Love your pet? Why not throw them a special birthday party with a range to match
Whether you’re a dog person, a cat person, or both, our adorable new pet-themed collections will thrill little (and big) pet lovers. As well as hosting a themed party for your kids, how about throwing a special party for your dog or cat? That way, everyone gets to join in the fun, Boomer or Tabitha included.Shop Pet Party
OK, your beloved pup might not live as lavish a lifestyle as Gunther, the uber-wealthy German Shepherd who features in new Netflix documentary, Gunther’s Millions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat them like royalty on their special day. Read on for top tips...
Like kids, dogs know who their friends are. Go for a small, select group of VIP chums. ‘Keep it small (4-5 dogs max) and stick to dogs your dog already knows and gets on with,’ says UK-based dog behaviourist Karen Maher, Maher and Hound Dog Training, who spends her days expertly training dogs of all breeds.
Let your guests know well in advance with a special invitation. Stylish online stationers Paperless Post has a range of digital Pawty invitations that you can send out in advance. Once you’ve got a date set, think about the theme. Our new pawty-ready dog and cat plates, cups and napkins are a good starting place but you can opt for whatever theme you wish for from superhero to space (see All Party Themes). The choices are endless!
‘Outdoors is best so that dogs can move themselves away to a quieter space if it gets too boisterous and because there is other stuff to do apart from non-stop play – grass is always good for sniffing (calming) opportunities,’ says Karen.
Dog trainer Dina Casellini, of Mindful Pups in New York agrees: ‘Think about what your pup likes to do, and let that guide you to the venue,’ she says. ‘For an energetic dog, choose a park or hiking spot. For a water-loving dog, try a dog-friendly beach and for a lap dog, maybe a brewery with a large outdoor space.’
‘Have a think about what the dogs were bred to do (because this makes them sooo happy) and how can you incorporate this, for instance Labradors usually love water and retrieving (and food), Spaniels usually love scent work and retrieving items from bushes, or long grass – perhaps organise a birthday hunt the Gundog dummy, or hunt the furry bunny ball for them,’ says Karen. ‘Limit boisterous activities that flood a dog with adrenaline such as throwing balls long distances over and over.’
‘I’d recommend a short mix of play broken up with some nose work (to get rid of adrenaline and calm) and some fun trick training, such as a hand touch (dog touches his nose to the person’s hand), spin, twirl and some fun scent work searches – perhaps even hiring a dog trainer who specialises in trick training or scent work to come along for an hour,’ says Karen.
This event is all about your dog (and OK maybe a bit about you too!) but do not drag it out. Keep proceedings short and sweet. No more than about two hours, otherwise your dog and their guests may feel overwhelmed.
Pet Bakeries are more popular than ever and more than likely there is one or several in a city or town near you. You may want to choose a dog-friendly cake as your centrepiece and order some K9-friendly snacks for the goody bag but don’t be tempted to feed dogs things like bones or chews that might make then territorial, during the event.
‘In terms of drinks and snacks, I would keep those mostly for the adults,’ says Dina. ‘Water is the best drink for dogs, and any K9 snacks can be packed in goodie bags and sent home. Even if you get a cake, I don’t recommend feeding the dogs around each other unless they know each other very well. Also, keep in mind new treats can upset tummies so best to be doled out in small portions.’
So, ensure there are lots of bowls of water for your furry guests and keep potentially harmful human snacks like chocolate, grapes and nuts well out of reach.
'We've seen a big increase in people celebrating their dog’s birthdays,’ says Carmen Sanchez of UK-based dog bakery, Tongues & Tails. 'Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact in the last few years, people have got more attached to their dogs and want to celebrate them. Our celebration cake is a bestseller - clients always love it.’
Carmen shares the recipe for their celebration cake below:
• 2 cups oatmeal
• 1/2 cup rice flour
• 1 teaspoon tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon potato flour (as egg replacement).
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 cup sugar-free applesauce
• 1 1/2 cup of water
• 100% sugar-free, sweetener-free and palm oil-free peanut butter.
• Carob sauce for writing.
Slow baked on 180°C for 45 minutes for perfect crunchiness.
Serves 6-8 dogs and is suitable from 3 months old puppies to adults.
You’ve made a big effort with your pawty plans so you want to ensure you get fun pictures they remember the day. Cue, our cute range of party hats, for obliging pets only.
If ever there was an excuse for a doggy bag, a pawty party is it! Include a few dog-friendly snacks (doggie donuts, lollipops and popcorn all work) and perhaps a chewy toy should do it for the contents. When it comes to gifts for dogs, think of a simple edible gift. ‘Good chews never go unwanted: frozen marrow bones, antlers, bully stick,’ says Dina. ‘My favorite toy is a flirt pole (an interactive toy for dogs) and who doesn’t like a smart bandana?’ See our range of favor bags to hand out to guests.
Let’s be honest, cats are not sociable creatures like dogs so if you want to celebrate your cat's birthday or adoption day, keep it a simple family affair. Cats may not be so obliging when it comes to dressing-up or hat wearing either but that doesn’t mean the human folk can’t join the fun.