By Naomi Shaw
They’re not only our best friend, they’re also a member of our family, and as such, they’re just as entitled to celebrate their birthday with us. While we certainly know better than to give them a chocolate cake, even cat’s have an adverse reaction to cocoa, so what else can we do to mark this milestone day for them?
There’s always pet treats, giving them a gift of a new toy and animal-friendly cakes for them, but here’s six other, fun and more creative ways to celebrate the anniversary of your dog’s arrival on the planet:
#1 – Play Date or Party
Pet people often surround themselves with other animal lovers inside their social circles, so it only stands to reason that some of these acquaintances also have dogs that are friendly with our canine. Sounds like a great excuse for a pet-friendly party where we can all get together, two and four-legged guests included. Be sure to offer treats and activities for the dogs as well as humans. If partying isn’t your thing, think of having a playdate with their favorite four-legged friend.
#2 – Road Trip
The concept of a road trip has been movie fodder for decades and it’s also a delightful idea for your dog on their special day. Some dogs go crazy at the beach, others prefer a trip to the local dog park or may enjoy visiting an out of town relative. For example, my dog absolutely loves to going to see my mother who lives a couple hours from our home. Think of where they might want to go and take them on that road trip.
#3 – Get a Portrait
You remember the old saying (actually it was more like a bully’s taint), “Take a picture it lasts longer,” and you can mark this special day with a photo that will last throughout the ages. You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional photographer since we all have smartphones these days, but hiring a pro isn’t out of the question either and you can also be a part of the portrait. Don’t forget to post your photo on social media and watch the well wishes come pouring in from the internet.
#4 – Pamper Your Pooch
Whether you simply spend extra time with them or spring for something more extravagant like a therapeutic massage, they’ll certainly appreciate the extra attention. Think of their favorite activity, whether it’s a rigorous game of fetch or relaxing on the couch and watching a movie. Be sure to include whatever it is that they love the best on their special day.
#5 – Learn To Cook For Them
If you enjoy cooking, and all dogs love to eat, consider learning how to make homemade treats for them or feeding them meals prepared from your kitchen instead of purchased at the store. I think we can all safely agree these healthier eating choices will ensure our dog has many more birthdays with us in the future.
#6 – Plant a Tree
This is probably best for a dog’s first birthday when you can plant a tree and watch it grow along with them. Go for a larger one that will soon offer shade, perhaps bear some fruit and this can be a spot for the two of you to relax in the future.
Even if you don’t know your dog’s birthday, you can still celebrate the day they came into your life. Some simply refer to it as an anniversary and others call it the “gotcha day.” Any of these are reasons to celebrate the life of your four-legged best friend.