It should come as no secret that dogs are considered family members – from their lovable mannerisms and puppy-dog eyes to their unequivocal loyalty, pooches bring joy to pet lovers everywhere. Celebrating a four-legged friend’s birthday is just one more way to show him how much he is adored and cherished. There are so many ways to host a dog birthday party – from socially-distant dog birthday party ideas to creative ways to throw a birthday party for puppies; read on for fun tips and inspiration!
Planning A Dog Birthday Party: How To Celebrate During The Coronavirus
For dog owners looking to plan a memorable day for their pup’s natal anniversary, there are hundreds of entertaining party ideas to choose from. However, in light of the coronavirus, choosing safety over social gatherings may be worth considering when planning a dog’s birthday festivities. Here are some creative ways to let him know he’s loved – without sacrificing fun or canine quality-time:
- Socially-Distant Celebrations: While COVID-19 and social distancing may have put a damper on gatherings and parties, there are still ways to safely celebrate the family dog’s birthday. Considering the fact that many people would still prefer to quarantine at home, using a virtual platform such as Zoom or Skype enables pup parents to “host” a virtual doggie birthday party. Creating a safe space online provides dog owners the ability to celebrate a favorite furry friend without risking the health of guests – but can also be a cost-effective way of celebrating his birthday. Since snacks for guests are no longer necessary, focusing the budget on cute decorations, a custom dog-friendly cake, or even a special outfit for the birthday boy (or girl) allows for fun, affordable – and safe – birthday festivities!
- At-Home Activities: Another safe birthday option for dogs during quarantine – quality time spent doing pup-centric activities. With so many interactive games and activities that can be played at home – either indoor or outside, depending on the weather – pet parents and their pups can enjoy one another’s company while getting much-needed exercise. Look for dog game ideas online, or try teaching him some new tricks.
Also, think about his favorite foods: there are numerous recipes available for canine-friendly dinners and dog snacks that parents can whip up at home. Create a special meal to celebrate his birthday, and finish the day cozying up on the couch watching movies – or better yet, look for dog-friendly videos on YouTube. With so many cute options available, there’s bound to be one both parents and their fur babies will enjoy together (even if that means he’s happily watching while his folks take a well-deserved nap snuggling him on the sofa). Ultimately, it’s about the bonding time between furry companions and their people that can be extra-meaningful on a dog’s birthday.
Celebrating Your Pooch’s Special Day In Style: Top 8 Party Tips For Dog Birthdays
From activities and party favors to tasty treats for dogs, pet peeps can host a dog birthday party that is either sweet and simple, elaborate and over-the-top – or somewhere in between. Whether he’s turning one or celebrating a birthday milestone, there is no shortage of inspiration for enthusiastic pet parents. Here are some pup-friendly birthday party suggestions for dogs (and their humans):
1.) Consider His Needs: First and foremost, it’s important to tailor birthday celebrations to a dog’s age – for example, if he’s a puppy celebrating his first birthday, be sure he’s able to handle being around a lot of people. If he isn’t socialized yet, having more than a few guests (of both the dog and people variety) may not be appropriate this time around. For senior dogs, it may seem like a great time to celebrate this milestone, but be mindful of his age – he might require some breaks or a place to ‘chill out’ in the midst of the activity. In other instances, dogs with dietary needs can still have a great time – but pet parents need to be careful he doesn’t eat the ‘wrong’ things on his special day. Be sure to have plenty of healthy alternatives, even if that means favorite toys or pet treat recipes instead of cakes or foods he might be allergic to.
2.) Consider The Venue: While some fur baby folks may have ample room to host a dog party at home, others may not have space – either due to living in a small apartment, lacking an appropriate backyard or indoor area for multiple dogs, or other restrictive issues. In other instances, it may be simply too cold (or too hot) to host a birthday gathering outside or indoors. Whatever the case, consider alternative options to make hosting a breeze. For example, if there is a local dog park, dog-friendly beach, or pet-friendly public park, it might be the ideal gathering place for an outdoor celebration. There are also some dog-friendly restaurants and beer gardens that welcome dogs. However, be sure to contact them in advance to see what their limitations are (e.g., maximum of dogs allowed), as well as determine how large the space is in order to comfortably accommodate both dogs and their humans.
