Cuteness
Cuteness
Rachel Youens by Rachel Youens

Bark Mitzvahs and Catceañeras: Celebrating Older Pets in Style

It's not unusual to celebrate pet birthdays with a candle in a dog biscuit or a gift-wrapped toy mouse, but shouldn't a pet's golden years warrant more than just a pat on the head and a special treat? Age 13 to 16 is just the beginning for humans, but for pets it's a ripe old age deserving of a real fiesta. Enter the Catceañera, and its Jewish counterpart, The Bark Mitzvah.

catceanera for senior catPhoto Courtesy of Nuena Photography

In Mexican culture the Quinceañera traditionally recognizes a girl's 15th birthday with a fancy dress and court of friends, while the Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a religious ceremony that ushers a young person into adulthood with Torah readings and a family-filled party. The pet-versions of these celebrations may be a little lighter on ceremony, but they're heavy on cute costumes and Instagram-worthy photos. You can tell your mutt mazaltov with kosher dog food or even "chewish" toys.

dog bar mitzvah partyPhoto Courtesy of Peter Moskowitz

The internet age has certainly helped propel these parties into the mainstream, even Orange Is The New Black actor Jason Biggs has gotten in on the trend. However, the first documented Bark Mitzvah took place in Beverly Hills back in 1958 when a dog names Windy became a man (or at least a grown dog.)

Senior Dog Bar Mitzvah PartyPhoto courtesy of Sidewalk Dog

Some critics that question whether these celebrations mock tradition, but for many it's a way to genuinely recognize a life landmark and share it with friends and family.

Would you throw your senior pet a Bark Mitzvah or a Catceañera?