Your dog is turning one year older and you want to do something extra special. But, what to do? Whether it’s your dog’s first birthday or it’s headed towards higher numbers, throwing your pup a party can be a wonderful way to celebrate the day! And, if your dog is sociable, he will truly enjoy a big dog birthday party!
Since most of us consider our fluffy, four-legged friends as family members, it’s no wonder that we want to celebrate their birthdays! Dog parties are almost as popular as parties for kids and require just as much planning and preparation. If this is your first time planning a birthday party for your dog and you are unsure of how to go about it, these tips and ideas might help you.
Location, location, location!
Choice of location will depend on a number of different factors, such as the time of year, the number of four-legged guests, and the size of the dogs attending. 10 Saint Bernards need more space than 10 Chihuahuas. Having the party in your own backyard is a great and easy solution. However, make sure the fences are secure with no escape routes and your yard is clean and without garden tools that could cause injury. Like for your own party, it’s always a good idea to notify your neighbors about the party – just in case the party gets too loud. If it’s too cold to be outside and you’re planning on having an indoor party at your home, make sure that all the party guest are toilet trained. Another good location is a dog-friendly park where your pup and his friends can run and play.
This is probably the most important part of the party (at least for your dog) – the food! Fill up your bag with delicious treats and biscuits to serve when ever the dogs need a playing-break. If you have enough time, you can even make your own homemade treats. However, make sure to check with the other owners about any ingredients you might want to avoid. Some of your guests may be allergic to certain ingredients. Always bring plenty of water, since dogs can get very hot and thirsty when they run and play the whole day.
Homemade Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats
- 1 cup (255g) natural creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup (180ml) nonfat milk
- 1 large egg (or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
- 2 cups (244g) whole wheat flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup (30g) oats (either whole-rolled or quick oats are fine)
- 2-3 strips bacon, chopped
Preheat oven to 160 C and gently mix the peanut butter, milk, and egg together with a large spoon or spatula (make sure no lumps remain). Add the flour and baking powder. You may need to turn the dough out onto the counter and use your hands to work in the flour. Mix in the oats and chopped bacon. The dough should be thick and heavy.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough and cut into shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Arrange the treats on a baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and flip the treats to bake the other side for 10-12 more minutes.
Allow to cool completely before serving to your pup.
Games & activities
No party without funny games and activities! Bring along a frisbee and a ball to play fetch or organize other games which also involve the other owners, like Search & Find or Agility. If you have the space for it you can also have a sand pit or doggy pool — a sure hit in the hot summer months.
Safe & clean
Make sure that no dogs are left unsupervised at any time, and keep an eye on their behavior around treats and toys. Additionally, you have to bring enough poo bags, both for your dog and the guests. You never know if somebody forgets to bring poo bags and, as the host, you should be responsible for keeping the area clean. If you are prepared for anything to happen, then you’re likely to have a fun, safe party!
Don’t forget to take plenty of photos
Just like human parties, dog parties can be full of fun entertainment, so don’t forget to take a lot of photos of your pup’s party. Let’s face it, we constantly take photos of our dogs anyway, so why not make a birthday photo shoot? You can even upload the photos on Tractive Photos and share the best moments with other people – a great way to give your dog’s guest (and owners) a souvenir to take home and cherish forever.
The free Tractive Photos app is available for iOS or Android.
Do you have any tips for a dog birthday party? Please leave a comment and share your ideas!