Dogs enrich our lives: They comfort us when we are sad, gaze apologetically when they know they’ve displeased us, and celebrate with us when we are happy. That's why every trip around the sun should be precious to us! When your dog turns another year older, it's certainly something to make a fuss about.
Go low-key or throw an all-out bash - what matters is that you celebrate your bond with your very special pup. Since we think all dogs deserve an awesome party, we are here to walk you through the steps on how to throw the ultimate one.
No need to splurge
Loads of cash aren’t necessary to execute a stunning celebration. Like most of us, saving money is a big plus. So, decide if you want to enlist help from friends to hand-make decorations out of inexpensive materials, or if you want to throw a joint party with other pups and owners. Pup-pal parties are huge money savers and often mean you can go a little crazier with the treats (like a cotton candy machine for the humans and a big dog-friendly cake).
Tip: save even more money (and keep things pandemic-safe) by throwing a virtual pup party. You can plan fun activities for your pet parent friends, and show off your dogs at the same time.
Streamers and other one-time-use items are pricey and may be wasteful. Luckily, choosing items that can be reused isn't too tough. Fill vases with brightly colored toys that can be handed out as party favors. Make banners out of cute clothes your dog can later wear. Craft bouquets from bags of their favorite treats, since you’d be buying them anyway. After that, if you want, it doesn’t hurt to toss in a few streamers!
Tip: don't forget - decor should be pet-friendly! Choking hazards are real, especially if your party involves young dogs that put everything and anything in their mouths. When in doubt, keep things out of reach.
Your little angel deserves a special outfit for their big day, and there’s a lot out there to choose from these days. From fuzz ball-adorned party hats to festive dresses with cupcake art and plenty of frills, they’ve just about thought of everything.
Tip: make sure any outfits are tried on beforehand, so you don't have a fussy pup the day of. Clothes shouldn't be too constricting, and ultimately the comfort of your dog comes first. It is their special day, after all.
Two categories need to be covered here—human food and dog food. Back yard grilling is really fitting for a celebration like this—hot dogs, burgers, chips, salsa, and guacamole for the two-legged guests, and some grilled zucchini and sweet potatoes for the pups. Keep in mind that there are typical barbecue staples that shouldn’t be given to dogs, like meat with bones in them. If the weather is too chilly for a backyard bash, keep things indoors and make things easy by catering or ordering several large pizzas. You may also want to give one of Figo's own Scarf'd dog-friendly recipesa try!
Tip: always talk with your vet first when introducing new foods.
While we don’t expect you’ll be able to corral your doggy guests for structured activities, we recommend having various games and playthings around that pups can access at their own will. Scatter some toys of course (and set up things like soccer nets that humans can join in on too). Place a few small kiddie pools in your yard if it’s hot out, and fill them slightly so it’s easy to periodically refresh the water.
If the weather takes a turn for the worst, occupy guests with treat-filled toys that require a bit of work, and have a movie and popcorn ready to go for everyone else.
Tip: if your dog gets easily overwhelmed at gatherings, we recommend this articleon best practices.
Home-baked treats make for simple and inexpensive goodie bags for party guests! This peanut buttery recipe is easy to create with simple ingredients you likely already have. For the humans, whip up some regular peanut butter or sugar cookies, and use dog bone-shaped cookie cutters for fun. Just don’t mix them up with the pup treats! Or you could go big and purchase a dog-friendly birthday cake for all the dogs to share.
Really, your dog’s birthday can be anything your imagination wants it to be. Think about what they love most and center your party around those things. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to bond with friends while letting their pups have a fun day out. While some may think it’s over the top, the ultimate doggy birthday party can be a memory-making time for everyone. Now that’s a win-win.
Tip: if your friends are struggling with gift ideas for you and your pup, why not start a registry for pet insurance? Not only is it financially smart (and can help ensure your dog lives the best life possible), you never know when your pet will need it. Build your custom quote today so you know how much to ask for!
Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.