As if you need an excuse to celebrate your #1 companion.

By Zoe Denenberg
February 12, 2020

In the South, we can turn any ordinary day into an excuse for a party. We celebrate holidays big and small, whether that means going all-out for an opulent Thanksgiving dinner or baking layer cakes to celebrate promotions and everyday victories. And now, we’ve found the latest excuse to celebrate one of the most important members of your family. That’s right: February 23 is National Dog Biscuit Day.

Personally, I’m no stranger to pet-centric holidays. For a long time, I was embarrassed to admit that my family celebrates our dog Melo’s birthday every year. My mom makes him his own mini hamburger and we all sing happy birthday as Melo, confused and drooling uncontrollably, eyes the plain beef patty on the plate before him. But recently, I discovered that hosting a little birthday party for your pup is actually fairly common—Test Kitchen Professional Ivy Odom says that she celebrates her dog Basil’s birthday and his “gotcha day” (his adoption day) each year.

When I polled the Southern Living Editors, most said that they make an effort to recognize their pups’ birthdays, even if it’s just with a few extra pats. But many go above and beyond. Multiple Editors sent photos of their dogs in themed regalia, enjoying a nice birthday treat; Assistant Editor Jorie McDonald shared some glamour shots of her silver lab Jeter scarfing down a custom (pet-safe) cake on his third birthday.

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Left: Credit: @jeter.thesilverlab on Instagram
Right: Jeter celebrating his third birthday. | Credit: @jeter.thesilverlab on Instagram

If you needed another excuse to celebrate, we’ve dug up the perfect pet-focused holiday to liven up your dog’s routine this year. As Southern Living’s resident pet savant, I’m usually the first to hear of any dog-related news. So naturally, when Features Editor Betsy Cribb discovered that February 23 is in fact National Dog Biscuit Day, she sent the memo my way.

According to National Day Calendar, February 23 doesn’t just mark National Dog Biscuit Day: “This day is also observed around the world as International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.” Clearly, the love that we have for our pet companion knows no geographic bounds.

What are the origins of this obscure holiday? It’s unclear. Will we be celebrating all the same? Absolutely.

So on February 23, pick up a pack of Fido’s favorite jerky sticks and treat him to a very special snack.