The Ultimate Guide for Throwing Your Dog a Birthday Party

Dogs like humans deserve to celebrate their birthdays. After all, who doesn’t love delicious cake? In fact, nearly 11% of Americans have thrown birthday parties for their dog and 30% treat them to a special birthday present each year!

If you thought celebrating your dog's birthday might be weird - it's not! In fact, it's time to get on board and throw a party for your pup, and it doesn't have to be a fancy affair.

Not sure where to start? Here at Dope Dog, we’ve compiled a great guide to throw a fun party for your dog. Read on to learn more:

Who to Invite?


All party planning needs to start somewhere and the most natural first step is determining who to invite. Knowing who's coming can help you figure out where to have the birthday party and what theme to choose.

Fellow Dog Invites

As it’s a dog’s party, start by listing other dogs that are good friends with yours. Be careful and only invite dogs that have already met and familiarized themselves with your dog. If dogs show up to the party that aren’t acquainted with yours, this can create a stressful time for both the dogs and their owners.

When it comes to creating a list of invitees, an excellent place to start is by brainstorming other dogs your dog has played with either at the dog park, at a friend’s home, or at family gatherings. If it's unavoidable and you need to invite dogs that haven't been introduced to your own, then be sure to carry out introductions outside the venue rather than inside to avoid any initial territorial issues.

Related: 10 Ways to Help Your Nervous Dog

Inviting Humans

When inviting your friends and family, check to make sure they will be comfortable having many dogs around them. Also ensure there aren't any medical conditions that might make it impractical to have them there, and finally, whether there will be any kids present.

Kids may need supervision when near the dogs at the party and very young children may not be comfortable or get scared easily by the many dogs present.

Choosing a Theme


Now that you have an idea of who the attendees are, you can start brainstorming an appropriate theme for the party. There are various themes you can choose from such as a princess theme, a leopard theme, or a Star Wars theme to name a few. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and don't have to be creative - even a simple idea such as a backyard barbecue can work!

Go with a theme that sounds fun and fits with your dog’s personality. Need some inspiration? Here’s a list from The Dog People that may spark some ideas!

Picking a Venue for Your Dog


With a theme in mind, you can now start looking for an appropriate venue. Our recommendation is to keep it simple and in a familiar place that your dog is used to and comfortable with.

We recommend a good-sized backyard. Picking an outdoor space allows you to have plenty of pups around without worrying too much about what they may do if it was an indoor venue such as your house.

If you don’t have a spacious backyard then inquire with your local doggy daycare on whether there are other appropriate venues pet owners may be allowed to rent out for special occasions. We’ve heard the next best option has been your local dog park or dog beach and it’s a great way to meet new pet owners who might be at the dog park during the party!

If this isn’t feasible, explore a friend or family member’s place that may have a spacious, fenced backyard you can use.

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Invitations for Your Dog’s Birthday Party


Once you've got a list of invitees for the party, a theme, and venue. The next step is sending out invitations.

The easiest way to do this is digital invites and there are plenty you can choose from online. In your invitation, be sure to list out the details of the event beyond the when, where and theme. Let your guests know if other dogs will be in attendance and that they’ll need to let you know if they’ll be bringing their children along.

Give Your Dog a Birthday Makeover


Now that the invitations have been sent out, your pup needs to look his or her best for all their canine pals. Plus, a little puppy pamper here and there is always greatly appreciated by your dog - birthday or not!

Give your dog a fresh wash and shampoo using Dope Dog’s CBD shampoo. The shampoo is made specifically for dogs and fights against inflammation, itching, and any dryness your dog may be experiencing. Soothing Suds will have your dog birthday ready, leaving their coat and skin soothed and moisturized.

If you’re short on time and can’t pamper your dog yourself, you can always take him or her to a dog salon before their big day!

Related: 10 Best Dog Shampoos Brands of 2019

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Food & Drinks for the Pups


It’s not a birthday party without a delicious dog birthday cake for him/her. You can either choose to bake your own birthday cake for your pupper or pick one up from a bakery known to make pet treats.

If you’re thinking of baking a cake yourself, there are plenty of online recipes you can follow. Here’s a great one to check out.

In addition to baking a cake for your dog, you should have extra treats around for your dog and other dogs in attendance. Try to stock up on quick treats that are smaller in size and save the more 'rewarding' treats, such as chewy bones, as a departing goodie bag item.

Treats are great but also let your guests know to use them sparingly with their dogs. It's an easy way for dogs to get territorial and aggressive if they see other dogs snagging lots of treats they'd like. If any of the pups get too anxious, consider giving them a CBD treat, with their owner’s permission, of course!

When it comes to drinks, place plenty of water bowls around so that it’s readily accessible. Be mindful of topping them off should they run out. In a backyard on a sunny day, this can happen quite often, especially depending on how many four-legged pals arrive.

Make sure you plan to have a nice spread of food and drinks for the humans too!

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Activities for Dogs


Another critical element needed to throw a dog-themed birthday party is having some fun activities for the puppers in attendance. Some activities to consider are swimming, doggy yoga, or even giving the pups a nice pedicure!

One easy activity that the dogs will love is to build a small obstacle course in your backyard. You can get creative and build some tunnels and jumps out of PVC pipe and sturdy storage boxes lying around, or you grab some pre-made obstacle courses. This is a great activity for everyone as it lets the guests get engaged, play with their dogs, and it creates some funny, hard to forget memories.

Clean Up


Now with all these treats, cakes, and excitement comes a lot of clean up. You’re going to want plenty of poop bags around so owners can pick up after their pets during the party. It’s also a smart idea to have scheduled breaks where the dogs in attendance can be taken for walks in case they’d like to relieve themselves.

In addition to all these, it’s good to have a few general cleaning supplies around such as pet stain and odor removers, lots of paper towels, and some lint remover for the human guests.

Throwing a great birthday party requires a bit of planning and effort but follow our handy guide and you’re well on your way to creating lasting memories with pups! Be sure to check out our shop for all your CBD dog treats needs.

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