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! 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? How is a birthday party for your dog different than a human party? We can help. Here at Dope Dog, we’ve compiled a great guide to throw a fun birthday 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 whom to invite. When planning a birthday party for your dog, knowing who's coming can help you figure out where to have the birthday party for your dog and what theme to choose.
Fellow Dog Invites
As it’s a dog’s birthday party, start by listing other dogs that are good friends with your dog. Be careful and only invite dogs that have already met and familiarized themselves with your dog. Dogs that are not well socialized make bad party guests. If dogs that aren’t acquainted with your dog come to the party, 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. You want the birthday party for your dog to be enjoyable for all the dogs and not become a territorial dispute.
Related: 10 Ways to Help Your Nervous Dog
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, like allergies, that might make it impractical to have them there.
And finally, when or if you invite children make sure they are comfortable with being around a lot of dogs. Or if you have medium to large dogs, have the parents prepare their children for being around larger dogs. Kids may need supervision when near the dogs at the party and very young children may not be comfortable or may get scared easily by the many dogs present.
Choosing a Theme
Now that you have an idea of who will be attending, 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
- A jungle theme
- A super hero theme
- A generation theme (like the 70’s or 80’s)
- A movie theme (like Star Wars)
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 feels comfortable.
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. Make sure the invited dogs are well trained if you decide to choose an indoor venue such as your house.
If you don’t have a spacious backyard or in a city, 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. With the growing popularity of owning a dog, there are now more venues that cater to dogs. You may be surprised to find several places or businesses available to host a birthday party for your dog. Also, 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.
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 smell great and be 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!
Don’t have time to take your dog to the salon? Check out our post with a lot of great tips on Pet Grooming at Home for Special Occassions.
Related: 10 Best Dog Shampoos Brands of 2019
Food & Drinks for the Pups
All the best parties serve great food. And a birthday party for your dog is no exception. Here are a few suggestions to elevate your dog’s birthday party.
A Birthday Cake is always fun.
It’s not a birthday party without a delicious dog birthday cake for him/her. You can either choose to bake the birthday cake for your dog 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.
Dogs love a variety of different dog treats.
In addition to baking a cake for your dog, you should have extra treats around for your dog and other dogs in attendance. Not all dogs have the same taste in treats, so get a couple different treats for variety or dietary needs. 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!
Drinks are essential.
When it comes to drinks, place plenty of water bowls around so that water is readily accessible for all the dogs. 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.
Now that we have the dogs covered, make sure you plan to have a nice spread of food and drinks for the humans too!
Activities for Dogs
Another critical element needed to throw a dog-themed birthday party is having some fun activities for the puppers in attendance. This will minimize the chaos and keep the dogs busy in a constructive way. You know your dog best, select some of their favorite things to do. Not quite sure what to do with a bunch of dogs? Here are a few suggestions:
Swimming is a great activity that most dogs enjoy. If your dog’s birthday falls during the spring or summer, then cooling off by the pool will be a welcome activity. If you have a pool or are near the beach, let the dogs swim and play to their delight. Another option is to put out several kiddie pools and let the dogs have a splash party.
Do you live in Southern California? If so, check out our list of The Top 5 Dog Beaches in Los Angeles and Orange County.
Some dogs just love to be pampered. If your dog and her friends love to be groomed, then invite them to a total spa treatment. This can include:
Your dog will love the extra attention and look great afterwards. Who doesn’t want a day at the spa?
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. Don’t get discouraged if the dogs don’t quite understand how to navigate the course, remember this is just for fun.
Now with all these treats, cakes, and excitement comes a lot of clean up. Prepare yourself mentally, a birthday party for your dog can be messy depending on what you serve or do with the dogs. Also, 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 for your dog requires a bit of planning and effort. But follow our handy guide and you’ll be well on your way to creating lasting memories with your special dog! Be sure to check out our shop for all your CBD dog treats needs.
Now that your party is planned, don’t forget the presents. Check out our list of 25 Best Gifts for Dog Lovers.
Related: 10 Best Apps for Dog Owners