Dog party? Yes I did! It’s a fact the human kind has increasingly become more emotionally attached to their companion animals to the where they now view them as a member of their family, much like a child. I, for one am definitely that “mom” that will go over the top for my little ones and because I don’t have any kids of my own (as of yet) my fur-babies get spoiled in the interim.
How spoiled? Let’s just say I’ve generously designated a drawer of the armoire solely for their clothes, jackets, and shoes for every season of the year and that speaks a lot coming from someone with tons of clothes and shoes. Every time I shop I never fail to forget to include a little surprise for them whether it be a toy or as simple as a cute shirt. This may very well explain their overstuffed toy chest and drawer that causes Wes to bring to my attention and yet I somehow always seem to be “selectively” oblivious (denial) on how much I actually spend on them. I’m sure they don’t care if I bring home a toy or not but I like to think they do.
For the past two years, I’ve wanted to throw Grizz a birthday party but was never able to due to time constraints from work and school. This year, I decided I was going to make it happen and I finally threw him one last Saturday carefully watching how much I spent because what I really wanted, was to go to the extreme and purchase elegant bowls, printed paw-print décor and catered food. I’m just crazy like that. However, I decided to stay on an ‘undetermined’ budget by consciously having a frugal mindset which I followed and still threw a fabulous party.
Total cost of the party was approximately $100 and I would like to share with you how I prepped from beginning to end on how to throw a Dog Birthday Party with a budget.
Beginning with the invitation, I’ve decided to save a tree by posting the invite over Facebook. If you don’t have a Facebook account don’t fret, you can send your guests an Evite (an invitation over emails) which is quick, user friendly and free! Make the message catchy by twisting words around obvious that this is a dog party. An example is one of my own:
You’re invited to Grizz-Lee’s Birthday Paw-ty!
Now that Grizz has finally hit the BIG 2-1 (in K9 years), we’re going to celebrate it doggy style!Come bring your favorite stuffed animal* and let’s have a dog-gone good time with Chow Mix and Pupcakes tailored for you and your furry little one!
And if you don’t finish, don’t worry, there’ll be doggy bags to carry your bones and toys to go home with to enjoy. This is a:
– Rain or Shine Event (fingers crossed for sun)
– Outdoors (if weather permits)
– *Dogs 15 lbs. or less are welcome 🙂
– Guest can invite 1 friend with their side pooch as well!So come on over and Bone Appetit!
Once you’ve decided on your message, determine if you would like to have the party indoors or outdoors. Give yourself ample time to plan for food, décor and party favors by setting the RSVP date early. This will also give you a more accurate headcount so you don’t prepare too many or too little hor d’ourves and dog snacks for the guests. Things to keep in mind for a Dog Birthday Party or any dog-related gathering:
- outdoors is best to prevent dirty floors/couches
- invite dogs approximately the same weight as others to prevent dominance which may cause fighting and upset the owners ruining the fun
- secluded playpen for those who need a break from others
- NO CHOCOLATE and this includes on the human table to avoid any confusion between dog & human foods
- have several filled water bowls – they can’t tell you they’re thirsting and they’ll have plenty of energy running around with other dogs present
- avoid using staples and use tape for sealing gifts or party/doggy bags to avoid accidental ingestion – remember they will be scavenging the ground quite frequently
- and have a pooper scooper handy
Once you have the guest count for the number of people and dogs attending, then you can begin planning what kind of food and snacks to serve.
After you’ve done your research on making your own dog-safe treats here or the store bought version, decide what kind of food to serve your friends and family. Keep in mind that a dog party should only be a few hours and try to keep it light. Hosting for friends and family along with their pets can be rather exhausting so opt for light hors d’oeuvres with a vegetable and fruit salad.
REMEMBER: No raisins/grapes and to remove all seeds and pits from any fruits as this may be toxic to dogs. Click here for a complete list of safe foods for dogs.
Now for the money saving part. I’ll tell you a little secret; practically every Sunday evening I shop at one of my favorite places, the Dollar Tree. It gives me great pleasure knowing I can come home with 10 bags and have only spent ~$30. All of the items in the photos below were $1. From balloons, table décor, dog bowls, chair cover, some gifts, and party favors, all just $1.00 and I’m proud to say that you can throw a great party without breaking the bank.
Another great way to save is to use what you may already have at home. Some examples include:
- an agility course
- baby swimming pool or sprinklers
- decorative cardboard box used as a back drop for a photo shoot
- large plastic props (toys from kids) or a pet playground this will give the dogs stimulation and keep them busy
Tip: Unless you know for sure your dog will be able to unwrap a gift, you may want to use a gift bag with light tissue. Below the tissue, place a meaty bone. This will engage his nose to sniff further giving the “illusion” that he’s digging into his gift bag. Cool huh?!
Last but not least, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the CAKE!
If you want to stay within budget, try baking your own dog treats. You’d be amazed on how much you save using simple ingredients you probably already have at home. For starters, try the Banana Paw-ty Cake and as a side treat you can make peanut butter dog biscuits too.Print
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup water
- 6 tablespoons carob powder
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup crushed peanuts (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour cake pan; set aside.
- In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.
- In large bowl, beat on medium speed bananas and butter until creamy. Add eggs and water and beat together until just combined.
- Stir in dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour batter evenly into cake pan.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Invert cake pan onto a wire rack and allow additional cooling time before frosting.
- Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk cocoa, flour and cinnamon, set aside.
- In separate bowl, mix on medium speed banana, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Mix in cocoa mixture to the banana mixture on medium speed until just combined. Note: Frosting may appear lumpy due to the bananas.
- Spoon frosting onto cake and top with crushed peanuts.
**Note: All dog foods found on URBAN BAKES has been tested by me (yes, I try it too!) and is ensured that all ingredients are dog-safe through creditable online sources and veterinarians. However, there are several common allergies/intolerances that can develop over time which may include and is not limited to certain proteins, corn, wheat and soy. Please check with your veterinarian if your pet can consume any of the listed ingredients found in this recipe.**
- Category: Canine
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