3.) Plan A Doggie B-day Cake: Nothing quite says ‘birthday party’ like a cake – from its festive frosting to blowing out the candles, no celebration is complete without one. However, it’s important to offer pets a cake that is made from dog-safe ingredients, as a pup’s digestive system is much more sensitive than his human’s. For ambitious fur-baby folks who enjoy cooking, there are tons of recipes for dog birthday cakes – from easy, 3-ingredient puppy birthday cakes to elaborate online birthday cakes for dogs, there is an almost endless assortment of fun doggie dessert options to choose from. For dog folks planning on other guests with pups of their own – be certain to make sure none of the canine guests in attendance have any food allergies. Hosts may wish to serve gluten-free, wheat-free, or all-natural customized birthday cakes for dogs to ensure it’s safe for every pooch to enjoy!
4.) Offer Canine Snacks & Treats: In addition to the obligatory b-day cake, offering canine guests other dog-friendly snacks is a nice touch – after all, even pups like a little variety! For pet parents who splurge for a fancy store-bought cake, consider offering all-natural CBD dog treats, too. Unlike some birthday cakes that may be unsuitable for every pup in attendance (e.g., canine food sensitivities or allergies), opt for non-GMO organic dog treats that won’t pose a dietary risk to anyone in attendance.
5.) Decorate For The Pup’s Party: One of the most fun aspects of any party – the decorations, of course! Whether it’s a small gathering among family members or including the neighbors for a festive pup-fest, decorations can really elevate a birthday party from ho-hum to holy cow! With nearly everyone on Social Media platforms – such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tik-Tok – pet parents will want to choose colorful streamers, balloons, party hats, and other dog party supplies to really make the event picture-worthy. Consider hitting a local dollar store for inexpensive cotton bandanas – available in a variety of colors; they’ll not only look cute in photos but keep pups comfy and clean. Bonus: they also make a great take-home keepsake!
6.) Buying Birthday Presents For The Pooch: Whether it’s a present for the family pup or buying a fuzzy toy for the guest of honor, gift-giving may be one of the most fun parts of a dog’s birthday party. Depending on his age, breed, size, and preference, there are numerous gift ideas for dogs, both online and from brick-and-mortar pet stores or pet specialty shops. Think about what he needs: for pet parents who love to spoil their canine companions, a cozy new bed or a plush doggie toy is always a welcome treat. If it’s a gift for someone else’s dog, asking what sort of toys he likes beforehand can help determine appropriate presents for the birthday pup. Still unsure what to get for somebody else’s pampered pooch? A gift certificate is always a perfect fit!
7.) Feature Doggie Toys & Games For Furry Guests: Not unlike parties for young children, birthday parties for dogs also require fun activities, too! Consider interactive games, such as hide-and-seek, go fetch, and other creative doggie birthday party game ideas pets and their parents can enjoy together. And don’t forget the puppy party favors – with so many memorable options, guests will be sure to be talking about the family pup’s birthday celebration long after the pupcakes are gone. Consider personalized tennis balls, dog bone-shaped cookie cutters, all-natural dog snacks, and other thoughtful dog party favors for a goody bag to remember.
8.) Don’t Forget The Pet Parents: There’s plenty of tasty doggie treats and a cute pup-themed cake worthy of the birthday pooch and his pals – but don’t forget the human guests! For pet parents hosting a party, be sure to offer a variety of tasty snacks for hungry moms and dads. For starters, it’s always helpful to offer at least one vegetarian option for those with dietary limitations. Depending on the budget – as well the scope of party fur baby folks are looking to host – “people” food can range from chips, cupcakes, a veggie platter with hummus and cute dog-themed cupcakes to a full-on catered event. Also, make sure there are plenty of drink options available – for example, if wine and soda are offered, there should also be non-alcoholic and diet soda available too. Bottled water is always welcome at any gathering.
Whether it’s an all-out celebration with lots of guests or a small intimate gathering with a few family members, remember – it’s his special day. Once the party is over, it’s important to give pups a bit of space to relax – after all, he was the center of attention for the afternoon! Now that the official festivities are through, what better way to end the day than with a cuddle on the couch? An evening spent relaxing together with a beloved pup is a timely reminder of what’s truly important: the loyal friendship shared that only dog parents can truly understand.
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- Driver, Saige. “Dog Birthday Party Supplies: Plan the Ultimate Celebration for Your Pup.” American Kennel Club | AKC (akc.org), September 20, 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/dog-birthday-party-supplies-plan-the-ultimate-celebration-for-your-pup/. Accessed February 1, 2021.
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- Donnelly, Christina. “10 Ways to Celebrate Your Dog’s Birthday.” The Spruce Pets (thesprucepets.com), May 3, 2020, https://www.thesprucepets.com/ideas-for-a-dog-birthday-party-4158212. Accessed February 1, 2021.