How to Give Your Dog a Blowout Birthday Party in 4 Easy Steps
Updated: May 7, 2019
Whether your dog joined your family as a wee little pup or you adopted a dog with some life experience – the one-year mark of your dog joining the family is a milestone. Something to be celebrated!
But does celebrating your pup’s birthday have any effect other than producing an adorable picture to post to Instagram? It may be up for debate but in my experience, I’d argue yes!
Plus, who doesn't love a good excuse to have a party?
Dogs thrive off positive reinforcement and most of them have one main mission: please their person. That's you. Like any empathetic being, dogs like to have their efforts rewarded. They may not know it’s their birthday or why they are suddenly the center of attention with everyone singing their name, but I promise you – they’ll love it!
So here it is, my tips and tricks for making your dog's birthday a total blowout (at least from your dog's perspective):
1. Invite Fur Friends:
For maximum human fun, invite your friends that have dogs and ask them to bring their pups. That way the two-legged guests can also kick back. But as is often the case with parenting (so I'm told), I have forged relationships with strangers just because our dogs love each other. Don’t be shy – text Buddy’s mom, the nice-enough lady you met at the dog park who's dog would not stop sniffing your dog's butt. Invite mom and Buddy to the party. In my experience, people who love dogs never run out of things to talk about when the topic is, you guessed it, dogs. Plus, you may make a new genuine friend in the process! The main objective here is to let your dog be a dog. Let her socialize and have fun! Run around, play, and get dirty. Sometime we get caught up in the cuddles, we forget to let our dogs get a little rough. I’d suggest hosting at a local dog-friendly park so they can stretch their legs.
2. Homemade Treats:
When I was growing up, we’d feed our dog a giant slab of steak for his birthday. Boy, did he love it! But with more research going into what dogs can and cannot eat, it’s become clear that feeding your dog a large portion of red meat can be harsh on their bodies, often leading to upset stomachs and diarrhea. Instead, I’d opt for a longer lasting bone or, for a special touch of love, make your own homemade treats! The Internet is saturated with homemade dog treat recipes. allrecipes.com has a great page dedicated to this.
3. Training Time:
Dogs love training! It's stimulating, full of yummy treat rewards and it strengthens your bond. Although this is something you should do regularly with your dog, have a fun and low-key training session where you ask them to do tricks you know they will succeed at and reward them generously. Make a big deal out of their accomplishment, it's certain to puff up their chest a bit (see Bear's picture below). They deserve it after all, it’s their birthday!
4. Cuddle Puddles:
This may be a no brainer, but take time out of your day to show the birthday pup some extra love. Don’t stop when they paw at you for more pets. Message their heads, paws and shoulders. The look of love in their eyes will make it all worth it and remind you of how special the bond between a human and a dog really is.
This is your best friend's day! Think of all the love and joy your dog has brought you over the past year. As the saying goes “Your dog is just a part of your world, but you are their whole world.” On their birthday, reverse those roles. Make them feel like the luckiest dog for having you as their person, because they are!