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Top 5 Unique Ideas for Throwing My Dog an Awesome Birthday Party

French bulldog wearing a red birthday party hat

[Written by Tim Winfred]

My dog is my only child, so when it comes to celebrating her birthday, I tend to make a big deal out of. Since she is a rescue dog, however, and I don't know her real birthday, I celebrate the day that I rescued her instead. Each year, I like to celebrate in a new way and we've also started to create some birthday traditions together.

Her first birthday was simple: I got her a little cupcake (made specifically for dogs) from Sprinkles Cupcakes in Los Angeles. Then, for her second birthday, I kicked things up a notch and she got a homemade turkey burger patty (unsalted and unseasoned) on a bun with a slice of American cheese.

This year, as I begin to plan her sixth birthday (her third anniversary with me), I decided to come up with this list of a five awesome ideas for throwing her a dog birthday party for the record books. Please enjoy my list, and feel free to leave a comment below with any additional ideas you have, or let me know how you like to celebrate your dog's birthday.

dog birthday cake treat candle

1. Find a dog-friendly venue to host a birthday party celebration

Is there any better excuse to get your friends together than to celebrate your dog's birthday?! Think of all the hilarious possibilities that you could come up with for a dog-themed birthday party...

Not sure where to start? Here are a few game ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • "Pin the Tail on the Dog" – Snap a photo of your dog's butt and see who can come the closest to pinning a paper tail in the same place their actual tail starts.
  • "Lim-bone" –  Limbo under one of those long, giant dog bones
  • Play charades, but the answers must be all dog-related topics
  • "Never Have I Ever: Dog Owner Edition" – Play the classic party game, but the questions can only be about things you've done with your dog

If you don't want to host the party at your house, take your friends to your neighborhood dog park and invite to join in on the fun. There are also a lot of pet stores and doggie daycares that rent out their spaces for birthdays and other occasions (such as the MaeDay Outpost in Los Angeles, pictured below).

2. Hire a professional photographer to do a shoot with you and your dog

As dog owner, I take a lot of photos and videos of my dog with my cell phone. While I absolutely love all of my snaps of her, when it comes to pictures of us together, I mostly have selfies. I don't normally think about taking a picture of us together, so figured her birthday would be the perfect excuse to do just that!

Hiring a professional photographer (especially one that specializes in pet photography) to take high-quality photos of you and your dog together is a great way to commemorate your dog's birthday. Not only will you get to enjoy the photos for years to come, but they can be fun additions to your holiday cards. There also sure to get lots of love and attention if you post them on social media.

Bonus Tip: You can also use the new photos to put your dog's face on one of our custom pair of dog face flip flops. Click here to browse our latest styles and collections.

3. Take your dog on an outdoor birthday adventure

If you really want to make the day special for your pup, take them on a birthday adventure. You can customize the day trip to match your dog's favorite activities, be it a day at the beach, a hike along their favorite trail, a picnic in the park, or even just a walk around the neighborhood. You could even make a stop at your local pet store and pick them up a few special treats to munch on when you get home.

If your dog is more of a low energy pup or they don't like to do a lot of walking, consider taking them for a car ride with the windows down instead. If they don't like car ride, throw their favorite blanket into a Radio Flyer wagon and cart them around the neighborhood. You might be surprised at how a simple outdoor adventure with you at their side can boost their mood.

4. Make homemade "Pup-sicles"

I thought about suggesting making a homemade birthday cake for your dog, but making homemade "Pup-sicles" is easier and faster, and they'll still enjoy them just as much.

How to make Pup-sicles: 

First, pour some low-sodium chicken broth, yogurt or coconut water into a mixing bowl. Then, chop, mince or puree a variety of you dog's favorite foods. Add them into the mixing bowl with the liquid.

Not sure what ingredients to use? Here are some of my dog's favorite ingredients:

  • Peanut butter
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Chunks of real chicken
  • Watermelon
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Cheese
  • Apples

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour the mixture into an ice cube tray or a Popsicle mold (these fun molds show up at thrift stores en masse during the summertime months, and you can usually pick them up for just a few bucks). Finally, put the tray or mold into the freezer and let the Pup-sicles freeze overnight or for around four to eight hours.

These cool treats are a great snack that will keep them entertained anytime of year. Make sure, however, to serve them to them outside or on a surface you're comfortable with them getting a little wet. Personally, I like to put down a towel for my dog to eat these on.

Ingredient Warning: Before you make any homemade food for your dog, do a Google search first to make sure the ingredients you are using are safe for your dog to eat. Also, to avoid any surprise allergic reactions (especially on their special day), only use ingredients that your dog has eaten before. Talk to your veterinarian if you are unsure about a particular ingredient.

5. Make a donation to a charitable cause in your dog's name

According to the ASPCA, nearly 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized every year. This year, consider celebrating your dog's birthday by making a donation to an animal rescue. No amount is too small.

Through your donation, you are helping innocent animals find the loving homes they deserve. Plus, most animal rescues are self-funded 501c3 non-profit organizations, so you can also write the donation off when you file your tax returns.

There are a countless number of charitable organizations you can donate to, such as MaeDay Rescue. You can also ask your friends, family members, or coworkers for recommendations, or post something to your social media profiles.

Fun Fact: For every pair of custom flip flops purchased from Sole Flops, a portion of the proceeds goes directly to the charitable cause of your choice. Learn more about the causes we care about on our About Us page.

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