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Ugliest Dog Day 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Peruvian hairless chihuahua mix dog

Ugliest Dog Day 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

If you look online, there’s always an abundance of adorable pet pictures, so it’s easy to forget about the less “pretty” members of the pet world. Ugliest Dog Day is a way of changing that. Held on the 20th of June every year, the day is dedicated to the dogs that are less lucky in the looks department.

The holiday is a way to share love with humanity’s favorite companion even when they’re not the best-looking dog on the block. Here’s a rundown of the holiday, why it was started, and how you can celebrate it.

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What Is Ugliest Dog Day?

It’s easy to see a cute dog and fall in love; it’s less easy to see the beauty in something aesthetically pleasing, even if it’s a picture of a dog. Ugliest Dog Day counters this by sharing pictures of “ugly” or not-quite-so-cute dogs.

While many people no doubt get a laugh out of the not-so-photogenic dogs that appear on their social media, Ugliest Dog Day is also incredibly beneficial to these dogs. This holiday functions as a way to spread awareness about how loving these dogs can be—and how many are abandoned in shelters. With every ugly dog picture shared, one fortunate puppy gets one step closer to their forever home.

Ugly Dog with his tongue out
Image by: John Carnemolla, Shutterstock

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Why You Should Love Ugliest Dog Day

Ugliest Dog Day sounds like a strange holiday when you first hear of it. Like the dogs themselves, the day deserves love simply because of how well it works to spread awareness about how amazing ugly dogs are. There are plenty of reasons that you should love Ugliest Dog Day, and here are a few of them.

1. It Celebrates Unconditional Love

Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and appearances always love their family members, no matter what they look like. They don’t care whether you’re tall or short, how healthy you are, or even if you’ve forgotten to shower for a few days. Dogs simply adore whoever loves them, and that’s what makes them such excellent companions.

We can learn a great deal from a dog’s willingness to love, and Ugliest Dog Day is a way to show that all dogs are humanity’s best friend. Whether they have only one eye or none at all, they’re missing a leg or two, their jaw didn’t form quite right, or their ears are too big, they will adore you if given the chance.

The day encourages people to love less-cute dogs too and teaches the world that they’re as excellent companions as their prettier friends. Sharing pictures of ugly pets shows that these dogs are adorable too, even if their cuteness is quirkier than usual.

Essentially, Ugliest Dog Day reminds us that it’s what is on the inside that counts, canine or otherwise.

2. It Raises Awareness of Homeless Pets

Everyone loves cute things, but unfortunately, this means less-photogenic animals are always left behind. Ugly pets—of all species, not just dogs—will inevitably find themselves surrendered to shelters and rescues or abandoned to find their own way on the streets. Rarely will one be lucky enough to find a new forever home.

Ugliest Dog Day helps shelters and rescues spread the word about the less-pretty animals that they look after. All the “ugly” pictures shared during the holiday are seen by hundreds of people and prove just how many dogs are left in shelters.

woman adopting a dog from shelter
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

3. It Encourages Adoption

Due to all the ugly dog pictures shared by shelters and rescues, Ugliest Dog Day shows how many dogs don’t have loving homes, bringing them into the limelight. By giving attention to the dogs that are forgotten about, the holiday helps many of them find their forever homes.

All it takes is one person with the means and dedication to owning a pet to see an ugly dog that they fall in love with and adopt them.

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How to Take Part in Ugliest Dog Day

Shelters and rescues might benefit the most from Ugliest Dog Day, but individuals can take part too. Whether you have an ugly dog of your own or not, here are a few ideas for how to celebrate Ugliest Dog Day.

1. Host a Puppy Party

Special days like Ugliest Dog Day are great opportunities to host a party. It’s an even better idea if you and your friends all have ugly dogs to celebrate. For example, take advantage of the summer weather and host a dog-friendly barbecue. Remember to take a bunch of ugly pet pictures so you can share them online and show that ugly dogs are fun playmates too.

dog wearing party hat
Image Credit: KikoStock, Shutterstock

2. Make a Scrapbook

Cute dog pictures make an excellent slideshow to look through on a bad day, but there’s no reason that less-photogenic dogs can’t cheer you up too. When browsing the pictures shared online, spread the love by saving your favorites.

You can store them in a folder on your computer or print them out and stick them in a physical scrapbook. During your next bad day, you can browse through the pictures at your leisure.

3. Share Doggy Pictures

Since sharing the love of ugly dogs is the whole point of Ugliest Dog Day, it’s only fitting that you take a few pictures too. Take pictures of your own ugly dog, or ask a friend if you can do a photoshoot with theirs.

You can still take part even if you don’t know anyone with a less-attractive dog. Check out ugly dog pictures online, and share your favorites or all the ones that you see. If you share enough pictures of shelter dogs, you could be a big help in finding them forever homes.

caucasian girl taking picture of little dogs
Image by: Ruslan Shugushev, Shutterstock

4. Support a Shelter

The best way of showing your support for dogs regardless of what they look like is by supporting your local shelters. Donate to help take care of the dogs at the facility, or volunteer some of your time and spend a few days walking, feeding, or playing with the dogs. Fostering or adopting are great ways to lend a hand too.

You can also combine this idea with a puppy party. Turn it into a mini fundraiser with a raffle or ugly dog competition. You can even ask your friends to donate used toys or dog food. Afterward, donate the funds or dog supplies to your local shelter to help dogs in need.

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On the 20th of June every year, you can find and share all sorts of pictures of ugly dogs to celebrate Ugliest Dog Day. It’s also the perfect opportunity to help out at your local shelter or find an ugly dog of your own to adore.

The holiday was designed to show the world that even dogs with not-quite-so-cute appearances deserve love too. They love their owners with all their hearts and are just as trainable and playful as their better-looking counterparts. With so much love being shared for ugly dogs on Ugliest Dog Day, the next time that you see an ugly dog in person, you’re bound to see how cute they are!

Featured Image Credit: Rosa Jay, Shutterstock

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