Try something new and fun for your dog’s next birthday! Dogs may not understand birthdays, but they certainly understand kindness, attention, friends and lots of party food. Here are some ideas:
- Set up a photo shoot
This is easy to do indoors or out. All you need is a backdrop, which could be a wall and rolls of wrapping paper, decorated or plain tissue paper, colored disposable plastic table cloths, props like big paper hearts for a February birthday or orange pumpkins, witches and black cats for an October birthday dog.
Use wrapping paper taped to the wall for an easy backdrop. Black tissue paper makes a great floor material, but it may shred too easily for heavy use. Party stores sell thin but sturdy plastic disposable tablecloths in a wide array of colors and shapes. These hold up well and look natural for photos. Get a digital camera and start inviting human guests to pose with their canines. Some dogs may even pose on their own. Try adding a large bucket covered with matching wrapping paper to the scene. You might get lucky and be able to snap an extra-cute photo of the birthday dog sitting in the bucket.
Colored bandannas tied loosely around the canine guests’ necks add style to your photos.
- Doggie birthday cakes and ice cream
Unlike cats, who have no taste buds capable of recognizing sweet foods, dogs have the same taste buds, for sweet, sour, salty and bitter that humans do. Dogs, and cats this time, also have a special taste bud for water.
However, standard cakes with sugar aren’t good or healthy for dogs. Healthy ingredients like carob, applesauce, bananas, carrots and peanut butter are available at dog cake bakeries. The cakes are beautifully decorated, available for delivery and guaranteed to be a hit with your canine guests.
You can make your own doggie ice cream from simple recipes using applesauce, peanut butter, bananas and yogurt. Carob powder is a dog-safe chocolate alternative found online and in natural foods stores. Its rich flavor is surprisingly similar to chocolate’s.
- Some great canine ideas for gifts and games
For gifts, try a dog fountain, thunder shirt, food puzzles, interactive toys and a luxurious dog bed. For games, try providing a kiddie pool filled with cool water if the weather is warm enough. Fill another kiddie pool with tennis balls. If your dog regularly visits a local dog park, consider holding the party there.
You can make a festive tower centerpiece for the occasion using the birthday dog’s favorite treats arranged in a tower shape and held together with dog-friendly frosting.
4. Dress the birthday boy or girl for the occasion
A cute outfit purchased for the occasion online or at the pet store will make your birthday dog stand out. It’s easy to make bow ties with tissue paper and ribbon and simple cone birthday hats with construction paper, ribbon or thin elastic, non-toxic glue and markers. You can also decorate the hats with food-safe colored glitter available at cake decorating stores and online.
5. Make party favors
Fill small decorated bags available online and in party stores with dog treats, small stuffed toys, food puzzles and homemade treats like pupcakes. This way, each canine guest gets to take home a piece of the party to enjoy later!