Do you know your pet’s birthdate? Do you do anything to celebrate it?
Like every pet issue, this one is a source of great divide between pet owners. Some pet owners would say that it’s silly. The rest of us can’t hear them naysaying over the strains of “Happy birthday, dear Poochie...”
Honestly, I’m all for anything that gives me cause to sing loudly and throw confetti. In the past, I’ve been known to celebrate totally obscure holidays and throw parties with themes like “bathrobes and ‘Quantum Leap’.” So yeah, I’ve been known to wish my pets a very happy birthday.
And I think you should, too. Couldn’t you use a little extra merriment in your life? Wouldn’t it be nice to say “thanks” to your pet for being such a great friend? Don’t you want to throw confetti?
So let’s say you don’t already know your pet’s birthday. If your pet is registered or adopted, it probably came with some paperwork that notes your pet’s birthday (or a guess at what it might’ve been.) You probably offered a guess at your pet’s age at your last vet checkup, so check that paperwork, too. If you don’t know your pet’s birthday and have no way of finding out, take it from the Pet Aficionado; it doesn’t matter. Pick an arbitrary date and just go with it. Mark it on the calendar and don’t look back!
What do you want to do to celebrate your pet’s birthday? This varies wildly by pet, owner and birthdate. There’s certainly no expectations from Fido about what to do, so do what makes you both happy.
Some pet owners get their pet a treat or “cake”—you can probably find recipes for these special doggie meatloaf, veggie and rice treats on Pinterest. If you’re not quite that industrious or your pet has special dietary needs that you’re not sure about, just choose a nice treat from a pet bakery or pet store.
I think one of the key elements to a successful pet birthday is a special outing. Take a walk around the park, go to the pet store together, sit outside in the sun or go on a roadtrip with the windows cracked. If you like, make a playdate with your pet’s best friends. Whatever makes your pet happiest, enjoy it together.
Want to invite some people over? I think it’s a fun occasion, but make sure your guests are fellow pet lovers who will enjoy the affair. Again, this is a divisive issue among pet owners, so it’s hard to tell who will enjoy it and who will be put-off. And please repeat after me: “I will not force my guests to wear party hats or sing to my cat.”
What should you avoid on your pet’s birthday? First, it’s not good to overindulge your pet. Steer clear of treats that are sugary or too unusual from your pet’s usual diet. Second, don’t overload your pet’s senses. Balloons, poppers, music and groups of people can stress out some pets and some decorations can be dangerous. Third, don’t get overwhelmed. If you’re stressed out, your pet probably is, too. Keep Calm and Party On.
A great bonus of celebrating your pet’s birthday? There’s always SWAG waiting to be had. Sign your pet up for your favorite pet store’s pets rewards club. Often, they send you great coupons on your pet’s birthday. This will make grabbing a gift for the birthday bunny a little easier.
Celebrating your pet’s birthday should be about having fun and showing some love to your beloved companion. Keep it light-hearted and easy so that you can make the most out of your time with your pet. And throw a little confetti if you want (just clean up afterwards so Rover doesn’t track it everywhere.)

Posted on 2013-03-01 by Amanda Harper