It’s my party and I’ll bark if I want to!

Ever thought of throwing a birthday party for you dog? Those who are canine crazy may applaud the prospect of seeing Rover tear open his presents, gobble up his birthday cake (without sharing it) curl up on the sofa.

How much UK pet owners spend on their pooch’s ‘many happy returns’ is unknown. However, the amount footballer’s current or ex wives and soap stars lavish on their dogs’ birthdays may make you howl. One dog, Pluto, has a wardrobe filled with diamante-studded collars and outfits, ranging from hoodies to a dinner suit. His owner says she spends around £4,000 a year just on gifts and treats for him.

I hope he’s worth every penny…

So what makes a good pooch party?

Few dog owners are likely (or have the inclination) to spend such extreme amounts on dog birthday presents, so an idea might be to throw a modest party for your furry friend. Just don’t expect Fido to be too keen to blow out the candles or participate in Pin the Tail on the Donkey; he may be more at home salivating in front of the dog bowl…

Who to invite? Keep the guest list brief: Those of the two-legged species, humans, will be easier to manage, while a pack of dogs may descend into a pack of wolves if too much party food is in the offing.

Party food

Talking of which, don’t expect a birthday cake to be savoured, however much your dog acts the perfect host. There are purpose-made cakes, with ingredients suitable for a doggy diet. Consider cooking up some treats and tid-bits in advance, as long as they are healthy and suitable for the pet’s pallet. Online there are plenty of pet-friendly recipes available which you can carefully wrap in foil, then unwrap and feed to them on their big day.

Birthday presents – what to buy?

  • Making sure his teeth are white and bright

Dental care products can help preserve your dog’s canines and other teeth. Keeping them in tip top shape is important, especially if he’s had his fair share of birthday treats. From dental rinses, chew sticks, dental tooth wipes to pet toothbrushes, there are many products to choose from.

  •   A goody bag

Just like at a children’s party, why not buy or make a goody bag for your pet and his guests? It can be filled with dog-friendly presents such as bones and squeaky toys.

  • Something for your dog to wear

How about buying a birthday collar for your dog? There’s no need to go over the top on the dress code; after all, your dog may resent you for it if he’s too done up to the nines.

  • A pet insurance policy

Another idea might be to take out dog insurance as a birthday gift for your dog. True, your furry friend won’t have a clue what pet insurance is. Nevertheless, buying a policy could be a gift idea to cover aspects like vet’s fees and straying.

Game on 

Encouraging your dog to take part in games could leave them barking up the wrong tree -quite literally if cats are involved. A simple idea in place of party games might be to take your dog and any other four-legged guests on a walk to get some exercise. This can be a great way for them to burn off any birthday excesses (and exuberance), and to provide a change of scene from being cooped up at home.


Ultimately, throwing a party for your pooch can be great way to mark his age, regardless of the number in dog years. The occasion is a fun, family-friendly activity – after all, dogs are members of the family too!

Many happy returns for Rover when his big day comes.

This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.

2 thoughts on “It’s my party and I’ll bark if I want to!

  1. My pups Bday just passed and we had a great party planned for him and had to postpone due to this crazy blizzard in CT 🙁

  2. Many years ago I had this cool dog named Ace.

    I invited about 15 people over for his birthday party….they all brought him doggie presents and we grilled out in the backyard.

    It was during the baseball playoffs, so that was on too.

    I bought plates, cups and birthday hats with dogs on them. Ace even wore a birthday hat too.

    I took pictures of Ace with each guest seperately (with party hats mostly) and later mailed out thank you cards with the picture of them with Ace.

    It was a BIG hit and everyone talked about it long after the party was over. Very good times. Thanks for jogging my memory of that fun day!


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