My Westie, Beckham, celebrated his 4th birthday a couple of weeks ago. Because we own a pet party company, every birthday in our house is a reason to throw a fabulous party!
After a serious talk about what theme Beckham wanted this year for his party, we decided to make the party all about Birthday Presents!
I love buying and making presents for my friends, but I think I really excel at finding the perfect presents for dogs and cats. Just ask my pets!
This Party Blog has my advice for picking the perfect presents for your dog – for Barkdays, for Gotcha Days, or just for Ordinary Days when you think your Pup deserves a present.
Beckham wanted me to make sure to mention that these are presents designed to delight your Pup and not the Pup Parents, so we have not included any pet accessories. Yes, he has a huge wardrobe of collars and matching leashes, a variety of cute bandanas, and several adorable bow ties. But let’s face it, it’s toys and treats that will get your dog excited – as well as adventures with you.
Does Your Dog Like to Play Games with You?
Interactive toys build a bond between you and your dog. My pup is very good at amusing himself with his toys on his own, but he loves playing games with me and I love it too!
Chasing bubbles is a great game for dogs to have some fun and get some exercise. If you have never blown bubbles for your dog, you really need to try it. Check out the Bubbletastic Bacon Bubble Machine.
Agility toys are another good option for you and your dog. Dog agility is a serious dog sport that many dogs are well suited for, but for a Pup and Pup Parent who just want to have fun with agility, look for dog tunnels and dog jumps.
Does Your Dog Like to Chew?
Why do dogs like to chew so much?
A mystery to be solved but in the meantime, I feel sure your dog probably likes to chew some type of toy, and providing toys to him will save your shoes, furniture, etc. These toys are great because they allow your dog to keep himself amused and having fun on his own.
There are lots of good options to choose from for chew toys but be sure you match the size of the toy to the size of your dog.
Does Your Dog Love to Play Ball?
My pup loves toys, but hands down his favorite is the ball. There must be an athlete hiding somewhere in that little Westie body.
Fetch the ball is his favorite “outside in the backyard” game, but he also plays a pretty mean game of ball at night after dinner in the family room – all by himself, tossing it and running after it.
It’s hard to imagine that your pup won’t like a ball as a birthday gift, but make sure you pay attention to the type of ball and whether it fits into his mouth when he fetches.
Does Your Dog Love to Cuddle with Toys?
Plush dog toys are my favorite – maybe because I loved stuffed animals more than dolls when I was a kid. My pup agrees, but he is very particular about which soft dog toys he likes and what he does with them. I am guessing your dog also has cute (or quirky) habits and preferences when it comes to plush dog toys, so pay attention to his likes and dislikes!
Beckham likes toys that easily fit in his mouth, and, in fact, he usually is carrying around two soft toys at once. This means they have to be small or long and narrow, and if they aren’t, they end up in our basket of toy rejects.
Does your dog like to tear up plush dog toys? If so, look for brands like Fluff & Tuff, which offer adorable colorful dog toys that hold up well for dog “super” chewers. Fluff and Tuff
Finding the Perfect Treat for Your Dog’s Birthday Present
My dog loves treats. Saying the word “treat” is enough to get him dancing with excitement. But the truth is that he is particular about the kind of treats he really likes, and I expect your dog may be just as discriminating when it comes to treat preferences.
Should you get special occasion decorated dog cookies or his favorite daily dog treats?
We both love decorated pet cookies, such as the wonderful cookies made by Wufers, which makes gourmet, hand-designed dog cookies in a variety of themes including birthdays and Gotcha Days, along with several holiday-themed options. They just started a Cookie Club, and Beckham is already lobbying for his own membership. You can check out their cookies at Wüfers | Gourmet Dog Cookie & Specialty Dog Treat Boxes Treat Delivery (wufers.com)
Beckham also loves treats that are made by companies like Bocce Bakery because they are small and crunchy – and there are a variety of flavors like peanut butter and bacon which are his faves. My pup definitely favors crunchy treats, not soft treats. It’s a good idea to pay attention to your dog’s preference on texture and flavor so you get his favorites.
Of course, cupcakes made for Pup Parents to enjoy at the birthday party also rank as one of Beckham’s favorites. A little taste for your dog is fine as long as they are not chocolate!
Give Your Dog an “Experience” Gift
Experience gifts are all the rage right now for humans so why not tap into that trend for your pup’s birthday? The idea is if you can imagine something fun or cool to do, you can give that experience, in gift form, to someone you love and want to spend time with – like your dog!
Our local minor league baseball team has several “Bark in the Park” games scheduled this summer when fans are allowed to take their dogs out to the ballgame! At Beckham’s recent party, one of his presents was a Sea Dogs Gift Basket complete with two tickets to a “Bark in the Park” game, a Sea Dogs collar and leash, and a Sea Dogs baseball toy.
Use your imagination to come up with ideas for pet-friendly adventures you can do with your dog, but make sure you match the activity to your dog’s personality. Some dogs will love being around other dogs at a pet-friendly event like the Sea Dogs game or visiting a local patio restaurant or brewery that is pet-friendly, while other less-social dogs might prefer a trip in the car to a new place for a hike or beach swim.
Give Your Dog the Best Birthday Ever!
The birthday presents have been opened, the toys have been played with, and the treats have been tasted. The best gift is yet to come when my pup and I head to the baseball game together in July.
Making priceless memories with my dog – one birthday adventure at a time.