Dogs

Dog Birthday Party Ideas Summer Happy Everything

posted: 05/15/12
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Best Dog Birthday Party Ideas
Sander, J./plainpicture/Corbis |

Because people often view their pets as members of the family, throwing birthday parties for dogs has become an increasingly popular way to celebrate man's (or woman's) best friend. You can celebrate his actual birthday or the day of his adoption, all while having a tail-wagging good time.

Dog birthday parties are all about creativity. Consider organizing your dog's birthday party around a theme. For instance, is your precious poodle the princess of your family? If so, you could hail Her Royal Barkness and plan a party fit for canine royalty, complete with princess-themed decor and doggy-size tiaras. Or is your pup more of a pirate? You could plan a Pawrite Pawty for your canine matey.

Once you've decided on a fun and creative theme, begin to build the guest list. You can either invite other dogs or only the human friends and family of the birthday pup. If you decide to invite other dogs, make sure that they're not strangers to each other to eliminate potential skirmishes. It's usually not a good idea to introduce dogs to each other at a party; you'll want to avoid overstimulation and the potential for competition between dogs. Neighbors' dogs, obedience school classmates or family members' dogs would be good invitees.

Make sure that there's adequate human supervision at your dog party. The last thing you'll want are dozens of dogs running amok without friendly humans to keep an eye on them. If you're worried about canine conflict at the party, just invite the birthday dog and his human friends. He's sure to love being the center of attention.

On the next page, we'll tell you what supplies to have on hand for the perfect dog b'day bash.

After you've chosen a theme and a guest list, decide on a location for your shindig and select the supplies. Your backyard or a local dog park would make suitable venues for a dog party. If you have a party in your backyard, make sure your fence and gates are secure so that all dogs in attendance will be safe while they're celebrating.

At your dog's birthday venue, you'll want to make sure that there are plenty of water bowls throughout the location. It's important that all of the dogs have access to water, especially if your gathering is during the summer.

For food, the dogs will be happy with some dog treats, a small amount of kibble or perhaps just a piece of doggy birthday cake (see the next page for ideas). Some pet owners may feed their dogs before the party, and you don't want the animals to overeat. For easy, homemade dog snacks, check out the site Dog Birthday Parties. The human guests will get a kick out of dog-themed appetizers such as mini-hot dogs or chicken salad sandwiches cut into bone shapes with a cookie cutter.

You'll also need toys and games to keep your dogs occupied. These can be as simple as Frisbees and balls to play games of fetch, or be more elaborate. If there are several dogs in attendance, you could have a best dog trick contest. Or let your canine guests play a game of Bobbing for Biscuits, a spin on the popular Bobbing for Apples party game. Dogs can dive into a bucket of water to retrieve a tasty snack. Another option is to have the dogs and their humans participate in a matching-costume contest with prizes for the winners.

Just like you'd do at a children's birthday party, you can give out goody bags for your guests to take home. Place edible dog treats in the goody bags of your furry friends, and give human guests dog-themed favors such as bone-shaped treats, puppy stickers or even a photo of your dog. Last but not least, don't forget your camera. You'll want to capture memories of your dog's birthday celebration.

At your dog's birthday party, you'll want to have a celebratory cake. You could make one for human consumption and another for the pooches to feast on. If you aren't up for making a cake for your dog, order one from a local pet bakery.

However, if you're willing to venture into the world of doggy delicacies, making a pet-friendly cake isn't as difficult as you might think. The key is to steer clear of sugar and chocolate, which could upset your dog's stomach or make him seriously ill. A good way to avoid sugar is to use a substance like organic peanut butter as a substitute.

Although they might not sound very appealing to a human palate, your dog would love a bacon and chicken layer cake or a beef jerky cake. Check out the Dog Birthday Party Guide for some dog cake recipes. A tip: If you're serving cake to a passel of pooches, make sure each dog has his own plate to avoid disaster.

No matter what kind of cake you make for your dog, keep these tips in mind, courtesy of Dog Birthday Party Guide:

- Use cream cheese, peanut better, yogurt, or cottage cheese for icing. These foods are dog friendly and won't make your pooch sick.

- Dogs can have difficulty digesting nuts. If you use them in a recipe, chop them up carefully into very small pieces.

- Use carob in lieu of chocolate. Chocolate can be poisonous to dogs, and carob can serve as a dog-safe substitute. Carob is available in powdered and chip form in many grocery and health food stores.

- To avoid a potential fire hazard, use rawhide chews or dog treats instead of candles. Besides being safer for use around animals, they will tie your dog-friendly cake masterpiece together.

- Don't overfeed your dog, even if the cake you make is pet-friendly. Too much of an unfamiliar food might make your dog sick. A few bites of a celebratory treat are enough.

Once you've got all the details of your dog's birthday party worked out, start on the invitations. These can be as simple or extravagant as you want. You can design a dog-themed e-vite, send simple handwritten notes or even phone friends and family to invite them to your shindig. If you want to create more elaborate invitations, go to a stationery store and request the honor of your guests' presence by having stylish and individualized dog-themed cards printed.

One way to have fun with dog party invitations is to organize them around the theme of the party. For instance, if your party theme is the Wild West, have dogs dressed as cowboys pictured on your cards. Or if you're having a doggie luau, include some canines dressed in leis partying around tiki torches on your invitations.

If you want to keep the theme of your party a surprise, go with a simple dog pun like "Let's Pawty" or "Come. Sit. Stay. Play." to let your guests know that your party will both be dog-centered and lots of fun for humans and pups alike.

No matter what kind of invitation you select, be as specific as possible about what supplies pet owners should bring to the party. For instance, you might ask each dog owner to bring his own water bowl and leash. Also specify the time and location of the party and give directions to the venue. Include a RSVP phone number and date so that you can get an accurate head (and paw) count.

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