National Dog Day is Thursday, August 26, and since we're depending on our dogs more than ever these days, it's only fitting that we really spoil them this year.

Below we'll dive snout-first into some surefire ways to make your doggo feel loved and appreciated, but first, let's take a quick look at why our four-legged best friends mean the world to us.

Red Rover, Red Rover, Let Data Come Over

The folks at rover.com conducted a nationwide survey to gauge how Americans feel about their pets. The main emphasis was on how pets and their humans bonded during the pandemic, but there were other findings that were pretty interesting as well.

Pandemic Pals

According to their findings, 90% of respondents said they'd grown closer to their pets during the pandemic. That included the 62% of Americans who've adopted a dog or cat since March of 2020, when the pandemic really started to make itself known here in the U.S. and many of us spent more time at home to help slow the spread.

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That doesn't surprise me at all. Because I care for a disabled relative who's vulnerable to the worst effects of the COVID-19 virus, Townsquare Media allowed me to work remotely for almost all of 2020. While I worked from home, my dog, Leela, would often sleep on my feet under my desk or encourage me to take more breaks. (I seldom take breaks when I'm actually in the office, so it was good for me to be reminded that some self-care is needed.)

I definitely feel like I grew even closer to my dog during the pandemic, and I know she grew closer to me because she looks so sad when I have to leave for work in the morning. She got so used to me being around all the time, so now I make sure to be just as excited to see her when I get home as she is to see me.

Here's a Picture of Her, By the Way

Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media

Thank You For Being a Friend

The survey found that 64% of pet parents are spending over 6 hours a day with their little buddy, and 80% say they're spending more time with their pets now than they were before the pandemic. 83% of people worry about their pet when they have to leave the house for work or travel.

It goes to show that we're really relying on our furry friends for emotional support, and that we worry that they won't know how much we love them when we're gone.

Who's the Priority: Your Pet or Your Partner?

Rover's survey also found that 53% of pet parents know the personality and quirks of their pet better than their significant other, their best friend, and even their own mother!

I guess that makes sense. At least when you argue with your pet, it's actually kind of adorable and feelings don't get hurt. Plus it's more fun watching them do stuff.

Who Do You Love?

This made me chuckle. The survey showed that 58% of people planning a trip say they'll miss their pet more than their partner, friends, or family. 66% of people would rather cuddle with their pet than with their partner, and 55% have made an excuse to get out of a social engagement just so they can spend more time with their pet.

What's In a Look?

Finally, 81% of pet parents said they can communicate with their pet with just a look.

I'm definitely in that category! Leela can tell by the look on my face if I want her to sit or stay, if I'm about to take her for a walk, if she's about to get a treat, or if she's going to be in doggy time-out for making a mess.

How to Say Thank You

So, now that we've seen how dog-crazy Americans (myself included) are, let's look at ways we can spoil our good boys and girls on National Dog Day!

GOOD BOY: 10 Best Ways to Spoil Your Dog on National Dog Day

August 26 is National Dog Day, and we have some recommendations for how to make sure your little buddy knows just how much you love and appreciate them.

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