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From visits to the dog park to handing them their favorite treat or rubber chicken toy, there’s nothing quite like seeing your dog in pure bliss. So why not celebrate your dog’s birthday and bring just a little more joy to both of your lives? From the big picture to the finer details, we’ve got you covered with inspiration to throw the perfect pup birthday. Trust us: your dog’s big day is the perfect excuse for bringing your human and canine pals together. Plus, your dog won’t know if it’s the *exact* day of their birth…an educated guess or an adoption “gotcha” party are just as good for celebrating!
From playful to extravagant, there are many ways to decorate your home, make dog-friendly treats, and let your dog be the ultimate party animal. Ready for your party to go off without a hitch? Here are some tips to get the (dog) party started.
10 Steps to the Ultimate Dog Birthday Party
- Pick your theme
- Stock up on supplies
- Find a dog-friendly venue
- Consider your dog’s needs
- Whip up a dog birthday cake
- Plan dog-friendly activities
- Get creative with dog treats
- Don’t forget the poop bags
- Give out doggy favors
1. Have Fun with Themes
Dogs, dogs, dogs. Though you love your pet, does your dog’s birthday have to be dog-themed? No! Take a break from paw-printed tablecloths and search for party inspiration far and wide.
Is your dog’s birthday around Halloween? Create a costume competition. Is your dog made to be a star? Puppy Parties NYC recently put on a star-studded Hollywood-themed party. They showcased dogs walking on a red carpet, getting cake awards, and being the center of attention. Bonus: This party raised money for an animal charity—a double win.
2. Stock Up on Supplies
From toys to treats, the sky’s the limit here. These are a few of our favorite picks.
So cute. So themed. So much photo potential.Shop Now
Festive, classic, and works even for dogs who don’t like dressing up.Shop Now
Dog-safe, wheat-free, and way more convenient than baking your own. Just saying.Shop Now
Universally loved by dog lovers. At least it stays on long enough for the photo opp! And hey, it’s reusable.Shop Now
3. Find a Dog-Friendly Venue
If your home isn’t set up for a dog party, don’t fret yet: there are many options to consider. Depending on how many people are coming, you can make special arrangements at your local dog-friendly pub or restaurant. When talking to the venue, be sure to ask how large the space is. Dogs need plenty of wiggle room to mingle without feeling closed in, just like us. Many alehouses have outdoor spaces as well.
Are you planning a dog birthday party during the spring or summer? Check your local park’s rules and break out the portable BBQ. Public parks and beaches that allow dogs are an easy-breezy way to enjoy the sun and each other’s company.
4. Accommodate Your Dog’s Needs
Is your dog a puppy, ready to celebrate their first year? Or do you have a senior dog, who has lived a full and glorious life? Birthdays can be tailored to your dog’s needs.
If your dog has dietary restrictions, for instance, replace the cake with something your dog can eat, or even a pile of chew toys. If your dog isn’t as spry as they used to be, be sure to provide plenty of breaks or a place to retreat so your dog doesn’t get overwhelmed by all of the excitement.
5. Provide the Ultimate Doggy Birthday Cake
We’ve all seen some adorable dog birthday cakes, which are nutrition-filled, dog-safe treats to raise your dog’s birthday to another level. After baking a cake—or picking one up from a specialized “barkery”—personalizing it is the next step. This pet owner decorated the top of the cake with a figurine of their dog’s likeness.
6. Plan Dog-Friendly Activities
Fetch, pool playtime, or good old-fashioned running around will make your dog happy. But you take your dog’s birthday to the next level with special activities like these…
Doggy Ball Pit: Some of our best childhood memories involve jumping into ball pits. Now imagine a pile of dogs doing the same. Having them run around trying to catch colorful plastic balls is not only entertaining to watch, but it’s also a great way for dogs to expel their energy. More importantly, ball pit plastic balls are large enough to avoid choking hazards and are kid-friendly. Want a plastic ball alternative? Don’t forget tennis balls—a dog classic.
No pit? Try dumping out 100+ balls in a contained outdoor area and watch the pure, unadulterated happiness unfold.
Dog Obstacle Course: Sure, not all dogs will immediately get the concept of an obstacle course, but creating a backyard or park filled with activities to get lost in is an instant hit. Do you enjoy building things with your hands? Get crafty in creating some tunnels and jumps out of PVC pipe.
Need something a little more readymade? There are many pre-made and compact obstacle courses you can order online. This activity will bond humans and dogs, as well as provide funny videos and giggle-inducing memories.
7. Get Creative with Dog-Friendly Treats
As much as you’re preparing treats for your human friends, dogs love some grub too. For your dog birthday party extraordinaire, consider providing owner-approved milk bones or pupcakes to offer for excellent behavior.
Are you in the dog days of summer? Watermelon ice cream is a refreshing treat in the afternoon sun.
No matter what, be sure to keep all of the dogs well-hydrated, as they’ll likely be playing for hours together.
8. No Dog Birthday Party Is Complete Without…Poop Bags
With all this excitement, dogs will have to relieve themselves eventually. Make sure you provide poop bags so owners can pick up after their pets. This will help avoid anyone stepping into anything accidentally, or ruining the carpet. They even make them in festive colors. (The bags, not the poop!)
Especially if your party is indoors, consider having scheduled mini-breaks so the dogs can go take care of their business and come back comfortable and ready to continue the party.
9. Give Out Doggy Favors
After a whirlwind day of excitement, it’s almost time to say goodbye. Were the pupcakes a hit from earlier? Perhaps your friends would like the recipe. What about a plastic ball for the road?
Putting together party favors can be as easy as having extra treats and some plastic gift bags to tie in a bow. Add recipe cards, a funny thank you note, or if you’re extra ambitious, you can print out small snapshots before the party is over to hand over to your guests as an additional surprise. Your guests will appreciate the attention to detail.
10. After the Party, Let Your Pet Relax
Your pup was a rockstar for the day. After the party is over, however, it’s time to give them space and some peace and quiet. Besides treats, does your dog enjoy a new blanket to snuggle with? What about a pillow to burrow under? Having a low-key evening together is an excellent way to end the fun-filled day.