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21 Dog Birthday Party Ideas, Activities & Themes | Pupford

August 21st, 2023

Filed under Lifestyle + Stories

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Birthday parties? Fun.

Dogs? Amazing.

Dog birthday party = THE BEST. 🎉

Your dog’s birthday is a cause worth celebrating. We don’t just mean extra belly rubs -- we mean a real dog birthday party! (although extra belly rubs never hurt.)

Throwing your dog a birthday party is a great way to gather your best friends and their humans for some fun.

Need dog birthday party ideas? You're in the right place!

So let’s get into it -- here are 21+ ideas to use for throwing a totally pawsome birthday party for your good boy or girl. 👇

dog birthday party ideas and themes | Pupford

1- Treats and Chews Bar

nachocorgobirthdayshot | Pupford

(This treat and chew bar is courtesy of our good friend Nacho Corgo. Check out Nacho's party here.)

Candy, cookie, and cupcake bars are all the rage at human parties, so why not do the same at your dog’s party?

Of course, candy isn’t safe for your dog, so make it dog-friendly by featuring an array of treats and chews.

Dogs will have a great time sniffing and choosing favorites. Not only do they get a tasty treat, but they also get a fun little activity to do too.

You can grab a variety of treats and chews based on the size of your doggy guests -- you can find some of our favorites here.

Just be sure your treats & chews bar is either gated off or elevated beyond the reach of any canine guests… or else they may end up stealing the stash.

2- Photo Ops Make a Cute Activity

black-dog-posing-on-yellow-background-at-a-dog-birthday-party | Pupford

Photos are the best way to remember your party, and to show your pup off on Instagram! You can make your party pics double-tap worthy by having props on hand (think photo booth) and by setting the scene.

You can make an Instagram-style photo frame with a simple piece of poster board and a printer. Or, you can go the traditional route and pick up some photo booth props and a backdrop from a party supply store.

When in doubt, do both!

Don’t forget to come up with a creative hashtag so you can find all your guests’ pics in one place… bonus points for puns!

Related: Best Dog Gifts & Gifts for Dog Lovers + Dog Moms & Dads

3- Tasty Treats like Pup Cakes

weiner-dogs-eating-birthday-cake | Pupford

Having a sweet treat at your party is a must, not just for you put for the dogs too!

Some bakeries will make you a “pupcake” that looks just like your human cake, so your dogs think they’re sharing your cake with you! Otherwise, pet stores will usually carry special occasion dog treats that mimic birthday presents and cakes.

Just take a look at the ingredients to make sure they’re good for your dog.

When in doubt, homemade is better! You can find a ton of recipes that are safe for dogs on the internet and tailor them to what your particular pup loves the most.

If you’re having a summertime party, try out some tasty puppy popsicle recipes, which are a delicious treat but also keep the canine guests cool.

When putting together your treats and snacks for the pups, be sure to keep in mind that there are certain fruits and vegetables that are healthy for humans but are dangerous to dogs.

Consult this guide on fruits and vegetables that dogs can and can’t have.

4- Outfitting the Pup of Honor

a-dog-in-a-birthday-party-outfit | Pupford

The birthday boy or girl needs to stand out from the rest of the guests. A fun party hat, shirt, or bandana is the perfect touch -- if your dog is comfortable in them that is.

You can get crafty and make your own, or support Etsy shops and small businesses that specialize in creating dog outfits that make the Instagram pictures THAT much cuter.

5- Choosing the Right Location for a Dog Party

a-tan-dog-in-a-pink-birthday-hat | Pupford

One of the best ways to ensure your dog’s birthday party is a success is to have it at the right location.

If you have a house and yard big enough for all your doggie friends to run around and have fun, then great! If that’s not the case, that’s okay!

Some parks and dog-friendly beaches make for great venues since the dogs can be active and playful. If your party is in the winter, a dog-friendly restaurant is a good place for the dogs, and their humans, to socialize.

PRO TIP! If any of your canine guests aren’t used to being around other dogs, you might want to share this article with his or her parents. It gives some great advice and steps they can use to prepare their dog for your party -- always make sure your doggie guests are socialized before a large gathering!

6- Dog Birthday Party Favor Ideas

dog-favor-ideas-for-a-dog-birthday-party | Pupford

You can’t send guests home empty-pawed -- wow them on the way out with a fun favor. This can be as simple as a goodie bag of assorted treats (psst -- a “favorites” pack like this makes this favor super easy), or you can be a little extra and get customized frisbees and tennis balls.

