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Yes — pet birthday parties are totally a thing, and they’re totally awesome. It’s pretty much the same idea as throwing a b-day shindig for your child (or for yourself), only instead of a three-tier chocolate ganache cake, we’re talking a mushy meat, pet-approved monstrosity (in the best sense of the word) that’s about to get absolutely demolished by the furry king or queen of the hour. To plan the perfect birthday party for your pet, loosely abide by the following tips and remember — it’s all about having a great time!
8 Tips for Throwing a Pet Birthday Party
- Come Up with a Theme: This can be as simple as a color combination or “A Birthday Princess Celebration” — or as complex as a “Fran’s High Tea Party Birthday Soiree” or “Lucky’s Birthday Luau.” For inspiration, consider your pet’s favorite foods or activities and their personality. You can search the internet for pet birthday party themes!
- Determine the Location: Does Spot do better in your backyard or at the park? Is there enough shade if you’re going to be outside? Do you need to secure a permit or reserve a spot? If you’re indoors, do you need to put anything out of reach, or cut off access to certain parts of the house?
- Make a Guest List and Send Invites: Have as much fun with this as you want! Again, this could be as easy and creating a Facebook invite and designing a little graphic to throw on your Instagram or Facebook page, or you could get real fancy and have custom invites designed. Also consider sending out digital invites, which is low-budget but also allows for more customization. Send out the invites about a month in advance so people can plan ahead.
- Create the Menu: Plan for a double menu — one for humans, one for pets. From there, stick with the theme. For humans, have an assortment of sweet and savory items. For pets, consult a dog bakery that specializes in treats or cakes. Alternatively, you can make your own cake! There are a lot of recipes online for homemade dog- and cat-friendly cakes, such as this Grain-Free Peanut Butter Apple Doggy Cake by Spoonful of Sugar Free or this Fishy Kitty Cake by MNN. Also, make sure you have plenty of water for both furry and non-furry folks.
- Organize Activities: It’s entirely possible the entire birthday party will turn into a free-for-all, but guide guests a little bit with some pre-planned activities. For example, have an assortment of fun toys on hand, some literal hoops to jump through, and objects to play fetch with. You can even set up a picture booth, or various stations with specific games or activities at each.
- Decorate: If you’re indoors, throw up some theme-appropriate streamers and balloons. Decorating outdoors can be less involved, but tablecloths and balloons are always a great way to go! For either, you can also pick up a “Happy Birthday” sign at any party store, or even consider having one custom-made for your pet.
- Consider Costumes: Like everything on this list, costumes are totally optional. That said, they do make a party more fun! If you want to go this route, have some outfits or props on hand that’ll make for sweet photo opps. For example: birthday hats, lion manes, vests, giant sunglasses, and silly hats.
- Hire a Photographer: Tap into your local pet photography market and hire a professional to capture the details and moments throughout the birthday party. If you don’t want to spend a lot of cash, ask guests to be liberal with the photo taking, and to share their favorite images with you or on social media. Bonus points for the pet parent who tags us at @gohealthypaws!
Obviously, a pet birthday party isn’t a super-serious endeavor, so don’t get too caught up in the details. Abide by the above advice however loosely you prefer and remember that as long as your pet’s having a blast — and let’s face it, they’re pretty easy to please — that’s all that matters!
We’ve got a hunch that if you’re throwing your pet a party, you probably consider them to be a big part of the family. You can protect them like family too – sign up for pet insurance by starting with a quote. You can save up to 90% on vet bills, so you never have to choose between your furry friend’s health and your wallet.