Planning the perfect birthday for your dog – let’s celebrate!
A doggy birthday party? Woof…what fun!
We all know that dogs are social creatures and what better excuse to plan a canine get together then your best friend’s birthday? Dog parties are growing in popularity and now is the perfect time to plan for that special day. It’s not only easy but it’s also super fun. We have put together our top planning tips below to make your dog’s birthday one to remember!
A important factor to consider is where you will hold the birthday event. Dogs are social creatures so they will definitely prefer a party with their walking mates and friends.
Option 1: Park/outdoor area
If you are planning an event in a public place consider a fenced off outdoor area or with not many other dogs around.
Option 2: Day Care Centre
Another good option is your local doggie day care centre – after all, this venue is already set up to cater for your guests. They might be prepared to give you a great rate in return for the extra promotion to your guests!
Option 4: Doggie Walk
To keep the party moving you could plan a doggie walk. Why not take your dog and his/her friends on a walk or hike? If you’re in NSW there are some great ideas in the book Great Dog Walks, or see the websites below for permitted locations in your region.
- NSW – dogs are allowed in all state forests. See more here.
- VIC – dogs are permitted in all state forests except for Murrindindi Scenic Reserve. See here for further info.
- QLD – dogs are allowed in some state forests, parks and recreation areas. See which ones do here.
- SA – dogs are allowed in certain parks and forests. See more here.
- TAS – some reserves and state parks permit dogs. Find which ones do here.
- WA – some reserves and state parks permit dogs. Find more info here.
Option 4: Home
Holding the party at home is also another option as long as you make sure that your backyard is large enough and secure. You wouldn’t want unruly party guests trashing the joint! (See our suggestions on crowd control measures below.)
Feeding your guests
One of the most important things to consider when holding a party is deciding what you are going to feed your guests.
There’s a wide variety of food options for dogs.
Why not try this easy recipe for Pupcakes from Food.com
What you’ll need:
1⁄4 cup peanut butter
1⁄4 cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup honey (optional)
1 cup carrot, shredded
1 cup whole wheat flour (preferred) or 1 cup white flour (alternate)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius.
2. Grease a 6 cup ring mould.
3. Combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey, if desired, in a large bowl; blend well.
4. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly.
5. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the carrot mixture.
6. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.
8. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Then set the birthday boy or girl loose on it and watch it get gobbled up in 5 seconds flat!
Need more food ideas? There is a wide variety of recipes online. Here’s another one for birthday cakes and other doggie treats.
No time to make your own?
If you don’t have time to whip something up you could outsource your catering requirements to Huds and Toke who supply everything from decorations to birthday cakes, biscuits and cookies. DoggyTopia also have a terrrific selection of party decor as well as food and drink. Your guests will also be thirsty so have plenty of water available.
Bow Wow Meow policy holders can access exclusive discount codes from Huds and Toke and DoggyTopia (and our other Pet Partners) for special discounts on their purchases.
Games and entertainment
You already know how important quality one on one time is to your pets, so just spending extra time with them and making a fuss might be all they need.
But, we also know that dogs love to run, hunt and chase so why not theme your games around what you know they will enjoy. Some ideas include:
1. Hide & Seek
Hide treats or toys around the yard and then let your guests loose to see who finds the treat or toy first. If using treats just be mindful of resource guarding as some dogs may be aggressive with food.
2. Mini Dog Olympics
The Olympics are all about excelling at sport. Why not create a mini Olympics course including jumps, tunnels and sprints – and some obedience skills like the fastest sit or drop.
You can build an Olympic Agility course yourselves, or if you don’t have that much time there are agility kits you can buy. While it might take a bit of organising, there’s no doubt that your mini Olympics will provide plenty of fun and laughs. You can even make up special certificates or medals to be awarded on the day.
Keep in mind that not every dog will be trained to jump or run through tunnels so use this opportunity to train your guests with little games. For example, throw a treat in a 5-10cm high box and let the dog jump in the box to get the treat. Or show your dog how to jump by luring him over a hurdle. That way everyone will feel part of the games. (However keep in mind that young dogs are still developing their bones and growth plates. As a rule, until 6 months old they should not be jumping higher than wrist height, and until 18 months old no jumping higher than elbow height.)
3. Doggie Fancy Dress or theme your party
Hold a Fancy Dress competition and then judge and award prizes to your guests, or theme your party. Just like human parties your pet party could have a theme, like this Game of Bones (Thrones) Party. There are plenty of websites that sell fancy dress outfits for dogs. You could theme your party from the invitations to the food and games.
Or, simply stick to party hats and birthday crowns. Huds and Toke supplies party dress ups to really jazz up the event and make the occasion Insta-worthy. Think party hats with pom poms, glitzy bowties and sparkly collars, and the ultimate plush Happy Birthday Cake hat, available in pink or blue!
All good parties need a bit of crowd control and your pet’s birthday party will be no different. A room or backyard full of excitable dogs could get out of control, and this is where your two legged guests will have to take some responsibility. We advise that you take overexcited party pups for a little time-out into a separate room to calm down before joining the party again.
Make sure you set the ground rules early and closely supervise any food or even toy related games, as some dogs might not like to share. If you have children attending the party as well make sure they are also supervised and treat the dogs with respect. Have enough people there to supervise – preferably 1 adult person per 2 or 3 dogs. If you have a cat or other non-dog pets on the premises it might be best that they be locked safe in a room while the event occurs.
Remember to take plenty of photos and videos!
While you will probably be pretty busy on the day, don’t forget to tell your guests to take plenty of photos and videos. You could even consider hiring a photographer that specialises in pet photography. These days plenty of pets have their own social media profiles so remember to load your photos to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
You could also get some of the guests to wear a GoPro pet harness and that way they can film themselves.
Take home gifts and thank you’s
While your pet may receive gifts for their birthday, it’s also a great idea to provide your guests with a small gift or ‘doggie bag’ to take home. Why not include a special human thank you gift from your pet or you could also include some party treats for your four legged guests.
A special gift for the birthday pooch
If you want to purchase a birthday gift for the birthday boy or girl, we have some fabulous ideas from our Pet Partners!
- The Birthday Box from Rover Pet Products includes tough toys, soft toys and treats, and is packed with value! Choose the options that best suit your dog! Birthday Boxes are $99 and include shipping to anwhere in Australia! Boxes are even wrapped like a real present for your doggy!
- The Birthday Box from Mimi & Munch includes Bambi’s Butter, a lick mat, a bag of birthday treats, and 6 personalised biscuits with no artificial colours, flavours or preservative. Boxes are $56.99.
- The Doggie Birthday Hamper from Pet Obsessed includes items such as party hats, premium toys, bags of treats, a bone / chewer, an edible birthday treat, a bandana and poo bags. Each hamper is personalised for your pooch and designed to make them happy, entertained and stimulated. They retail for $75 (worth over $100).
Share the celebrations
Our pets are a huge part of our lives and much loved members of our family and the chance to celebrate their milestones is important. We hope this blog has provided you with a few ideas about celebrating with your dog! If you enjoyed it, please share it with your friends.
And of course we always love to hear about your birthday celebrations, so please post some pics on our Facebook page!
A pet insurance policy with Bow Wow Meow will help ensure you can always afford to give your dog the best treatment.
- Find out more about our pet insurance options for dogs