where little pups can frolic freely, away from the bigger dogs, and kids can join in the fun safely. That's precisely what they're creating! And for the parents? A cosy coffee corner to kick back and relax.

With over thirty tail-wagging residents and a cattery ready to welcome its feline guests, Peaceland is a testament to the belief that shelter dogs and cats matter.

For more details or to lend a helping hand, visit their website or reach out directly. Every gesture, big or small, makes a world of difference. Call: 082 636 4734 email

A golden-coloured, short-hair senior dog sports white angel wings with 'Love' written on them.

Fallen Angels Pet Rescue

Fallen Angels Pet Rescue is a non-profit organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa, dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming cats and dogs abandoned or surrendered by their owners.

The organisation was founded in 2012 and has since rescued and rehomed over 1,200 animals. Fallen Angels Pet Rescue provides a temporary home for animals in need and works to rehabilitate them both physically and emotionally.

The organisation's team of dedicated volunteers provide medical care, training, and socialisation to help prepare the animals for adoption. Once the animals are ready for adoption, Fallen Angels Pet Rescue carefully screens potential adopters to ensure that the animals are placed in loving and permanent homes.

The organisation also provides ongoing support to adopters to ensure that the animals are well-cared for and happy in their new homes. Contact them at Or call 084 482 0290.

A  golden Mastiff puppy with green eyes cuddles up to a little brown and white kitty.

Kitty and Puppy Haven

Nestled in the heart of Johannesburg, South Africa, is the heartwarming sanctuary of Kitty and Puppy Haven. Established in 2000, this non-profit has been a shelter for over 10,000 whiskered and wagging tails.

Every cat and dog that finds its way to this haven has a story, often filled with neglect, abuse, or abandonment. But there, they find a second chance.

The passionate volunteers at Kitty and Puppy Haven pour their love and energy into healing, training and socialising these furry souls. And when it's time to find a forever home? They ensure each animal finds a family that's just the right fit, offering a lifetime of love and care.

But their commitment doesn't end there. They stand by their adopters, offering guidance and support, ensuring every story has a happy ending. At Kitty and Puppy Haven, it's not just about rescue; it's about creating lifelong bonds. Contact them at Or call: 083 387 1012.

 A brindle mix sits in the long grass soaking up the sun, wailing to be adopted.

ROAR for PAWS Rural Outreach and Relief for Paws

ROAR is a non-profit organisation with the maxim that sterilisation is paramount and that forgotten pets are the most important. They do not want to be a quiet voice for the forgotten souls in rural areas; they want to raise awareness with a mighty ROAR! And that's just what they've been doing for twelve years.

Their message to the animals is both inspiring and touching: "You are beautiful. You are worthy of love and affection. You are the most stunning of all God's creations." These beliefs underpin their outreach work in the rural and disadvantaged communities on the farms in the Paarl area.

The aim is to uplift these communities through education that teaches the correct and humane care and handling of animals. Please contact them at Or call: 084 516 6903.

A young black Labrador stands in wait for training. He's wearing green "Guide Dog Puppy" uniform.

The Guide Dog Association of South Africa

Guide Dog Association of South Africa is a non-profit organisation that is committed to providing guide dogs to visually impaired individuals in South Africa.

The organisation was established in 1953 and has since trained and placed over 1,700 guide dogs with visually impaired people. The guide dogs provided by the Guide Dog Association of South Africa are trained to help their visually impaired handlers navigate their environment and avoid obstacles.

These dogs are trained to be obedient, patient, and reliable. They give their handlers a sense of independence and allow them to live more fulfilling lives. Contact them at Or contact: Western Cape at 021 674 7395 and Johannesburg at 011 705 3512.

White and brown mixed breed dog races across the grass.

Here's how you can make a difference:

Volunteering: Whether assisting on adoption days or helping with transportation, your time can change an animal's life.

Fostering: Open your home and heart to an animal in need. You'll provide love and guidance as a foster parent, teaching them to trust and care. Rest assured, the fostered animal's food and medical supplies will be provided.

Ongoing Food Donations: The rescues' appetites for food are insatiable, with a staggering monthly consumption. Your regular food donations can ensure no belly goes hungry.

Cleaning Supplies: Keeping their environments clean and hygienic is paramount. Donations of mops, disinfectants, and other cleaning products are always welcome and greatly appreciated.

Other Donations: From blankets to tick and flea treatments, deworming medication, and dog kennels, every bit helps.

Bric-a-brac Donations: Many welfare organisations have shops to sell secondhand goods to raise money for the animals. If you've got items cluttering up your home, consider donating.

Sterilisation Donations: Consider funding a sterilisation procedure, a crucial step in ensuring the well-being of the animals.

Social Media Support: Sometimes, a simple share or comment on their Facebook or Instagram posts can make a world of difference, spreading awareness and rallying support.

By stepping up in any of these ways, you're not just helping an organisation but becoming part of a community that believes in second chances and lifelong bonds.

Dreams come true when a pet finds a home and is happy and healthy. Indeed, all souls matter. Spread the word. Petworld is proud to support these animal welfares through shopping voucher donations for their animals and by hosting Adoption Days in its stores.

Most of these welfare organisations are solely reliant on their communities for support. These donations help to ensure that the cats and dogs receive the necessary supplies and care to help them flourish and find forever homes. 

Young Bernese Mountain Dog puppy sits in shopping cart, ready to pick up a new collar and some dog food at Petworld.

Bark, Browse, Bond: Honoring Our Furry Companions on International Dog Day!

At Petworld, our commitment to the well-being of pets, especially dogs, is unwavering. As we look forward to the future of pet shopping, both in-store and online, we cherish the moments we share with our furry friends. This International Dog Day, let's unite as a community, celebrating the love, joy, and comfort our dogs bring into our lives.

In conclusion, every day with a dog is a celebration. But on International Dog Day, let's make it extra special. Here's to our canine companions today and always!

Breed-Specific Animal Welfares

Doggo-Friendly Parks in South Africa

De Waal Park – Cape Town

Green Point Urban Park - Cape Town

Kenridge Bark Park – Cape Town

Leadville Dog Park – Cape Town

Walkhaven Dog Park – Johannesburg

Benoni Dog Park – Benoni

Waterkloof Dog Park – Pretoria

Combrink Park – Pretoria

Paws in the East Park – Pretoria

Scout Bowl Park – Westville

Jameson Park – Durban

Bark Park – Port Elizabeth

Radloff Park - Somerset West

Unleashed Dog Park – Hoedspruit