July 23, 2011

How To Throw Your Dog A Birthday Party!

Author: Kristin Skelton

Prissy and Porita, The Original Floofins, Recently Turned The Big 3! Here Are Some Tips and Ideas To Help Make Your Dog’s Big Day A Special One.

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On July 10th, Priscilla and Portia turned the big 3 (that’s 21 in dog years)! Anyone that knows us knows that our dogs are part of our family. So, we had to do something fun to celebrate their birthday.

While shopping for their birthday gifts it occurred to me how many ways there are these days to celebrate a dog birthday. So, I thought, why not put together a blog about ways to celebrate with your pooch.

There are many ways to throw a dog party. You can have a close family celebration, a backyard party with games and other dog guests, or you can even rent out a dog day care facility and have a party that will put many human parties to shame.

Here are some steps and ideas to make your dog’s birthday a day to remember:

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1. A “Birthday” or  A “Gotchaday”?. Some of you right off the bat might be thinking, “gosh, when was my dog born?” If you purchased your dog from a breeder it should be listed in their registration paperwork. For those of you who adopted and have no idea when your dog’s birthday is, try exchanging “birthday” for “gotchaday” meaning, the day you “got” your dog and adopted them into the family. Their gotchaday is probably better than a birthday as far as your pet is concerned.

2. A Social Pooch Party or A Cozy Pooch Party. When deciding how to celebrate, think about your dog’s personality. Sometimes having several well behaved dog playmates over for the day will make the most sense for your dog. Other times, a night at home with the family and a special treat would be the happiest night of their life.

For this year, we opted for a quiet night in with Prissy and Portia. If you can see in the video, they got new hair bows, which they were very excited to pull out of their hair after their cake was served.

3. Location, Location, Location. Once you decide how you want to celebrate you can then think about a venue. For a night in with the family the sofa will do just fine. For more elaborate parties, you can have a backyard party, a house party, or even look into a doggy daycare rental or a dog park or dog beach rental.

When finalizing a venue, make sure you have put away any toxic substances and marked areas that are no-no’s for guest dogs. Just because your dog leaves the poison under the sink alone doesn’t mean his little playmate will.

Also think about creating a quiet/safe area for dogs that become overstimulated.

4. A Furry Guest List and Dog Themed Invites. Next, put together your guest list including both human and furry friends. Not all dogs socialize well, so make sure you invite non-aggressive playmates for your furry party to avoid breaking up dog fights. Check out evite for your invitations. They have lots of pet themed designs.

Remember, when scheduling your party, to keep the party on the short side. Ninety minutes makes for a good event. It is long enough to have fun, but not too long which can cause furry guests to act on their not so best behavior.

5. Feeding Your Guests and Their Humans. Changing a dogs diet abruptly can result in intestinal anger. Do your best to keep your dogs diet and your guest dogs diets as normal as possible. Have a special birthday treat for each dog vs. a birthday meal. You can also get a larger dog birthday cake and share it with all of their furry friends. Just make sure to have separate bowls or plates for everyone to avoid any fighting over food.

Make sure you know all treat ingredients and post them with each treat so pet parents can check before allowing treats or cake. Check out Two Boston’s in Naperville for fun birthday dog cakes. We were happy to find one that Portia (a.k.a. little miss food allergy) could eat.

When planning the menu, avoid having things on the human menu that might hurt your furry guests. Avoid items like grapes, chocolate and certain nuts, since you never know what might fall to the floor during the chaos of a party. Also, keep human food high on counter tops and provide covers for items whenever possible in case of counter surfing guests.

Finally, make sure there is lots of water available for your furry guests, especially if you opt for an outdoor event.

6. Activities Fit For A Floof. When you have other dogs in the house, or even if you plan to keep your party low key, what do you do to entertain them? There are many ways to have fun with your dog or lots of dogs. Some good ideas are to set up a small agility course in your back yard and an inflatable pool for your furry friends to cool off in.

You can also get some great dog games from the Nina Ottosson line. These provide endless fun for dogs that like to solve puzzles. Prissy and Portia love theirs. You could also just curl up on the sofa for belly rubs and a good doggie movie. On Prissy and Portia’s first birthday they got some new toys, yogurt covered bully sticks and a night in watching Hotel For Dogs.

You can also have a Dog contest to keep your human friends entertained as well. Contests such as “best dressed” or “most obedient” or “best trick” are always popular categories. Make sure guests know about the contests so everyone comes prepared.

7. Prepare For Poo. When setting up for your party, don’t neglect having plenty of poop bags available and some non-toxic enzymatic cleaner (such as Natures Miracle, our favorite) on hand to clean up messes.

8. Goodie Bags And Party Favors. When saying goodbye to your dogs playmates and your friends, send them off with a goodie bag of treats and toys so they can remember the good times spent at your dog’s fabulous birthday bash.

Another good party favor for our humans would be decorated water bottles filled with small rocks or pennies. These are great distractions if anyone gets overzealous during playtime. Often a loud noise will redirect a dog’s attention before any sticky situations occur.

You can also buy dog birthday hats at some of the local dog boutiques, such as The Urban Mutt in LaGrange. They are not only fun, but provide awesome photo opportunities.

We hope this gives you some ideas for a fun filled dog party in your future. Please do post some photos of your dog party on our Facebook Site. We hope you enjoyed Prissy and Portia’s birthday videos.

*Products and places mentioned above have NOT paid for placement in our blog.


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