You know you want to!
All the cool kids are doing it!
Nine out of ten Americans consider their pet to be part of their family. (we have no idea what’s wrong with that tenth guy).
Your dog is a member of the family so why not throw a birthday bash worthy of the unconditional love your pup gives you on the daily?
Five Star Venue
It’s All Fun & Games
The Party Spread
Decadent Doggy Bags
Get these dog birthday party ideas on board and you’ll be able to host the social event of the season, darling.
Don’t know your dog’s birthdate? No problem! You can guestimate the birthdate, pick a day and make it their birthday, or celebrate “Gotcha Day” -- the date when you brought your new FURever friend home.
Five Star Venue
Location, location, location. True in real estate and true in puppy birthday parties.
Pick a place your pup already knows and loves.
A dog park can be ideal because it’s already a securely fenced-in area with drinking water and usually some pupper playground features like ramps, ladders, and run-through tunnels.
A pet supply store or a doggy daycare is a good dog birthday party idea. It’s already puppy-proofed and generally, staff members are happy to help wrangle party guests as needed.
27% of American pet owners have professional photographs taken of their pets, portraiture adds a beautiful artistic flair.
You can throw the party in your own home or backyard. This is not for the faint of heart! You need a fenced-in yard you’re certain smaller doggos or diggers cannot escape from.
If you host inside your home everything needs to be puppy-proofed and be prepared for excited tinklers, chewers, and large rompers. A destination party is looking better and better, huh?
The simplest and least expensive gathering would be to have everyone meet at a pet store and have enough pre-purchased treats and toys available for all of the dogs to chose their own gifty goody. Reserving the biggest and best for the birthday boy or girl, duh.
One of the most important dog party ideas is the theme.
Begin with wardrobe for your birthday sweetheart. It doesn’t have to be a full costume (yes it does) it could be a fancy collar, a bandana, or a hat.
If she’ll be dressed as a princess carry the royal theme throughout the invite, the decorations, and the treats.
The theme could follow your dog’s most beloved toy, think of that stuffed cow or frog and make that the theme.
Wild west, luau, and costume parties are always a hit.
Of course, party hats for all of the guests are a must because the cute photo ops are nearly endless.
The Guest List
You can invite the dog and owner pairs you see while walking in the park almost every day.
Or invite your friends who are as crazy about their pets as you are about yours.
Have a set number of invitees keeping in mind the size of the venue, the size and temperaments of the different dogs, and the level of chaos you and your birthday baby are comfortable with!
If your dog is on the shy or anxious side a big bash is going to be scary rather than fun. For this temperament consider having one of their BFFs over to help celebrate.
A great dog party idea is giving your shy best friend your complete and undivided attention.
Play hide and seek by hiding favorite treats around the room and let your dog sniff out the prizes. Since dogs can smell THOUSANDS of times better than humans it’s a guaranteed win for your baby.
Afterward, take an extra-long walk, give the birthday dog all the snuggles, take him or her to the pet store to pick out its own gift, and of course whip up some chicken and sweet potatoes, or a mini meatloaf or fruit salad (without grapes!) topped with yogurt so your baby can make a birthday wish and devour its birthday “cake”.
Whether it’s to be a large or small affair there needs to be an invite to the PAWTY of the year.
The invite can be elaborate, custom printed, and sent through the mail.
It can even be an online invite. Evite.com is a great site where you can choose the layout and insert all of your party details and they’ll be delivered to the guest’s inboxes. (Free!) It’s fab because it allows RSVPs straight from the invite back to you.
A simple phone call, email, or text message is just fine, too.
Include these important guidelines (you can call them “rules” if you like to be certain there’s no confusion over whether these are optional or mandatory)
- Dogs should arrive and leave on their leashes. Their owners should keep the leashes handy during the party in case anyone needs a time-out.
- Make it clear owners can’t drop their dogs off at the party and leave. It shouldn’t be an issue, owners should know they are responsible for minding their precious pets (and handle the pooper scooper role as necessary)
- Do provide poop bags at the party. Because... stuff happens. Especially when the dogs nom nom all the wonderful party treats.
- Have fresh water available.
- Make it a requirement all guests are up to date on vaccinations and are healthy on the day of the party. You can make that a dog-only rule or extend it to all the human guests, too.
It’s the celebration of your pup so you literally make the rules.
It’s All Fun & Games
Dogs naturally know how to have a good time.
Up their game by providing play areas and activities dogs will go gaga for like a ball pit. Fill a kiddie pool with dog safe balls (tennis balls, rubber balls, medium size Kongs) and let them get after it.
Give each human guest a bottle of bubbles and let the pups enjoy the endless wonder of chasing and catching a bubble followed by “where the heck did it go?!?!”
If you’re entertaining outside at least have a hose handy for water-loving dogs.
Play area level - expert - fill a few kiddie pools with water. If water play is part of the plan let owners know so they can bring towels to wipe off mud and soak up all the wonderful wet dog smell.
The Party Spread
What’s a party without food? Sad, it’s just sad.
The number one thing to remember when planning the small bites for people and their dogs is -- do not serve anything that could give a doggy a bad tummy, or worse.
The absolute no-nos: Chocolate, grapes or raisins, avocado or bones.
Fresh water for the dogs is a must.
Consider making a people punch with a doggy theme. If there will be kids (or kids at heart) at the party, the grosser the name the more they’ll like it. There are recipes just a Google away for Toilet Water Punch (it’s blue), Fruity Pooch Punch or Muddy Puddle Punch.
You can serve normal party fare just rebrand it with doggone cute pup-themed names:
- Hot Dogs - Weiner Dogs
- Popcorn - Buttered Pupcorn
- Pizza Rolls - Pup-eroni Pizza
- Cupcakes - Pupcakes
- Individually Wrapped Twizzlers - Chew Toys
- Apple & Carrot Slices - RUFFage
Catering for the canines is a snap. Put out large dog bowls filled with different dog treats. Chewy.com carries a large range of celebration-worthy treats like “Bark Bars” wrapped to look like big chocolate bars and “Pup-Pies” in boxes that wish “Happy Birthday”.
Most cities now have at least one bakery dedicated to pleasing pooches where you can get fresh dog cookies, non-rawhide treats, and even a tiered cake with decorative frosting.
Decadent Doggy Bags
Giving a party favor to guests, often called goody bags, is not required but you’ve come this far you might as well finish uber-strong.
It’s a thoughtful way to say thank you to guests for coming to your dog’s party.
It can be as simple as a cellophane bag filled with a variety of dog treats closed with a twist tie or ribbon.
You can get some pretty adorable little gift bags with either paw prints or “doggie bag” printed on them. To the cookies add in a tennis ball or plush pup toy.
To really set tails a wagging put the dog treats inside a mug with the birthday dog’s face in artistic portraiture for owners to enjoy their coffee, tea, and memories of the perfect party.
Whether super casual or completely over the top, your pup will know something wonderful is up when you throw a party celebrating their entrance into the world and your life.
So, pick the location and a theme. Pre-plan to keep everyone safe. Let everyone enjoy the fun and games and a big spread of delectable treats.
Finally, bid a fond farewell to partygoers with doggie bags to tell your guests you know the answer to “Who’s a good guest?!?! Huh??? YOU!! Yes, you’re such a good guest!”