Your little one is growing up. No more puppy-breath or sleepless nights. You don’t have to hide your shoes from little teeth anymore. Sweet puppy kisses have turned into a slobbery face-wash.
Your puppy’s first birthday is an event worthy of celebration, so use these ideas as a springboard to planning the coolest puppy birthday party in town.
Pictures, pictures, and more pictures
If you’re like most pet owners, you’ve taken lots of photos of your puppy as you’ve watched him grow. If you haven’t done it before now, go back through some of the best snapshots and make a scrapbook of his first year to remind you just how much joy he’s brought into your life.
If planning a party, use those photos or others to compile a slideshow to share with your guests. Make sure to take lots of pictures at the party too, so you can share them later with your guests and others who couldn’t attend. Digital photos are easy to send via email or post on Facebook.
Pampered pooches — Hire a groomer to come to your home for a doggie spa day for your four-legged guests. Ask about a set fee for two hours or so, depending on the number of canines you expect to be in attendance. Offer a quick trim, clip and paint toenails, pretty hair bow, or other services that your groomer suggests could be done in the time allotted.
Picture perfect – Have a friend who’s great with pets and a camera? Ask her to take photos of each puppy (perhaps after the pampering party?) to give as party favors.
Decorations – There are lots of places online to buy themed party supplies, so remember invitations, balloons, hats, placemats, napkins, treat bags. Many of these items can be made by purchasing plain white or other light colored party supplies and stamping them with a paw print, dog bone, or puppy rubber stamp.
Treats – Every birthday party needs a cake, so plan on having one for both pooches and their parents. You can make a dog-shaped cake for human consumption or order from your favorite bakery. Search online for cake recipes that are safe for dogs, or look for specialty bakeries that cater to pets. You can make your own dog treats for doggie bags, and bone shaped cookies would be neat snacks for pet parents.
Birthday presents — Your dog probably doesn’t need more toys, so ask your guests for donations to be made to your favorite shelter or charity in lieu of gifts. Print a flyer denoting what the donations will be for and place near a large jar that you’ve decorated with paw prints or dog bone stickers.
Baby or not, you love your precious pet and one way to make sure he lives a long and healthy life is to follow up on routine veterinary care beyond the required puppy shots. A birthday is a good time to schedule an annual physical with your veterinarian.
More from Marie Anne:
Can You Afford a Free Puppy?
Is Dry Dog Food Better for Your Dog?
Getting Your Dog Ready to Spring Into Summer