Thinking about throwing your puppy a party? You can't go wrong with the creative ideas on this canine-approved list!
Every dog has his day, so what's more fun than a dog birthday party when it's your adorable pooch's turn? Whether you know the actual birth date or plan to celebrate in honor of the day your furry friend joined the family, a fabulous, Fido-themed fete is easy to pull off.
"Whether it's a bark-mitzvah or adoption day celebration, a dog birthday party brings out your playfulness," says Arden Moore, the author of "Dog Parties: How to Party With Your Pup." "It's all about celebrating the connection we have with our pets." An awesome puppy-inspired party is a great chance for all your pet's best friends (and their parents too!) to get together and have fun.
"Many people love to include cute, sweet touches related to their specific pet when planning a dog birthday party or will schedule games to play they know their dog loves, like bury the bone, Frisbee or pet swimming pool," says Adina Slotsky, the founder and CEO of Hollywood Pet Parties.
If you're looking for a barking good time for your dog's birthday celebration, start with this puppy-approved list:
- Canine Karaoke
"I offer up apologies to 'American Idol' every time we play this hysterical dog birthday party game," says Moore, who suggests picking judges and having each dog come onstage with his owner, who serenade their dog to music. Points are awarded for overall performance and the dog's response. Dogs can wear funny costumes or use props to add to the merriment.
- Snoopy Says
This doggy adaptation of Simon Says follows the same rules. As the game progresses, tasks can become more and more challenging until there is one lucky winner left. "Dogs feel our happiness. This game provides a good way to sneak in training. Plus, you look like a rock star to your dog," Moore says.
- Musical Chairs for Mutts
Have everyone line up with their leashed dog in front of on-the-ground hula hoops. Make sure there's one less hoop than there are dogs. Play "Who Let the Dogs Out" and when the music stops, each dog has to be sitting in a hoop along with their person's foot or they're out. When Pooch Comes to Shove goes the old-fashioned way, with chairs. "This is a fun way to reinforce the 'sit' command," says Moore.
- Put a Stamp on It
Invite people and pups to come, sit and stay at the puppiest party of the year by sending invitations festooned with doggy postage stamps. Other cool ideas, like how to stuff a doggy bag with yummy treats, can be found at One Charming Party.
- Get Themey
Why have a party when you can have a pawty? You really can't overdo a dog party theme. Fetch bone-shaped placemats, decorated cupcakes and a cool banner. Catch My Party has a cute "hot dog" theme party.
- Hats Off
What's a party without silly hats? Nab a do-it-yourself version from B. Lovely Events. All you need is a printer.
- Make It Personal
These personalized, handmade shirts for dogs from HeatherRogersDesigns include name, age and other doggy info, like only child or big sister status.
- Turn Her Into a Puppy Princess
Dress up the birthday girl in a special pink outfit or a gold fantasy crown and purple tutu, as BeautybyParis does.
- Decorate With Doggy Decor
Go all out with tablecloths, paper plates, bone-shaped snacks and paw-print napkins like the adorable picks from Top Party Ideas.
- Bake Up a Batch of Pup Cakes
Who needs sugar when you can whip up peanut butter-frosted, dog-friendly cupcakes from The Scrumptious Pumpkin? All you need is 15 minutes, an egg, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, applesauce, brown rice flour and a few appreciative pups.
- Go Gourmet
If your discerning dog is the sophisticated sort, go for an assortment of puppy treats from Woofables gourmet dog bakery, like "lollipups," s'mores and hot dog biscuits. Hostess With the Mostess has great ideas for your "doggy bag" favors for your human guests.
- Dog Necessities
A little poop may fall, so provide guests with cute, bone-shaped poop bag dispensers and colorful bags to make the inevitable accident less tragic.
Corey Kagan Whelan is a freelance writer living in New York and shares her life with two kids and two rescue dogs.