Happy Birthday Puppy!

Written May 1, 2009

In honor of our sweet little Ju-Ju's first birthday, I thought I'd talk a bit about a new and fun trend - throwing your pup a birthday party!

First and foremost, every birthday party should have a birthday cake. The following receipe is a simple one that your furry friends are sure to love:


1 cup white or whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup cooking oil

1 cup shredded carrots

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup honey (optional)

1 egg


Mix the dry ingredients. Ad the remaining ingredients and mix quickly. Bake in a greased ring mold at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. You may frost this cake with low fat cottage cheese and decorate with some carrot pieces. Store in the refrigerator. (Dogs will eat this without the honey added.).

Next, you will need to decide whether you want to celebrate with just a few intimate friends and family members in your home, or if you would like to invite a group of human and their canine companions to your party. Either way, you're going to need some games. Dog-Birthday-Party.com provides a few ideas:

Chase the Frisbee. This is one of the simplest dog party games, that requires a "stylish" throwing action from your human guests! Yep, you've guessed it, they have to throw the frisbee for one of your doggie guests to bring back. It's a good idea to have 2 or 3 frisbee's on the go...to keep the dogs from squabblin'!!

Find the Toy. Get a small cardboard box, cover the outside with doggie gift wrapping paper or have a couple of plastic waste bins and fill them with doggie toys. Put them somewhere on view so your doggie guests can find them... they will play for hours!!

Make your own Dog Throw. Here's a dog toy that's a great addition to the dog party games. It is easy to make and can even be used to throw in the park later. You'll need an old pair of nylons and a tennis ball. Then cut the top off your nylons so that you are left with just the two separate legs. Take one of the legs and push a tennis ball down into the "toe" end. Repeat the process with your remaining nylon leg to make it stronger, with two layers of stocking over the tennis ball. Tie a knot as close as you can to the tennis ball (to stop it falling out!) and tie four or five more knots along the length of the stocking, for doggie teeth to grip!

Backyard Dog Agility Course. Here's how to make some obstacles for your backyard dog agility course complete with jumps, a tunnel and a hoop of fire! Needless to say, there's no flames involved! We just used red coloured card instead, a much safer option for your pet!
What you'll need is cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes, a hula hoop, colored paint, paint brushes, scissors, colored pieces of card and glue or sticky tape. Then you are ready to start making the agility course.
To make 2 jumps, you'll need 4 cardboard boxes and 1 broom handle (cut in half) Make sure the cardboard boxes are the same height. Cut a hole in the side of each box (this is where your tube will slide in) and paint the boxes to look like bricks. Try adding red stripes to the broom handle and hang some strips of paper from the bar, to stop the guests from 'cheating' and just running underneath. Once everything is dry, insert the broom handle into the holes in each box and your jumps are now ready for action!
To make a "daredevil" hoop of fire, you'll need a hoop, some textas and coloured pieces of card. Cut out flame shapes from yellow and orange card stock and attach them to your hoop with glue or sticky tape. Better still, cut some orange paper into 2" strips and fix them at the top of the hoop so they hang down about halfway.
To make a tunnel, you'll need cardboard boxes. Open out a cardboard box, so you can see all the way through it and paint to look like a brick tunnel or paint green to look like a hill.
Now it's dog party games time, so let's get ready to set up your course. You could have a jump, then a tunnel, followed by another jump and then the hoop of fire, for the grand finale at your special dog birthday party!

Now, of course, you want to make sure that your two-legged guests are not forgotten. They will need to be fed and watered just like the four-legged guests they followed to the party. Keeping with the dog-theme, why not be creative instead of sticking with the same old boring party food.
A) Make bone-shaped sandwiches by using a cookie cutter; B) Make mini hot-dog rolls; C) Make a separate, bone-shaped birthday cake for the two-legged guests to eat.

Finally, here are some tips to help make your dog's birthday party a successful one:

1) When determining who to invite, be realistic about how many dogs you can handle. A good rule of thumb would be to invite immediate family first, extended family next, and then friends and neighbors. Try to choose dogs that your birthday pooch plays with on a regular basis. This is not necessarily the best time to introduce new dogs to your little friend.

2) While considering the first tip, you will also need to determine the location - which will more-than-likely be based upon the number of guests and dogs you invite. For a very large party, you might prefer a public park - this way the dogs can stretch their legs in comfort.

3) Determine whether small children should be invited. Since small children often do not know how to act around dogs, more strict supervision may be needed.

4) Make sure you always have a doggie first-aid kit on hand. You may also want to obtain the names and numbers of everyone's veterinarians. Additionally, be sure to stock up on lots of clean-up materials (baggies, cleaning spray, paper towels, etc.).

5) Make sure you have PLENTY of water available throughout the party area. You can provide separate, personalized bowls or communal bowls stationed in various areas.

6) Provide people food in ingredients that are also safe for dogs.

If you keep the above information in mind, your party is sure to be a good one. Most importantly, make sure you and your pooch have fun! After all, birthdays only happen once a year (seven in dog years)!

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