National Black Dog Day: October 1st | PetFirst
National Black Dog Day: October 1st
Pet Care & Health

National Black Dog Day: October 1st

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
7 months ago

If you’ve ever spoken to anyone who does rescue work or works at an animal shelter, you may have heard about Black Dog Syndrome (BDS)6. Black Dog Syndrome is when dogs (and cats) with black fur get passed over for adoption in favor of other fur-colored pets. 

Black dogs are less likely to be adopted regardless of behavior, size, personality, breed, or age. Consequently,  black dogs remain in shelters for more extended periods and are more likely to be euthanized because they don’t find forever homes.

However, October 1st is all about our sleek, darker-colored canine friends. Yes, it is National Black Dog Day, a holiday devoted to encouraging the adoption of darker colored dogs. 

Why Do They Have Their Own Holiday?

National Black Dog Day (also known as World Black Dog Day) was founded by Pet and Family Lifestyle Expert Colleen Paige in 2011. This special day was founded to help highlight the difficulties of black dogs in shelters and end the stigma about their color7

The inspiration for National Black Dog Day came from Paige’s dog, Sailor, a black rescue whose legacy she hoped to honor by encouraging people to adopt black dogs. So if you are considering adding a dog to your pack, consider adopting a beautiful black dog this October!

Why You Should Choose the Darker-Furred Dog

Black dogs are just like any other colored dog; they play, fetch, chase, enjoy long walks and treats, and make great companions.  Most importantly, ebony pups have just as much love to give as their lighter-colored, multi-colored and spotted counterparts.

Whatever traits you love in a dog, they come in black! Not only do black dogs come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and temperaments, they are available in shelters everywhere, and they all need loving homes.

Why are Black Dogs Overlooked?

How can people leave dogs behind merely because of the color of their fur?  A variety of factors play into this disheartening phenomenon:

  • Some people believe that black dogs don’t photograph well because their features don’t stand out. Since many people look online or at shelter photographs before choosing a canine companion, this lack of clarity in photos may work against darker dogs.
  • People have also speculated that dark-colored dogs’ personalities don’t show through in pictures because their expressions are not easy to see.
  • Some people perceive all black dogs as being mean or aggressive.  This misperception may come from seeing darker colored dogs in antagonistic roles in TV and film8.  For example, the media can often portray Dobermans or Rottweilers as vicious attack dogs protecting villains9.
  • In an era of designer dogs and breeders handpicking dogs to produce litters with specific, distinctive physical traits, some consider black dogs too dull – they want their dogs to stand out in a crowd.

How You Can Help

You can help black-furred friends find their forever home by spreading the word about National Black Dog Day!

Many people are considering adding a dog to their families or are currently searching for a dog to adopt – make them aware of the plight of black dogs in shelters. You might be the one who inspires someone to give a black dog a loving home!

If you and your family are looking to adopt – consider adopting a shiny coated black pooch.

You can also help by spreading awareness through social media. Whether you are looking for a new pup or not, check out the public Facebook group dedicated to helping black dogs find their loving forever homes all year long10. If you already have a furry black best friend, share pictures and stories on your social media, using the hashtag #NationalBlackDogDay.

Remember what you were taught as a child: it’s not what is on the outside that matters, it’s what’s on the inside.  This holds true for dogs as well as humans. Remind others that you can’t make a judgment based on outward appearance.

Here at PetFirst1, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets – regardless of their fur color. PetFirst Pet Insurancecan help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 has cat and dog insurance policies2 to fit every budget. 

Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today. 


1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.

6Cesars Way

7Family and Lifestyle Expert Colleen Paige

9Cesars Way 

10Facebook group dedicated to helping black dogs find forever homes

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