Your dog's birthdays is a day to celebrate, even moreso if your dog is a tail-wagging social butterfly. Here are a few suggestions to make it a dog day to remember.
Dogs love being part of a group, or pack, and most dogs love to eat. As a Rover.com blog reveals, dogs can appreciate a good soiree as much as anybody. You can’t ask for any more than that when it comes to being a “party animal.” Most owners agree that dogs deserve the very best, so there are a number of ways to make it happen for your birthday bowser.
Get a Leash On Your Plan
Is your dog a prima donna? Does he or she wear glitter nail polish and go to the salon once a month for dog spa day?
As Red Barn Media points out, an outdoor venue is typically desirable for a dog party featuring multiple dogs – especially large ones. But if your fancy pooch is too petite to party hardy, try a more civilized doggy tea time indoors… with plenty of opportunities for doggy pee time outdoors.
Read more: 7 Ways to Throw a Party For Your Pooch
There are all types of dog birthday party ideas out there. In general, the best way to start is to make a plan.
1) Select a space for the party
Some VFW halls, township halls, and other local places will allow you to throw a big bash for your pup. If you have a smaller gathering in mind, consider asking to use the lobby of your local grooming shop after closing time.
Another idea, weather permitting, is to simply put a wading pool in your backyard and invite a bunch of your friends over to make a splash with their mutts. Provide lots of towels.
2) Plan on refreshments
For an upscale event, you might want to consider some fish pate and homemade baked goods. But the plethora of available dog treats leaves ample choices to make. You can even offer edible human food that dogs love so all can enjoy, like chicken breasts, blanched veggies, and rice.
For dog treats at your dog birthday party, try to use something innocuous that is easily digestible. Find out ahead of time what your friends like to feed their dogs and if the pups are allergic to anything.
Chicken broth that has been frozen in ice cube trays make a delicious and safe, albeit messy, treat on a hot day.
Don’t forget the dog birthday cake! You can get a bone-shaped mold and find a recipe for a delicious happy birthday dog cake online.
3) Decide on a theme
Fidose of Reality lists a bunch of ideas for dog-themed birthday parties: everything from Snoopy to bones and pawprints. Themes are part of the fun and are only limited by the imagination of the party-thrower. Barkbox is one service that has an edge on themes. A monthly box arrives at your door, and all the contents are themed. For instance, one month’s box has items revolving around Alice in Wonderland, complete with a big stuffed bunny head. The next month, it’s outer space, with a stuffed alien squirrel and flying liver saucers.
Go to Chewy.com or another pet supply company and look through the toys to get dog birthday party ideas.
There are few things more hilarious than a roomful of canines wearing dog party hats.
4) Send out invites
When planning your guest list, keep in mind that small children running and yelling in groups of dogs can spell disaster. Nobody wants to offend anyone, but it might be best to keep kids under a certain age off your list.
With the intention of keeping a peaceful party, consider the temperaments of your friends’ dogs. Make sure your dog is acquainted with the guests and that they have already established a peaceful relationship. At a party, you want dogs gnawing on the treats, not anything else.
Invitations can be fun to make and are up the alley of people with a creative bent. If you don’t get into crafty stuff, consider asking an artistic friend to help you, or go to a print shop and see what it has available.
Use Antlers in All of Your Decorating
Of course, that is just a suggestion (per Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast”), but antlers would make great party favors. With that in mind, there are plenty of options for treats that your guests might enjoy.
One idea is to make up goody bags for all your guests. There are many dog party supplies available, but others can be made up. These might include:
- Poop bags (A special item that might be more pragmatic than a dog would appreciate, but the owner might.)
- Dog cookies
- Safe dog toys
- Coupons for pet supply stores
- Pet shampoo
- Charms for the collar
Keep retractable leads off your list of prizes. The whizzing, finger-amputating nylon lines are considered unsafe by many handlers, and in the wrong hands, they can become the tools of the devil.
For a more upscale type of gift, consider a Petcube Bites Wi-Fi pet camera with treat dispenser. This is a great interactive gift for the birthday pup and their owner too. It allows the owner to monitor the dog from a remote location, using real-time video. Two-way audio lets you speak to the dog, and the app even allows you to pelt treats at them. The system is available through petcube.com and gives you a 30-day trial of Petcube Care cloud video recording. It would also be a handy tool for recording your dog birthday doings!
Have Plenty of Water Available
Dogs, especially excited dogs, seem to drink a lot. Place a number of clean bowls around the party area, preferably with a placemat for the dribblers. Keep several gallon jugs of fresh water on hand.
Birthday dogs enjoy games as much as people do. There are a number of activities that would be fun for all involved.
Set up some jumps and a tunnel or two and see who can run the course the fastest.
2) Costume contest
Costume contests might be all you need in order to throw a funny dog birthday bash. In your invitation, ask everyone to bring their dog in costume and see who shows up. You can take a vote for the best costume, or one person can select a winner.
3) Tricks contest
The dog who does the cutest, most difficult, or dumbest trick wins.
4) Musical sits and downs
Like musical chairs but without the chairs. Also called “Musical Mats,” this game requires putting several mats down. The participating dogs are required to go to the mat and, when the music is stopped, the dog must sit or lie down. Take one mat away and then start the music again. The owners can call the dogs and talk to them, but they are not allowed to touch the dog. The last dog on a mat is the winner.
5) Dog/owner lookalike contest
Be careful with this one!
Prizes can be something really expensive, like a hand tooled leather collar and leash, or a gag gift, like a rubber chicken. (Most dogs would appreciate the rubber chicken more.)
Many people who have rescued a dog don’t know when their birthday really is. It doesn’t mean you have to go a lifetime without saying “happy birthday” to your dog. A popular alternative is to celebrate “Gotcha Day,” the date that the dog was adopted. A “Gotcha Day” party is a great opportunity to promote rescuing, and it might even help save a life. It isn’t hard to imagine the dog applying the phrase. “Gotcha to take me home, didn’t I?” “Gotcha to give me another cookie!”
Dogs are smart. Yours might one day be thinking about how they gotcha to throw them a party.
Bonus: The Most Hilarious Dog Party Captions
When the Party Goes Wrong
Puggycorns are The Best Party Breeds
This Adorable Doggo Knows How to Throw a Party With Some Cha-Cha
How did you celebrate your dog's birthday? Show us some pictures!
About the author: Cedric Jackson is an experienced writer who creates articles on a broad range of topics, from pets to marketing.