Sometimes we look back, and it seems like just yesterday we brought our furry friend home to stay for good. While time is flying by, make some memorable moments with your pooch that you can cherish forever. In our home, we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays with our dogs but never their days. So why not pick a single day out of the year where you can celebrate your dog? Here are some dog birthday ideas to do just that.
ALSO READ: 12 Great Ideas for Your Dog Bucket List
1. Play “Simon Says”
What’s a party without games? “Simon Says” is a wonderful birthday party activity for kids, adults, and our dogs! It’s also a fun way for you to give your pet another lesson in obedience. Our canines are very observant and intuitive, so when they see another dog rewarded with a treat and praise for doing what “Simon Says” they’ll pick up on the game very quickly.
One person will be Simon, giving directions to the owners. Then, the owners will command their dogs to do what Simon has asked, and once your dog complies they’ll receive a treat. Easy enough.
2. Bake a Dog Friendly Birthday Cake
Who doesn’t love getting their very own cake and a song that goes with it? We’ve all seen the youtube videos, it’s clear that just about every pup out there wouldn’t mind being showered in affection and food. Cakes aren’t actually that hard to make, and there are plenty of ingredients you can add that are dog safe.
FULL RECIPE: Homemade Healthy Dog Birthday Cake Recipe
Things you can use in your dog’s birthday cake:
- Apple sauce
- Pumpkin puree
- Peanut butter
These are just a few basic items, but there is an endless world of flavor that you can add to your dog’s birthday cake. Pets with grain allergies can also have their cakes made with gluten free flour, Bob’s Red Mill is a great brand for this.
3. Bring on the Bubbles
Have you ever noticed how much fun dogs have chasing laser lights, flies, and other objects that they just can’t seem to catch? Bubble themed parties are a big hit among the canine community. You can rent a bubble machine or buy a small one at just about any toy store or online.
You can set it up in your backyard, or if it’s battery operated you can take it to a park as well. Most of the time the bubble solution is included with the machine, if it isn’t, just make sure the solution you buy is non toxic and dog safe. Generally, bubbles are just soap, and they shouldn’t cause any problems.
4. Have an (Indoor) Pool Party
If there’s one thing every dog loves, it’s swimming! You can find pools in most local dog parks, you can buy your own dog pools, or you can invite your canine crew out to the nearest lake. Remember to bring some toys, plenty of drinking water, and some light snacks.
Note that flat-faced dogs don’t do well in the water; so if any of your attendees have English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs or other variations of the breed, they’ll need a life vest and extra supervision.
You should also keep in mind that dogs who eat too much right before or after exercising are at a higher risk of bloating. This can be a life threatening situation, so make sure all your guests are monitoring their dog’s food and water intake while they’re swimming.
Don’t let these little precautions scare you out of a fun time though! Pool parties are great fun for canines, but we should all be extra careful when playing in or near water.
5. Take Them to Petsmart for a Toy
Places like Petsmart and Petco are amazing because they’re very canine friendly that your dog can be coming to do some shopping with you. Let them browse the aisles and sniff around the toy section. You can surprise them with another toy later on, but it makes your dog happy to be included in choosing their new gift.
As your pet decides what they want, don’t forget to keep a close watch. Dogs don’t understand the concept of paying before playing, and you don’t want them tearing up a stuffed toy if you don’t intend on bringing it home.
6. Take Them on a Mini Road Trip
Dogs are nomadic at heart, they love to travel and see new places. If you’re able to, for a dog birthday party take them on a nice short day trip to the beach or to a national park. Go for a hike through the mountains; if you have the kind of pup who will stay by your side and come when you call, you can even take them off the leash for a bit and let them sniff around.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated and bring plenty of water for both you and your pal. If there is a picnic area, you can bring your home-made cake, a gift for your dog to “unwrap,” and sing them happy birthday before you head home.
7. Make Goodie Bags
When the party ends, give your pupper pals a birthday gift of their own. Fill small bags with dog treats, a tennis ball, and other cute items your guests can take home with them. If possible, get a camera that prints out photos automatically so owners can have a Polaroid to put on their fridge.
You can easily find cheap tennis balls at just about any family dollar store. Just avoid toys that contain stuffing so your furry friends don’t end up swallowing it and getting sick.
Don’t Forget About the Cleanup
Having all your canine pals over for a dog birthday party will most definitely be tons of fun, but it might get messy. If you’re going to throw a pupper party, try to have it outside. Aside from the usual spilled drink or dirty paws, some of your guests may or may not be house trained. So unless you’ve hired a couple of people to scoop poop and wipe pee up from your tile or carpet, try to keep the excitement of these dog birthday ideas outside.