As summer begins winding down, people and their pooches are gearing up to celebrate National Dog Day, on Friday August 26.
Established in 2004 as a day to bring attention to the number of dogs that need to be adopted and rescued, the day is marked with special events, fundraisers and pooch-oriented parties at assorted hotels and restaurants around the country.
Here are some of the places where people and their pups are celebrating this year:
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Also in Hollywood, the Andaz West Hollywood hotel on the Sunset Strip will roll out a doggie red carpet for National Dog Day and have treats, props and toys on hand so pups can strike a perfect pose for a photo op.
In Atlanta, there will be a free Park and Bark event on Friday evening in Historic Fourth Ward Park. Hosted by car shopping site Autotrader, the party will have a live DJ, displays of pet-friendly vehicles and accessories, information and demonstrations about pet safety laws on the road, doggy ice cream, prizes, giveaways and pet adoptions.
Hip Hotel Derek in Houston, Texas is celebrating National Dog Day by hosting a doggy photoshoot on Friday from 5-7 p.m. with a professional photography on duty and a backdrop, party hats and gourmet dog treats, including ‘pupcakes’ from Sprinkles Cupcakes, provided. Houston’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will also be onsite with some adoptable pups.
Loews Regency New York is inviting people and their pets to a Yappy Hour on Friday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. that will feature specialty cocktails, doggy treats and complimentary Puppycinos and specialty cocktails. There will also be a silent auction to benefit New York Bully Crew, the not-for-profit Pitbull-oriented rescue organization.
In Oregon, Dakota, the Golden Retriever who currently serves as director of pet relations at Hotel Monaco Portland will be giving free gift boxes filled with handmade treats, dog shampoo and more to each dog that checks in with its owner. The hotel will also have a basket of dog toys in the lobby all weekend that guests and visitors may purchase for $5, with proceeds going to Dove Lewis, a nonprofit, 24-hour pet emergency and intensive care unit in the region.
At both Gansevoort Hotel Group properties in New York City, where year-round pet amenities include a pet bed, a monogrammed mat, a toy and ‘wee-wee’ pads, there will be a special check-in gift on National Dog Day in the form of an complimentary 8-ounce pouch of treats from Lord Jameson, an artisanal dog patisserie. A bonus Lord Jameson treat will arrive with turn down service.
In Miami’s South Beach, the Washington Park Hotel is taking a cue from the Rio Olympics and hosting a day of Doggy Olympics on Friday, with an obstacle course on the lawn offering jumping, running and fetching challenges. There will be puppy-approved ice-cream for contestants and gold medal-shaped doggy treats for the winners.
Guests who dine in the outdoor areas of these hotels with their pets can treat their canine lunch or dinner companions to a free meal created by a celebrated chef: At Jonathan Waxman’s Jams at 1 Hotel Central Park, dogs can dine on a bone-shaped biscuit made with whole grains, eggs and chicken stock, followed by Pupsicles: a peanut butter, flax seed & frozen yogurt treat, with dog-friendly oatmeal cookie crumbles mixed in.
At Tom Colicchio’s Beachcraft at 1 Hotel South Beach, dogs will dine for free on the All American Dog, which is a chicken liver and bacon treat topped with a ketchup glaze appetizer, followed the Paleo Pup meal of raw beef, carrots, celery and blueberries.
Harriet Baskas is an NBC News contributor who writes about travel and the arts.