So, it’s your dog’s big day and you want to celebrate in style. Well, you’ve come to the right place. When it’s about my dogs, I’m a bit over the top. As their birthdays approach, I start planning presents, treats, and a little gathering with family. (Yes, I’m that type of dog mom). Since we have two doggy birthdays in my family that are quickly approaching, I figured it’s the perfect time to share my tips for throwing an amazing dog birthday party!
1. Consider The Venue
Will you be throwing your dog’s birthday party at your house? If so, great, you’ve already got this part figured out. But, if you’re in an apartment with limited space or you don’t have a backyard then you may want to consider other options. Depending on how many people/dogs are attending — and how the weather holds up — you can make special arrangements at your local dog-friendly brewery or outdoor restaurant. Or, you can simply go to a nearby dog-friendly park or beach!
2. Make The Guest List & Send Party Invites
Your pooch needs some friends to celebrate with. If your dog has some other four-legged pals then add them to the guest list. If not, you can simply invite some other 2-legged family members to give your pup some extra loving on his special day.
Once you’ve made the guest list, send out formal invitations! By “formal”, I don’t mean physical cards. I just mean something that’s designed with your pup in mind. I usually make my party invitations in Canva (a free design tool that features plenty of invitation templates) and just text them out to guests. Or, I really like Paperless Post!
3. Play Dress up
Every birthday girl and birthday boy deserves a special outfit on their big day! If you’re not really into the dress-up thing, a simple birthday bandana will look super cute for photos. If you’re an “extra” dog parent then go crazy with birthday-themed shirts and even a hat.
4. Doggy Decorations
If you’re hosting the party at your house then check out these cute “Let’s Pawty” balloons. O.M.G. how cute?!?! They come in 10 different colors, so you’re bound to find one that matches the rest of your decor.
5. Make a Dog Birthday Cake
No party is complete without cake! And guess what … a DIY dog cake is way easier to make than you may think. In this video, I’m sharing a very special dog cake recipe with you. It looks just like a decedent birthday bite — icing and all. But, instead of the normal cake fixings, it’s made out of healthy, gluten-free, Fido-friendly ingredients. Think: ground beef, fresh veggies, sweet potato, and salmon. Watch:
6. Make More Treats
Along with a cake, I also like to bake a batch of homemade pupcakes (AKA doggy cupcakes) and biscuits. To keep with the dog-theme, I think they look super cute presented in little dog bowls.
Check out the treat recipes here on the Proud Dog Mom blog and in my cookbook, Proud Dog Chef: Tail-Wagging Good Treat Recipes!
7. Balls Galore
Does your dog love playing with balls and bouncy rubber KONG toys? If so, you’ll definitely want to load up. I’ve seen some people fill a plastic kiddie pool with balls and let their dog bask in ball heaven. I love that! Another fun idea: Before your guests arrive, fill a cupcake stand with balls and hand them out to your furry guests when they arrive!
8. Play Games
Along with some yummy treats and cake, you’ll want to plan some activities to keep the dogs engaged. Some fun ideas:
- Scavenger Hunt: Fill classic KONG toys with a yummy treat and scatter them throughout your house or yard. Let the dogs snuff out the goodies and enjoy their reward!
- Obstacle Course: Is your dog into agility? They sell home agility courses right on Amazon and some dogs go nuts for them. Check it out HERE!
- Dog Puzzles: When I have a bunch of dogs over, I like to set out a variety of dog puzzles and let the pups rotate from one to the next. HERE are some of my favorites!
- Fetch: You know those balls I mentioned a minute ago? Well, it’s time to put them to good use!
9. Party Favors
As the party comes to an end and you’re about to kiss your guests goodbye, send them off with a little goodie bag. Some fun ideas:
- Some homemade dog biscuits wrapped in cute poop bags. As you tie the bag shut, include a dog treat recipe cards so your guests can remake the tasty snacks.
- A ball or rubber KONG (the ones your pups played with earlier)
- Birthday cake squeaky toy
- A dog puzzle: If you have a lot of doggy guests then this one isn’t very budget-friendly. But, if you only have one or two puppy pals over then I bet they would love to leave with a puzzle!
10. Pictures: Say Cheese!
I love to host events … for people and dogs! But, as the person usually in charge of cooking, serving, cleaning, and greeting guests, I’m often so busy that I forget to take photos. I definitely recommend you designate your spouse or a particular guest as the day’s official photographer. Trust me — you’ll be happy you did!