o your pup’s birthday is coming up! What do you do? If you’re at a dangerous risk of doing the exact same things that you do every year, then we’re here to help.
Below, our team of delightful dog people have compiled a list of all their favourite ways to celebrate their own dogs’ birthdays. Read on to discover some new and exciting ways that you can make your dog feel absolutely adored during their next birthday (or gotcha day) celebration!
1. Throw a birthday party for your pooch
All dogs should be thrown at least one big birthday bash over the course of their lives. Whether it’s for their 1st, 5th, or 15th birthday, your dog will be sure to appreciate all of their favourite humans (and canines) coming together under one roof – or perhaps even out at their favourite park.
Throwing a dog birthday party naturally starts with a little bit of planning, namely looking up dog-themed birthday decorations and some gifts for pets that you could get gift-wrapped before the big day. And if you are looking to host your dog’s birthday out in your favourite local dog park or another public venue, keep in mind that you may need to apply for an event permit through your local council offices.
If you’re planning to have dogs off-lead at your dog’s birthday party, then it may be better to keep the party on private property, or perhaps within the perimeters of your local enclosed dog park.
2. Spoil them with a doggie birthday cake
No birthday celebration is complete without a stunning birthday cake for the birthday boy or girl. Thankfully, there are likely to be plenty of bakeries in your local area that offer dog-friendly cupcakes or birthday cakes, so you can absolutely place a custom order in time for your pupper’s big day.
Or you could go the homemade route and whip up some baked dog-friendly delights right from your own kitchen. Making a dog-friendly birthday cake is easier than you may think! All you need to do is grab some peanut butter, a little pumpkin or pumpkin puree, and some applesauce for sweetening your batter. With the right recipe at hand, you can easily prepare a sweet dog birthday cake that can easily be enjoyed by both dogs and humans alike.
You can also easily swap out a sweet birthday cake for a meatier birthday ‘cake’.
3. Book a weekend away
If your dog isn’t one for big crowds and noisy celebrations, then why not treat them to a little time away with their favourite humans for their next birthday celebration? It seems like all dogs just love to hit the road and explore somewhere new and exciting, so perhaps the best way to celebrate your dog’s birthday this year is to load up the car and drive to the beach or maybe even out to the bush for a weekend.
If you’re looking to stay one or two nights away with your pooch, remember to check for pet-friendly accommodations. And for those looking to go camping, remember that state-managed parklands have their own restrictions when it comes to both pets and overnight camping.
4. Go for a long hike
Chances are that not all of your dog’s favourite spots to explore will permit camping with pets, or perhaps even have pet-friendly accommodation nearby. And that’s okay! You can still organise a day trip to celebrate your dog’s big day.
On top of being able to enjoy a long car ride, organising a day trip with your doggo can allow you the opportunity to spend the day exploring somewhere you don’t get to visit too often, like a mountain hiking trail or beach walk that your dog always seems to enjoy. Start brainstorming ideas for where you can enjoy this long birthday hike now so that you can land on the perfect location by the time the big day comes!
5. Take a trip through a drive-thru
Speaking of long car rides, it’s no secret that dogs love fast food just as much as we do. Even if it’s not necessarily good for them, an occasional burger patty or a handful of saltless fries every now and then can basically make your dog’s year. So why not take them out for their favourite guilty pleasures on their next birthday?
If your dog has gone through the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant, then they likely know what to expect and are thumping their tails in anticipation against the back seats of your car every time. Imagine hearing that sound again on the evening of their birthday!
And if your dog isn’t really a fan of fast food or is perhaps a little timid in drive-thrus, why not opt for a stroll to your local cafe instead? You could treat them to a birthday puppuccino!
6. Organise a puppy playdate
Yes, dogs are man’s best friend. There’s no doubt about that. But does your dog have any ‘best friends’ of their own? If your dog has grown up with other puppies in your family or has perhaps taken a particularly strong liking to any of the dogs at your local dog park, why not consider organising a special puppy playdate for their big day? That way, your dog can enjoy the opportunity to socialise with another pooch that they’re guaranteed to love.
Having an intimate puppy playdate can also be a great alternative birthday celebration idea to throwing a bigger birthday party. With a little puppy playdate, you won’t have to worry about crowds of dogs and their owners all together. You can just enjoy the quiet company of one or two sociable pooches and their humans instead.
7. Make a donation to your local shelter
Finally, birthdays are just as much a time for giving back as they are about receiving love, gifts, and other fun and heartwarming things. If your dog is already spoiled rotten 364 days out of the year anyway, then why not consider commemorating another year with your pawsome companion by making a donation to your local animal charity/shelter, or even to the shelter that you adopted your pooch from?
Your special birthday donation could be either monetary or maybe even take the form of goods or supplies that can be well put to use by shelters and adoption agencies. Items like old leads and collars, clothing, towels and blankets, dog foods, and maybe even a sleeve of fresh tennis balls, will all likely be much-appreciated by your favourite animal welfare groups.
Whether you decide to celebrate your dog’s birthday or gotcha day with a marathon game of fetch, special peanut butter pancakes, or a big birthday bash, chances are that your dog will still have a blast, because that’s simply what they do! After all, every day that they get to spend with you is the best day ever anyway!