Humans love to celebrate birthdays – it’s one of the best ways to make someone feel special and appreciated. Blowing out a birthday cake and opening up presents can put a smile on almost anyone’s face. Our dogs are a large part of our lives, and it’s only natural that we’d want to do the same for them.
Now, it doesn’t really matter what day this happens on – dogs don’t understand the concept of their birthday, so it can be their real birthday, their adoption day, or anytime you really just feel like appreciating your pet.
This is something you can do whether you’re a first-time dog owner or if you are a seasoned veteran with years of experience with puppy breeding. Making them feel special every once in a while can be a fun experience for the whole family, and doesn’t have to cost a whole lot of money. Our dogs may just be a part of our world, but to them, we’re their whole world.
Ways to Make Your Dog’s Birthday Fun and Memorable
Serve a dog-friendly birthday cake or treats
Nothing says “happy birthday” quite like a birthday cake, so that’s first on our list. Most of our dogs will be more used to eating dry kibble on a daily basis, so eating some delicious pupcake is already going to be special by default. You can go as big or as small as you like with your cake. If you’re expecting to serve doggy friends, they’re likely to want some too.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to break the bank with this – while there are bakers who specialise in creating pup-friendly cakes, it’s also very easy to make this on your own at home. There are a variety of dog cake recipes online, or you can get boxed cake mix that is specially made for dogs.
Another option is to have an alterna-cake – this may be the best choice if your pooch is on a diet or has allergies. You can arrange your dog’s favourite types of toys or into the shape of a cake and bring it out for them to enjoy. We’ve seen some pet pawrents go the extra mile and bake small, healthy dog treats and intersperse these throughout the alterna-cake, or use dog-friendly icing or peanut butter to glue together healthy treats into the shape of a cake.
Get them some puppy ice cream or popsicles
While it’s generally a bad idea to give dogs ice cream meant for humans, you can definitely serve them a dog-safe alternative. Dog-safe ice cream is surprisingly easy to make, as well.
All you need are some ripe bananas, low-fat yoghurt, and peanut butter. Simply blend a couple of the bananas together with a cup of peanut butter and a cup of yoghurt, and pour the mixture into an ice cube tray. Once it’s frozen, it’s ready to serve! You can easily adjust the consistency of your ice cream by adding more or less yoghurt.
If your pup is on a diet, or is allergic to dairy products, you can make low-calorie dog popsicles with some beef or chicken broth. Just pour the cooled beef or chicken broth into the ice cube tray as before, and wait for it to freeze before serving.
Invite their friends over
Both human and four-legged friends will make your pup jump with joy. Most of our dogs are already happy having just one visitor over, what more when they get all their favourite friends together? This may be tougher if you live in an apartment, but it may be possible to rent out a fenced outdoor space like a dog park for your dog’s birthday.
Even if you aren’t inviting the whole neighbourhood over, just a couple of close friends is more than enough to get your pup’s tail wagging. Remember to serve refreshments for both humans and dogs! Lots of play is liable to make the dogs very thirsty or hungry, so keep some snacks on-hand for puppy parents to give to their dogs.
Just be sure to have someone keeping an eye out for rough play and fights – even doggy best friends have misunderstandings once in a while, especially when they get excited.
Have a party picture wall
It wouldn’t be a birthday party without some pictures. Of course you’re going to have lots of snaps of the party itself, because everyone loves taking pictures of their dogs. But one way to take this to the next level is a picture wall, just like you’ll see at movie premieres or other events. Some DIY decorations and a clean backdrop are all you really need. You can opt to shine some lights on your picture wall for even better pictures, and if you want people to be able to play dress-up with their dogs, you can leave a box with doggy costumes or accessories by the wall.
Spend time with your dog
It goes without saying that your dog’s birthday should be about them – but really, it’s good to remember that they don’t need anything fancy to be happy. All they really want and need is the attention of their loved ones.
We only have a limited amount of time with our pets, and sometimes life can seem to make that time even more scarce. Even if you can’t give your dog the other items on this list, spend the day with them and just enjoy being with them.