National Fetch Day

National Fetch Day - Thursday, October 17, 2024

Animal Dog Pet

Grab your dog and the nearest Chuckit! toy because October 17th is National Fetch Day, a chance to get out in the yard, get some exercise, and build some memories. Fetch may be one of the oldest bonding activities between dogs and their humans but Chuckit!, the creator of National Fetch Day, has improved the experience for everyone involved.

This year, Chuckit! is bringing the celebration to backyards everywhere. Through a series of fun and safe dog-themed programs including throwing 200 backyard parties, partnering with local venues for curbside celebrations, and even a virtual ball launcher, Chuckit! is looking to Make Fetch Happen™ in 2020. Chuckit! is also partnering with the North Shore Animal League America to donate up to 5,000 balls to dogs in need.

To learn more about how you can take part in Chuckit!’s National Fetch Day activities, see the “How to Celebrate” section below or visit the National Fetch Day website.

History of National Fetch Day

Fetch may be a game played between a dog and his human, but it has its roots tens of thousands of years ago and the game being played was survival. Recent science indicates that the first dogs were domesticated by humans sometime between 18,000 and 32,000 years ago. Their wolf ancestors slowly progressed from hunting competitors into hunting partners leading to their general domestication as pets over the millennia.

This is where fetch comes in. As a hunting partner, dogs played several different roles, one of which being to retrieve food — think the bloodhound from Duck Hunt but without the snarky laughter. The breeds that were best at this critical component were the ones that were more likely to stick around becoming the fetch lovers we love today. Eventually, the need to fetch food was replaced by far less survivalistic endeavors (ya know, like snuggling and taking up the whole bed). And so the process of fetch became the game of fetch, only this time with a greater bonding component.

So why do dogs play fetch? Turns out, they are chemically and psychologically disposed to the game. Playing fetch feels good to them. The exercise creates a sort of “runner’s high” that triggers the reward regions in their brains. That tickling of the reward regions becomes self-reinforcing. Dogs who feel good playing fetch play fetch more.

There is also the bonding component. Dogs are notoriously loyal animals and the bond created between a dog and his human playing fetch has a significant impact on that relationship. It provides much-needed exercise for the dog (and who are we kidding, the human too), and reinforces the relationship chemically and psychologically. Dogs love fetch. They play fetch with their humans. Dogs love their humans. What lovely math, eh?

National Fetch Day timeline


The Chuckit! Launcher is born

In honor of their enthusiastic retriever, Chester, the inventors of the Chuckit! created a ball launcher that made throwing easier and pick up slobber-free.


Chuckit! finds a home with Petmate

The Arlington, Texas company brought the Chuckit! into their pet-friendly fold laying the groundwork for great fetch games everywhere.


National Fetch Day is Founded

Chuckit! established National Fetch Day to celebrate 20 years of the iconic launcher and kicks off celebrations at its home in Arlington, Texas.


National Fetch Day Goes Truly National

Chuckit! took National Fetch Day from coast to coast by coordinating celebrations with bars and restaurants around the country.


Chuckit! Brings it on Home

This year, Chuckit! is bringing the National Fetch Day celebration home to dog lovers everywhere.

National Fetch Day FAQs

What’s the Best Way to Play Fetch?

The best way to play fetch is your way. Maybe it means tossing the ball down the hallway of your apartment or launching it through the air with a Chuckit! ball launcher in your backyard. However you use the timeless game to bond with your pup is the best way to play.

Where do I find out more about National Fetch Day?

There are a ton of resources on the Petmate website including everything you need to know to take part in National Fetch Day 2020. Visit

What if I don’t have a dog to play fetch with this year?

If you’ve got a phone you can play fetch! This National Fetch Day only, Chuckit! created the first ever virtual fetch platform where with the swipe of a phone you can toss a ball to a dog at the North Shore Animal League America.

5 Fun Facts To Share At The Dog Park

  1. Found!

    Rescuers in the Bahamas discovered a dog who survived 20 days in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. He spent three weeks trapped under an air conditioner in the town of Marsh Harbour, on the Abaco Islands. His new name? Miracle.

  2. Red, white and barking!

    Americans loves dogs — and we own more than 75 million of them! France ranks #2 for most dog owners.

  3. Dogs actually get jealous

    Research shows your dog can feel jealous when they see you interacting with another animal. Spend some quality time with them this National Fetch Day!

  4. Doggie inheritance?

    The number of dogs named as the primary beneficiary in their owners’ wills hovers around one million!

  5. The saluki is the world’s oldest dog

    This breed turned up in Egyptian tombs from as early as 2100 BC. They were originally trained to help owners catch wild game.

National Fetch Day Activities

  1. Bring the party home

    Chuckit! is throwing the best backyard parties yet this National Fetch Day, bringing the party to you. 200 Chuckit! fans will win National Fetch Day Party packs including toys, gear and more to celebrate at home. One winner will receive a VIP doggy spa treatment, photo shoot, and will appear on a future Chuckit! package. To enter, post pics of your dog with #nationalfetchday and tag @chuckitfetchgames with 2 of your friends.

  2. Toss a ball to a dog with your phone

    You read that right. In the spirit of social distancing, Chuckit! teamed with the North Shore Animal League America to create the first Virtual Fetch Challenge. On October 17th you can virtually throw a ball to a shelter dog with just a tap on your phone. For each of the first 5,000 balls thrown, Chuckit! will donate a toy to a shelter dog. See @chuckitfetchgames on Facebook and Instagram on 10/17 for more.

  3. Support some local business and score some swag

    National Fetch Day is always better when shared with others. Each year Chuckit! partners with local businesses and this year is no different. Eat, drink, or shop local and grab some free Chuckit! gear. Curbside only. Check out for details.

Why We Love National Fetch Day

  1. Fetch is its own reward

    Dogs love to fetch things. On grass, in water, down the hallway, most can’t get enough of the game. Playing it becomes its own reward and lowers the need for positive reinforcement through other means like treats.

  2. It’s a heck of a workout

    Have you ever seen a dog book it after a ball thrown in the park? Every muscle in their bodies is working overtime to reach that prize and their cardio-vascular system is in full gear. This is great for keeping your dog healthy and happy.

  3. It satisfies their instinct to chase

    Remember, dogs are hunters and they have instincts that they need to satisfy. One of those is to chase. Clearly, they aren’t chasing a bowl of kibble so fetch helps satisfy those cravings to seek.

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