According to a Psychology Today study, 81% of pet owners know their four-legged friend’s birthday, and 77% celebrate the day. Your pet is part of your family, so celebrating their birthday or gotcha day only makes sense. Our Peak City Veterinary Hospital team loves a good party, and we offer suggestions to help honor your pet on their special day.

Throw your pet a paw-ty

If your pet is a social butterfly, invite a few of their favorite friends for a birthday paw-ty. When making your guest list, choose four-legged pals who are well-trained and play well with others to avoid any conflicts, and ensure everyone’s owner can stay to help corral the partygoers. Some other tips:

  • Don’t forget the decor — Decorate your home with pet-themed items to get everyone in a festive, party-like mood. Suggestions include paw print balloons and banners customized with your pet’s picture. 
  • Provide pet-friendly party favors — Ensure all party guests have a good time by providing favors such as chew toys and delectable treats. For those pets with an eye for fashion, you also can provide pet-friendly accessories such as party hats and birthday-themed bandanas. 
  • Play your pet’s favorite tunes — According to a study by researchers at Glasgow University, dogs prefer soft rock and reggae, but your pet may dance to the beat of their own drum. Determine what tunes your four-legged friend likes to groove to and turn the music up (but not too loud so you don’t hurt your pet’s sensitive ears).
  • Include the human partygoers — Ensure your two-legged party guests enjoy themselves by providing snacks and perhaps an alcoholic beverage or mocktail named after your pet. 

Give your pet the paw-fect gift

Every birthday boy or girl needs a gift to unwrap on their special day, and your four-legged family member is no exception. Potential paw-fect presents include:

  • Raised pet bed — A raised orthopedic pet bed provides a comfortable place for your pet to rest, while allowing air to circulate to keep them cool. 
  • Food puzzle toy — Food puzzle toys are a great way to give your pet treats or a meal while also engaging their mind. 
  • Water fountain — If your pet is enchanted by a dripping faucet, a water fountain is the perfect gift for them and may encourage them to drink more water.
  • Birthday-themed collar — Let everyone know it’s your pet’s special day by letting them wear a birthday-themed collar during their birthday month because who only celebrates their birthday for one, measly day?

Plan pet-centric enrichment activities

Proper enrichment is essential to keep your pet happy and healthy, and their birthday is a great time to try some new enrichment ideas. Possible pet-centric activities include:

  • Creating an obstacle course — Use objects around your home, such as broomsticks, couch cushions, and cardboard boxes, to create an obstacle course in your living room. Lead your pet through the course until they understand the game, and give them treats and praise when they successfully navigate each obstacle. 
  • Paw painting — If you’re not afraid to get a little messy, consider letting your pet get creative. Use washable body paint or finger paint, and see what works of art your pet can design. 
  • Playing hide-and-seek — Playing hide-and-seek is a great way to bond with your four-legged friend and encourage them to engage in nose work. Put highly aromatic treats in your pocket, find a hiding place, and call your pet. When your pet finds you, celebrate and give them the high-value treats. Initially, choose easy hiding places and once your pet gets the hang of the game, increase the difficulty level to make the game more interesting. 

Give your pet a paw-some birthday cake

Your four-legged friend needs a birthday cake to make their birthday wish. Whether you bake the cake yourself or purchase a pet-friendly treat, consider the following:

  • Check ingredients — Ensure all ingredients used in your furry pal’s birthday cake are pet-friendly. Ingredients to avoid include chocolate, xylitol, and grapes and raisins.
  • Limit portions — Overindulging in birthday cake is never a good plan and can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Limit your pet’s cake portions, and store leftovers securely so your furry pal can’t sneak an extra piece.
  • Avoid candles — If you use lighted candles to celebrate your pet’s birthday, ensure you remove the candles before letting your furry pal have access to the cake. 

Give your pet the gift of good health

The best thing you can do for your four-legged friend is to ensure they stay happy and healthy for as long as possible. Schedule regular wellness exams with our Peak City Veterinary Hospital so we can detect conditions in the early stages when they are easier to address, and keep your pet’s preventive care, such as vaccines and parasite control, up to date. 

Contact our Peak City Veterinary Hospital team to schedule your furry pal’s annual or biannual wellness visit so we can help ensure they celebrate many more birthdays to come.