How to Throw Your Dog or Cat a Birthday Party

Written by: Catherine Mabe / PetSmart

More of us pet lovers are taking time out to celebrate our pets' special occasions in style. If you're prepping for your pup's birthday party or throwing a bash to celebrate the day your cat joined your family, here are some tips to help make the day a special one:

Safety First

Remember, party time is not the best time to introduce unfamiliar pets to your own. Try to make your pet guest list consist of those with whom your pet is familiar. Also, consider your party location and remember to invite only as many pets and people that can realistically and comfortably co-exist. Inviting small children can be an additional concern—if you're going to do it, make sure they know how to handle pets gently and won't be frightened by a group of them.

If you are inviting pet guests who aren't spayed and neutered, let other party guests know. If you're hosting an outdoor party for dogs, bring waste bags and remind guests to leave the location in the same condition that it was in prior to the party. Wherever you choose to have the party, make sure that it is safely enclosed and that four-legged guests can't slip through any cracks! And, have a contingency plan in the event of bad weather.

Lastly, make sure you always have first aid items on hand as well as easy access to veterinarian phone numbers and locations, complete with driving directions. Be prepared!

The Guest List

A birthday or adopt-a-versary is no fun unless it's shared by friends. Invite all your kitties for a day of early play, a belly full of treats and then, what else? A cat nap of course! You can create a special space in your house just for napping, but remember, it's kitty's special day, so let her sleep wherever she may.

If your dog is familiar with and favors certain dogs from your neighborhood or from the dog park, consider getting them all together for a day of fun. A park where pet owners can mingle and dogs can explore on leash is the perfect environment for such activities. Don't forget to bring along your treats and share them with the bunch!

The size of your pet's party is completely up to you, but consider your pet's demeanor when compiling a guest list. Is your pet very social? Or does she prefer quiet time to herself? Answering these questions will help you choose whether to invite only immediate family or every pooch from the dog park!

Invitations

Now it's time to let the world—or, your party guests at least—know about your pet's birthday party! Simple hand-written notes on pet-themed invitations will do the trick. Or, take advantage of electronic invites to alert your guests about the festivities.

What to Serve


Water:

Clean, fresh water should always be available for all of your pet guests! And make multiple bowls available so that everyone can access it when they need it. Also consider customizing affordable dog bowls as a take home gift for your pet's guests!

Treats:

Consider cooking a special meal just for your dog or even baking up some natural, good eat treats for him.

Not much of a cook? There are plenty of all-natural treats on the market that are good for your dog and good for good times. You can also consider purchasing Kong toys to fill with cheese or peanut butter and providing one for each guest. Training treats will come in handy as rewards for Best Dressed Pet or Best Trick contests. Remember the pet birthday themed birthday party paper goods for your human guests.

For cats:

Cats crave catnip. One whiff of the stuff can turn them into frolicking, silly clowns—the perfect mood for partying or celebrating their special day. To make the special day even more special—consider growing your own catnip. You can buy and cultivate seeds in your own home or purchase a kit just in time for the happy adopt-a-versary or birthday!

What to Wear

Is your cat or dog fashion-conscious? Think about letting him express himself on his special day in a t-shirt that really matches the mood of such a happy day. You're sure to find something to suit your furry little friend with apparel sizes ranging from extra large to small enough to fit even tiny dogs and cats. From tank tops to sweatshirts with variety of sayings and patterns there's sure to be one that fits the occasion!

A wonderful way to honor your pet if you or your guests are looking for the ultimate gift for your pet—consider asking for donations in your pet's name. What better way to honor the special love you and your pet share than by making a donation to the shelter or rescue group who helped bring you together! You can even make the donation in your pet's name to honor his special day. Also consider donating to breed-specific rescue groups on your purebred's special day.

What if I don't know my pet's birth date?

Even if you adopted your pet from a shelter and don't know her birthday, you can celebrate her adopt-a-versary—the day she became part of your family. This can mean making a donation in kitty's name to a worthy feline-focused charity or hosting a full-blown party with Fido's friends in attendance.

Now It's Time to Throw A Party!

Now you're ready to throw your birthday or adopt-a-versary! If you've never done it, make this the first year that you do—after all, the day your Pet came into the world or into your life is truly an event worth celebrating.

This content was provided by myPetSmart.com