Whatever you choose, make sure to include a little thank you note so your guests know how appreciated they are -- even the ones who can’t read.

Here’s some inspiration -- we’d love to hear what else you can come with!

Dog Birthday Party Activities for the Guests aka Dogs

Dogs love to play together and it’s great for socialization, so why not make it the center of your party.

Here are some fun dog party activity ideas. ⤵️

7- Fetch

Bring enough toys to the party so that all the dogs can play together. Make sure to bring a couple of varieties of toys just in case one doesn’t strike the fancy of every dog. Having plenty of tennis balls around for fetch makes for some great games of chase too!

8- Brain Games

You can also make some super simple but entertaining games that are fun for the dogs but also give their brains some exercise (don’t worry, they’ll only notice the fun!).

For example, this muffin tin game takes about one minute to set up, but can entertain pups for a while! They can learn to solve the puzzle of where the treats are hidden and work together. We suggest taking a video of this because it’s sure to be cute!

9- Doggie Pool

If you can have the dog party where there's a full pool, amazing! If not, you can always use a small kiddie pool to give the pups a place to splash around!

Related Reading: How to Teach a Dog to Swim

10- Frozen Lick Mats

pupsWhile this can be challenging for a big party, having some frozen lick mats ready for the guests can be a huge hit!

Not only do they get some tasty snacks, but it can keep all the pups while the humans interact.

11- Hide & Seek Activity

This is super fun for the dogs AND the humans (to watch). Get all the dogs in one area or room and go hide small treats throughout the rest of the party area.

Release all the dogs at once to go find the hidden treats!

Chaos and cuteness will ensue. 😍

12- Tug of War

The only thing more fun than playing tug of war with your dog is watching multiple dogs all play tug with each other!

Check out our durable Fire Hose Tug Toy here!

13- Trick Contest

A fun dog party activity would be a trick contest! Set aside 5-10 minutes and give each dog (and their human) the chance to show off their best trick!

Let everyone vote and give the winning pup a special prize.

dog-with-a-birthday-hat-on | Pupford

Dog Birthday Themes

If you're gonna do all the work of having a dog party you should have a theme! Here are some dog birthday theme ideas below. 👇

14- Pup Pamper Party

Think spa day but for the pups! You can include things like:

  • Dog massages
  • A stretching station
  • Pay for a professional groomer to give some pampering

Treat yo' self!

15- Costume Party

dog wearing a hotdog costume for a themed party | Pupford

It's the age of Tiktok, most dogs have at least some type of costume nowadays!

Give them an excuse to wear it besides Halloween with a costume-themed birthday party.

16- Luau-Themed Dog Party

This birthday theme is perfect for any summer pups!

Think Hawaiian shirts, a swimming area, tiki torches (make sure they won't get knocked over), you name it. 😎

17- Puppy Rave

While you want to be careful of glowsticks since they can be harmful to dogs, a puppy rave is something I'd surely attend!

You could hire a DJ, have a disco ball, and even pass out some light-up collars for all the pups!

18- Ninja Warrior

For all the high-energy dogs, a "Ninja Warrior"-themed party is perfect!

You can set up some obstacle courses, play minute to win it games (probably for the humans), and more.

19- Pick a Decade - 70s, 80s, etc.

Decade-themed parties are the best! Just pick your favorite and tell your guests (and their humans) to dress in their best attire from that decade.

It's pretty easy to find decorations for each decade as well, perfect!

20- Casino-Party Theme

Think blackjack for the human guests and a poker-themed dog cake for the pups!

High-rollin' pups. 🎰

21- Don’t Forget the Humans at the Dog Party

While the pups are undoubtedly the stars of the party, you can’t forget the humans. It’s tempting to get caught up in making things perfect for the dogs, so keep the human stuff simple!

You can play on the theme of the party by labeling your food table with cute signs, like “paw-tato chips” and “furrito bowls.” It will add some fun and humor while keeping your human guests from getting hangry.

As for entertainment, you can plan some games and activities if you want, but let’s be real -- the best entertainment will be watching your happy pups enjoy their party.

Dog Birthday Party Recap

dog wearing a hat at a birthday party | Pupford

Throwing a doggie birthday party can be a super fun experience! It all starts with picking a theme, choosing some activities, and making sure there are plenty of snacks to go around.

Shop here for plenty of treats, chews, and toys for the puppy party!

Did you have a totally pawsome birthday party for your dog? We’d love to hear all the details. Drop a comment below!


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