Think of all the wonderful feelings your dog brings you each day: the unbridled joy at seeing you when you return home, even if you only left an hour before, the warmth as he cuddles next to you on a cold night, the laughter as he chases a leaf blowing in the wind. Return the love and affection with a celebration of your furry best friend on his birthday.
The Guest List
Before doing anything else, decide if your party is just for your human friends or if your pup’s canine buddies will be invited too. Include only those dogs who are familiar and friendly with one another. Nothing ruins a good birthday party like growling, biting and fighting. Heed that advice for your human guests, too. Include on your invitation all welcome species. To avoid potential overstimulation and inadequate supervision, make it clear that the invited dog’s owner should stay for the party.
Image by Hub via Flickr.
A simple “dog” theme will do, or you can focus on your dog’s personality. Have a princess for a pet? Make it a royal theme. Is your dog a herder? Get cowboy hats and lassoes. Does your dog run with you or do agility? Make it a sports party.
If your dog’s birthday is just a good excuse for a human party, your home will do. If other dogs are invited and you can’t host them all at your place, contact local doggie day cares and kennels. They may offer “party rooms” or outside locations, along with activities for the four-legged guests. Ask your town’s parks and recreation department if there is a dog park that allows pooch parties.
In addition to the “pawty” supplies like cups, plates and napkins, get decorations that fit your theme. Use princess party décor for your royal pooch or hay bales and horseshoes for your herder. Visit a site like Party Pail for simple dog-themed supplies featuring paw prints and fire hydrants.
Image by Randy Pertiet via Flickr.
If your pooch’s party is just for people, serve cookies or brownies shaped like fire hydrants or tennis balls. Use bone-shaped cookie cutters on your sandwiches. Add dog-centric accents to the cake, like paw prints and dog houses. Put the ice for drinks in a dog bowl — just make sure it’s clean!
For the guest-of-honor, and any other canine guests, have plenty of water bowls around. Give their owners small goodie bags of treats so they can decide how many snacks their dogs eat at the party. Pet bakeries are common these days, so pick up some special treats there or bake some on your own. Avoid sugar and chocolate, but don’t be afraid to create cakes or cupcakes with bacon, chicken or beef. Muffins made with sweet potatoes or pumpkin are also dog-friendly. Decorate your dog’s goodies with real dog bones or other edible accents.
Frisbees and tennis ball launchers are entertaining for all your guests. Give prizes — one for the pup and one for his owner — for contests like the best dog trick. Play “musical chairs” where the last dog to sit is out. Set up a basic agility course as an obstacle challenge.
Gifts for your birthday pup aren’t necessary, so make sure guests know this in advance. Whether your pup’s party includes other dogs or not, just make sure to make him the center of attention so he knows it’s his special day.