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National Puppy Day

March 15, 2024

This month has definitely gone to the dogs: National Puppy Day is on the 23rd! This ‘pawesome’ occasion was started not just to celebrate little Fido, but also to encourage and inform people about responsible adoption practices. A local vet puts puppies in the spotlight in this piece from Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO animal hospital.

When Did National Puppy Day Start?

Pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige started this adorable holiday back in 2006. While this is certainly a perfect time to share some adorable puppy pics, there is a bigger purpose. Paige wanted to call attention to puppy mills and some of the horrific practices they follow. As you may know, puppy mills are a huge animal welfare concern. 

We are happy to say that there has been progress in this area in recent years. Many pet stores now refuse to take puppies from mills. There are also more laws cracking down on the practices than there were back in 2006. However, there’s still a long way to go in this area. 

How Do I Tell A Breeder From A Puppy Mill?

To be fair, there are some truly wonderful breeders out there. Sadly, puppy mills often try to imitate them in ads. 

Look at how many breeds are available from a seller. Most of the time, responsible breeders have a special affinity, expertise, or love for a certain breed. Therefore, most focus on just a few select breeds. Often, it’s just one. A breeder with a variety of different breeds may be more focused on turning a profit than breeding responsibly.

Good breeders will also vet you, and will be very selective about who they let their puppies go to. You might have to fill out an application, and possibly even do a sort of meet and greet or interview.

Next, read the paperwork. A good breeder will include pedigree papers, vaccination records, breed information, and possibly some care tips. You may have to agree to get your canine buddy fixed, or, in some cases, pay a higher fee for the ability to breed your own pet. Many good breeders also often offer return options should the puppy develop certain congenital health issues.

Transparency is also very important. Potential owners should be able to visit the puppies and see where they are housed.  In fact, good breeders encourage this! The pups’ area should be clean, comfy, and spacious. 

What Can I Do To Help Fight Puppy Mills?

One of the really infuriating things about puppy mills is the fact that they take advantage of people’s goodwill and love of puppies, while mistreating their breeding dogs. Many are kept in deplorable conditions and do not get proper care. Sadly, they are often abandoned once they can no longer have babies.

Here are a few pointers:

Never Buy Puppies Online. We understand that it makes sense to start your search online. For instance, if you’re looking for a puppy of a specific breed, Googling local breeders is only reasonable. However, you should be able to visit the breeder and see the kennel in person. The main thing is to be very wary of ads on marketplaces like Craigslist.

Support Educational Programs: The Humane Society has a great program that is geared toward elementary schools; the Nose-to-Tail program. Recommend incorporating it into your child’s school curriculum, or, go through it with your child at home. You can find more information on that here.

Adopt, Don’t Shop: We’re thrilled to see public opinion turning against puppy mills. This slogan is really taking root. Start your search at a local rescue or shelter. They often get puppies as well!

Support Animal Welfare Legislation:  Animal lovers will find lots of causes and legislature to support. Keep a close eye out for those that involve puppy mills and breeders. 

How Do I Choose A Puppy?

This can be tricky. Puppies are absolutely adorable, and it can be really hard to resist their cute furry faces. However, adopting little Fido is a lifelong commitment, so you’ll want to consider more than just how adorable he is. There are no bad puppies, but there are definitely bad matches between puppies and owners.

Here are a few things to look over:

  • Average Lifespan
  • Expected Adult Size
  • Drooling
  • Barking
  • Shedding
  • Intelligence
  • Mental Stimulation Requirements
  • Grooming Needs
  • Trainability
  • Activity Needs
  • Good With Kids
  • Good With Pets
  • Common Health Concerns

Reading up on your potential pet’s breed can help a lot as far as giving you a general idea of what to expect, and can help you narrow your focus down and find the perfect pooch. That all said, there’s still plenty of room to open your heart. You may just fall in love with a specific pooch. That’s okay, too! 

Getting Ready For Your New Puppy

You’ll want to have everything ready before you bring the little guy home. That means adding a few things to your to-do list.


Plan to head to the pet store, or put in a pretty sizable online order. Little Fido will need food, treats, dishes, toys, grooming supplies, more toys, bedding, chew toys, paw care supplies, plushie toys, a harness and a leash or collar, ID tags, and a crate or carrier. GPS tags aren’t a bad idea, either!


Baby dogs are all at high risk of ingesting or choking on unsafe items. Little Fido is both very curious and very playful, and tends to investigate things by, well, eating them. Puppyproofing is a must! 

Here are some of the things to address:

  •  Toxic plants (Check the ASPCA site here for a full list.) 
  •  Plastic bags and ties
  •  Lawn/Garden products, such as fertilizers and slug bait
  •  Wires And Cords
  •  Ropes and Cords
  •  Medicine (Prescription and OTC)
  •  Vitamins
  • Small pieces of clothing
  •  Garbage
  • Personal Items (Phones, wallets, etc.)
  • Earbuds

Ask your  Boulder, CO veterinarians for helpful tips on helping little Fido get through that crazy chewing stage safely.

Contact Your   Boulder, CO Veterinary Clinic

Speaking of veterinarians, one of the very first things you’ll want to do is call us to make an appointment. Your canine friend will need a full, nose-to-wagging-tail examination. Vaccinations, parasite control, microchipping, and spay/neuter surgery are all very important! While you’re here, don’t be afraid to ask us for tips on things like little Fido’s grooming, diet, exercise, and training needs. We love watching puppies go from adorable baby dogs to happy, healthy adult dogs.  

How To Celebrate National Puppy Day

You don’t have to go too crazy to get into the spirit and help spread the word. Just sharing pictures and infographics about puppies and puppy adoption will help. 

Another great option is to share the word about adoptable puppies on social media. Of course, if you have a puppy of your own, you can also treat little Fido by giving him a new toy or a special treat. This is also a great time to take some cute pictures and share them on social media. 

Have you recently adopted a puppy? Contact us here at Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO animal hospital, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!