There’s just no ignoring it, we adore our furry friends. We embrace them as part of the family, so there’s little wonder we want to celebrate them and their milestones, just as we would do with any other family member. Your dog’s birthday or ‘gotcha day’ is the perfect time to fuss over them and let them know just how special and loved they really are.
Although it might be a little too much to expect that your dog fully understands the specifics of a birthday celebration, there’s no doubt they can still enjoy them. Most dogs love being fussed over and, as social animals, they're likely to pick up on your family’s dynamics. When the humans around them are excited and having fun, most dogs will jump at the chance to be included. Celebrating your dog’s special day should be as lovely for you as it is for them, so we’ve put together a few of our favourite tips for creating a delightfully doggy day!
Dog Birthday Gifts
Each dog is unique, some love nothing more than a chew toy, some prefer a blanket (or even an old sock) to toss around or cuddle up to and some will while away the hours retrieving their favourite treats from a puzzle.
Picking a gift from the toy aisle of your local pet shop is always fun, but dog toys don’t have to be expensive, especially if they will be excitedly torn apart before it’s birthday bedtime! There are lots of DIY dog toys you can make at home that are just as good at keeping your dog active and happy as shop bought alternatives. If you’re feeling crafty and want to make your own dog toys care.com has some great handmade dog toy ideas.
If you prefer to shop buy, there are a host of small UK businesses that provide a wide variety of brilliant birthday gift ideas for your dog. From doggie ice cream and pup-friendly cakes, to outrageous outfits and personalised accessories, you’re sure to find something that’s perfect for your pooch with a simple search.
If your dog would always pick a tasty treat over any plaything why not get them a gift they can continue to enjoy? A good monthly dog treat subscription box will provide delicious, low-calorie, guilt-free treats delivered to your door every month. Your pet can also receive an extra little treat when their special day rolls around, making absolutely sure your dog’s birthday is never missed!
Dog Party Games
No party is complete without a few fun games thrown into the mix and, whatever your dog’s favourite pastime, their birthday is the ideal day for play.
Playtime provides your dog with stimulation, exercise and is also a brilliant way for you to bond. All play is important to your dog, but they do tend to prefer to play with humans over playing alone, making it a wonderful way to show your dog attention. Most dogs have a natural instinct to fetch and it’s a game that can be played almost anywhere. Other games, like tug-of-war, hide and seek, find or catch the treat or some obstacle exercises, are all firm favourites and a great way to engage with your dog. As it’s a special day, try games that are different to your normal everyday routine, maybe set up a ball pool for them to dive headfirst into, take them to explore a new place they’ve never been before or teach them a new party trick - with lots of praise and tasty rewards when they do well.
“From doggie ice cream and pup-friendly cakes, to outrageous outfits and personalised accessories, you’re sure to find something that’s perfect for your pooch with a simple search.”
Dog Birthday Treats
Which dog doesn’t love treats? If there’s any single day of the year when your dog deserves to get their heart’s content it has to be a birthday or ‘gotcha day’! Just make sure treats are good quality, healthy and made with natural ingredients - it’s not true that calories don’t count on birthdays!
Here at Nibble and Nosh HQ we just love a doggo birthday! So much so that we have a special, lovingly prepared luxury birthday gift box that contains a whole month’s worth of all-natural dog treats. It’s the perfect dog gift for treat lovers! Also included is a plush toy, compostable poo bags with dispenser and an exclusive birthday card that can be personalised with your own message, making it extra special. A carefully curated birthday gift box for your good boy or girl, created to get lips smacking and tails wagging.
“Make sure treats are good quality, healthy and made with natural ingredients - it’s not true that calories don’t count on birthdays!”
Pet Photo Booth
Did any party really happen if there are no photos sent to friends or posted on social media to prove it? Create your own photo booth backdrop, pick some props and have fun taking photos to mark your dog’s special day. Capture your dog’s delight by taking lots of photographs, upload them to Facebook, Instagram or create TikTok videos or printed albums to share the fun - and don’t forget to send them to us!
If your dog enjoys dressing up this is the perfect occasion. Add party hats, party wear, a birthday bowtie or tutu; anything goes when you’re celebrating! The main challenge will be getting your dog to stay still for long enough!
Get the Gang Involved
A dog’s birthday bash can be as elaborate or as understated as you like, but dogs are simple creatures and enjoy simple pleasures, so it’s good to make sure everyone enjoys themselves, not just the birthday boy or girl.
Use the occasion to invite friends (on two and four legs) to join in, get the whole family involved in celebrations! Take a day trip to one of your dog’s favourite places to sniff and explore, play indoor or outdoor games you can all enjoy, and make a birthday buffet full of things you can eat together. While you should try to resist feeding your dog from your plate, even on birthdays, there are other ways you can enjoy a meal together. There are some human foods that are safe for dogs to eat in moderation, making a meal with those specific treat foods in mind can be a great way to treat your furry family member to feast they’ll adore!
Depending on your dog’s dietary requirements, chicken, raw carrot, peanut butter, eggs, salmon, cheese, sweet potatoes, plain cooked rice and bread should just about cover the main course. Followed by blueberries, blackberries and juicy strawberries for dessert. It’s a dinner fit for the whole gang!
“It’s good to make sure everyone enjoys themselves, not just the birthday boy or girl.”
We get it, you want to give your dog their best life, and we don’t blame you. Do remember though that it’s pretty hard to disappoint your dog because it has no built-up ideas or expectations about how its birthday should pan out. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. As long as your dog is the centre of attention and it feels safe and loved, you’re sure to make its day just as perfect as can be. They’ll just be happy to be hanging out with their very favourite human.