How to Throw Your Dog a Birthday Party.
Some of your friends may think you're a tad obsessed with Fido when you tell them you want to throw your dog a birthday party, but the reality is that it is pretty commonplace these days. Heck, I threw the Foo his very first birthday party, complete with doggie guests, goodie bags, entertainment and cake back in 2004! Perhaps I was ahead of the curve...
So, if you want to throw your dog a memorable birthday party that will soon go viral across Instagram, follow these tips.
Guest List: Who Should You Invite?
One of the most important things to decide is the guest list. You'll need to decide whether you will be inviting friends, both 4- and 2-legged, or if you want Fido to be the sole guest of honor. Some dogs don't necessarily love other dogs or do well with other dogs around, so you'll want to take this into consideration.
Once you have the guest list down, choosing a theme and a location will become easier.
Pro Party Tip: Inviting kids to Fido's birthday bash? Consider their ages and different levels of experience with animals. You’ll want to balance the amount of supervision and attention needed for both doggies AND kiddos at the birthday party.
Location: Where's the Best Place to Have My Dog's Birthday Party?
Now that you have decided on your guest list, it will be easier to decide where to have Fido's birthday party. You'll need to consider things like how many dogs, size of dogs, time of year, in order to plan effectively. Having a party with 6-8 smaller dogs like Pugs or Cockapoos would probably be okay indoors for a few hours, including plenty of potty breaks, but hosting 6-8 Saint Bernards for an indoor only party might prove to be a challenge!
Don't rule out your home, but be sure to consider these tips:
- Do you have enough yard space?
- Will it be an indoor and outdoor party?
- How will the weather be?
- Do you have enough shade? If not, are you willing to buy or rent a shade structure?
If your home doesn't sound like a good fit, there are still plenty of other options, some that are free and others that you would need to pay for:
- Local Park
- Dog Beach
- A Dog Loving Friend or Family Member’s House
- Doggy Daycare
Parks will sometimes require you book space through the Department of Parks and Recreation, especially if you plan to use provided picnic tables, so check the regulations for your area.
Planning a beach party? Check with your city first to make sure that your beach is dog friendly. There's nothing worse than being fined and kicked off of a beach that doesn't allow dogs. And remember, if a beach party is your thing, you'll most likely be sharing the beach with other uninvited doggie guests as it is a public space.
Pick a Theme and Have Fun With It
If you're anything like me, this is the fun part- choosing the theme. You can choose a princess party or a prince party, a cupcake or donut theme, a superhero theme, barbecue, a carnival or just about anything you can think of it. Just make sure that whatever theme you do choose that can do it justice.
Think about going to your local party store and getting plates, napkins, bowls, cups, etc that match your theme. This is an affordable way to accessorize. Add balloons and any other party decorations you can think of. Just make sure to include some doggie cookies, treats and snacks.
Essentially the theme you choose for your dog should fit your dog's personality, and not yours. If your dog is known for something (mine are always known for donuts), go with that theme. You can recreate it each year just by changing a few things around. Don't overthink it.
Should I Send Invites?
Of course you should! Think of your dog's birthday party just as you would any other event. Send invites. There are so many ways to do this- invitations you send in the mail or invitations that you create online. You can also create a Facebook Event and invite people that way.
If your dog is going to be the only dog in attendance, let your guests know. Some dogs don't play nice with others but still deserve a birthday celebration. If this is the case for your dog, let your guests know to leave their pups at home. But be sure to send doggie goodie bags home for them.
We've gotten a little creative here and designed a fun birthday invite that you can use for your dog's birthday party. Click the photo below for the download.
What Should I Have on the Menu for My Dog's Birthday Party?
If you're going to have other dogs in attendance, you'll want to make sure that you have treats available for them, and plenty of water for your furry guests. You can buy specialty cookies and treats from a doggie bakery like Woofgang Bakery, one of our personal favorites. You can even order a personalized cake from them. Or pick up a few doggie birthday pupcakes for your dog and his or her guests.
We love what our friend Spencer the Goldendoodle did for his party.
Also make sure that you have food available for your 2-legged friends. Think finger foods and snacks like a veggie and fruit platter, pizza, finger sandwiches, pretzels and chips. And have beverages on hand. This way there is something for everyone.
Should I Include Activities at My Dog's Birthday Party?
Heck yeah! Dogs love to play and run around and get exercise. In the warmer months, think about getting a few kiddie pools for the dogs to cool off in. Or get a slip and slide that the dogs can run through. Play a game of fetch with the dogs. The more, the merrier.
Just make sure that you have a place available for dogs to just chill out when they want a break or just need to relax. Ideally, it should be shaded and water should be available to them at all times.
Have fun with it!
Doggie Bags for Your Guests
Every party should end with a little gift bag to thank your friends, 2- and 4-legged, for coming. Think about adding a few dog cookies, a small toy and a personalized note. And if you really want to impress your dog friends, throw in some really cool My Dog Foo swag. They'll not only love the gift idea, but they'll appreciate your providing them a gift for their dog that is all natural and safe for their beloved dog.
If you're throwing your dog a party, we would LOVE to see photos. Either email us photos or tag us on social media using #FOOBIEBDAY