If there’s ever a day to spoil your dog, it’s on your dog's birthday. Throwing your dog a birthday party is a fun way to celebrate your four-legged friend and to say “thank you” for being a beloved companion. It’s an excuse to rally your dog’s furry friends, to decorate your home in paw prints, and to purchase some special treats for your dog and its pals. From the theme to the guests and decorations, we show you how to plan the perfect birthday party for your pup. Follow the steps below to make your dog’s big day a special and memorable one.
Dog Birthday Party DateHave the party on your dog’s birthday or on a day surrounding it that works best for you. If you have an adopted dog and aren’t sure of its actual birth date, celebrate the day that you first took your dog home from the shelter or wherever you got it from.
Dog Birthday Party Theme
Pick a theme that best represents your dog. You can coordinate your theme with the type of dog breed that you have. If you have a Dalmatian, for example, decorate your party with black and white party favors. If you have a poodle, throw a “Pink Poodle” party. You can also model your dog’s birthday bash after a famous dog—have a Scooby-Doo or Snoopy themed party. Have a luau party and put dog-friendly leis on guests as they arrive or do a Western theme and have dogs come wearing bandanas around their necks.
Dog Birthday Party Location
When planning the location for your dog’s birthday, it’s best to find a grassy outdoor area such as a backyard. Make sure that the yard is fenced in so off-leash dogs won’t be able to run away. Choose a location that has a nice open area for the dogs to play safely as well as a shaded spot for resting. You can also have your dog’s friends meet up at a dog park or dog beach. Another option is to rent out a dog-friendly space, such as a room at a doggie day care facility.
Dog Birthday Party DecorationsDraw paw prints with sidewalk chalk outside of your home to greet your guests. Pick out cute bowls to hold treats for your dog’s friends. Hang up photos of your dog around the party. Purchase party hats for your dog’s friends to wear. Draw bones and paw prints on balloons and tie them to tables and chairs around the yard. Throw a dog-print tablecloth down and dress up the room with crepe paper and garland. If you have a theme party, coordinate your decorations to match (i.e., use traditional green, purple, and gold colors for a Mardi Gras birthday bash).
Think about your dog’s network of playmates. Make sure that everyone you invite is neutered or spayed, up to date on vaccinations, and well socialized. Refrain from inviting dogs that have aggression issues and make sure you have enough humans on site to manage the number of doggie guests so that the dogs will be well supervised at all times.
Dog Birthday Party Invitations
Purchase dog birthday invitations online or from a nearby pet store. Make your own by cutting stationery in the shape of bones. Include a photo of your pet inside along with the date, time, and location of the party. Make sure you note any special directions such as items to bring or theme requirements inside the invitations. You can also send out an email invitation such as an Evite to the human owners of the guests invited.
Dog Birthday Party Food
Make sure to have plenty of fresh water on hand for your dog and its friends to sip during play breaks. Put dog treats in bowls on the table to be distributed throughout the party. Pick up a canine birthday cake at a nearby pet store or whip up a quick one at home. Make sure to serve finger foods, drinks, and snacks for the humans attending the party as well.
Fill the party with a variety of toys, balls, and Frisbees for your canine guests to play with. Purchase interactive games for dogs to try their hand at with the help of their owners. Have humans show off their dog’s talents and have a “Best Trick” contest. Set up a backyard obstacle course and have owners take turns navigating their dogs through it.
Give your guests little bags of goodies upon their exit. Fill decorative bags with a variety of treats. Throw a toy or a ball into the bag. Let your dog’s guests take their party hats home as a souvenir. Take pictures at the party and email them out to guests after the event.
Safety tips/Things to keep in mind:
If small children are invited to the party, reach out to the owners to make sure their dogs do well with kids. Speak with dog owners regarding dietary restrictions before feeding treats to guests. Have guests’ veterinarian information on hand in case of an incident and keep first aid items nearby. Provide owners with plenty of bags for cleaning up poop and purchase stain remover in case one of the dogs has an accident. Keep an eye on the party guests at all times. Have a separate area gated off to contain dogs that aren’t playing well with others so as to avoid incidents. Make sure that you don’t have anything out that dogs can get into and keep all people food away from canine guests.
If you have more ideas for throwing your dog an unforgettable party, please share them in the Comments section below