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How to throw a birthday party for your dog (and keep it safe)

Most of us love celebrating our birthdays.

It's the day of the year that the attention is on us, and we're made to feel special with our nearest and dearest wishing us all the best (and spoiling us).

So, let me ask you.

Have you ever held a birthday party for your dog?

You should! They're an essential member of your family, and they'd love to be spoilt on their special day.

Besides, it's a great excuse to gather all your friends and family and their fur babies to catch up and celebrate with fun.

This guide will help you throw your dog the best birthday party ever with tips on deciding whether you should have a party, how to host a dog party, where to hold it, dog inspired games and activities and safe dog treats.

Should you hold a birthday party for your dog?

Before you excitedly plan a birthday party for your dog, ask yourself if your dog is well socialised and if they like other dogs (i.e. have they met the other dogs who'll attend)? If your dog is anxious or aggressive towards other dogs, you shouldn't host a party with other dogs – keep it humans only.

This also goes for the dogs you'll invite. Ask the owners only to bring their dog if they know they're good with dogs and won't display aggressive or disobedient behaviour.

It's your dog's special day, and you don't want it ruined by dogs fighting or being scared of each other.

Top tips for hosting a dog birthday party

Here are some tips for hosting your dog's birthday party:

  • Send out fun invitations (that you make yourself online or buy from a local store)

  • Visit your local pet store and look for dog-friendly party supplies

  • Ask other dog owners if their dog has any allergies before you buy snacks to ensure all the dogs will be safe eating the treats

  • Choose a location for your party

  • For some added fun, set a theme, and you'll get some fantastic photos (e.g. ask the dogs to come dressed in their party outfit, funny hat, superhero costume, etc.)

  • Consider the age of the dogs to determine what activities you could include

  • If your dog is older or appreciates some quiet time, consider hosting the party at home so your dog can curl up for a nap when they're ready

Where to hold your dog's birthday party

When deciding where to hold your dog's birthday, here are some options:

  • Your home – do you have enough space inside and outside to hold people and their dogs? If you're hosting at home, remember that you may have accidents and ask the dog owners to be responsible for cleaning up after their dog.

  • A local dog park – ensure all the dogs you've invited are socialised and can handle the possibility of other dogs running around. Other dogs may crash your party, so where possible, try to keep your party in one section of the park.

  • The beach – if it's beautiful weather, you may consider a beach party. Make sure you choose a time when dogs are permitted off-leash on the beach so they can run around, play in the water, and sit with you in the sand for their treats.

Dog inspired party games and activities

The type of party games you choose to play will depend on your dog's age and health. Also, be mindful of the other dogs you've invited.

Here are some ideas:

  • Set up an agility course and let the dogs take turns one by one

  • Play fetch and see who gets the ball/frisbee the fastest

  • Tug of war between dogs and owners (see who gets pulled over the line first by their dog)

  • Sprinkler runs (if it's summer, turn on the sprinkler and let them play in the water)

  • Go on a group walk, then let them run around at a local dog-friendly park

  • Hide and seek the treat (hide treats around and let the dogs sniff them out – only if they're not food aggressive as you don't want fights)

You could also have prizes like dog toys and treats to give to the 'winner' of the games.

If you are having dog activities, be mindful that you'll need lots of water around for them to rehydrate. Big plastic bowls can be used, topped up regularly and then thrown away after the party (if you don't want to keep dog slobber bowls!).

Safe dog birthday treats

It wouldn't be a party without birthday treats!

Remember to ask other dog owners about any allergies. It's always best to give any treats to the owner and let them feed their dog.

Healthy dog treats are usually all-natural, so most dogs happily tuck into them. Look for dried meat products or snacks with no additives, fillers or grains.

Most pet stores will have a range to choose from. You'll also find doggy biscuits designed for parties (fun for an occasional treat!).

If you want a cake, you could make a meat cake (like a meatloaf) and serve it to your dog and doggy guests.

Other ways to spoil your dog on their birthday without a party

  • If you don't want to host a party, as the thought of entertaining people and multiple dogs doesn't sound like fun, spending the day with your dog alone is excellent.

  • Go on a car ride to the beach or park for a walk

  • Have a doggie pamper session (brush, bath, nails, massage etc.)

  • Spend the day snuggled on the couch watching movies and giving them their favourite snacks

  • Give them a gift like a new toy, a coat or a bone

Have fun planning your dog party!

Hopefully, you've got some cool ideas to plan your dog's birthday party. It doesn't need to be extravagant – your dog will be happy having your undivided attention on their special day.

As a dog owner and professional dog minder/walker, I'm happy to chat further if you'd like help planning your party. I could even help you walk your dog while you're getting set up (and get some of their energy out!)

You can see all of my services here.

Booking dog walking is easy using my online booking form.

And here are a couple of my other blogs you may be interested in reading:

Until next time, pat your fur babies for me!

PS – I'd love to hear about your dog party and see photos! Feel free to put them in the comments below and share them with our dog-loving community.


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