Maria Cecilia has a passion for dogs. Peso is her dog whom she loves eternally, and she dedicates all doggie articles to him.
How to Celebrate Your Dog's Birthday or "Barkday" in Style
A dog birthday party can be an expensive party, so everything has to be well-planned. Two of my friends, Jo Dela Cueva and Julie Imperio, both owners of lovely Chihuahuas, decided to celebrate their dogs' birthdays together. The dogs' birthdays are in December, so before everyone became busy with their own Christmas parties, they decided to party in the first week of December. We chose a Mexican theme for the dogs because we wanted a festive, colorful party. The Chihuahua dog breed also originated in Mexico—what a coincidence!
The venue of our party was in Tagaytay City. We chose this location because the cool climate was perfect for dogs and humans alike. The house where the party was hosted belonged to Jo Dela Cueva and had both a garage (which worked well for an outdoor party) and a spacious garden for fun activities.
What Makes a Great Doggy Birthday Party?
Gift tags, life-size cut-outs of the birthday boy or girl
Provide ink pads for paw print signatures
Banderitas, pabitin, magarita wine glasses, etc.
Customized and themed
Gowns, themed matching outfits for dogs and their companions
Human Food Menu
Popular items that all can enjoy
Dog Food Menu
Non-toxic, dog-friendly foods
A paper dance, Chihuahua race or dog race, "Bring Me," and pabitin
Award the winner and all participants
Stuffed toys, blankets, framed caricatures of the guest dogs, dog magnets, figurines, dog memo pads, dog bags
The Party Invitations
Make Eye-Catching Party Invitations and Gift Bags
Two invitation cards were prepared for the two birthday girls and distributed to friends and loved ones. The invitations had the dogs' ages on them. Honey was turning six and Ginger was turning four. We made fun party invitations which included the cards, gift tags, and life-size cut-outs of the birthday girls. Gift bags included banderitas, pabitin, and margarita wine glasses. All of these items were specially made to match the theme of the party.
The Party Venue
Choose a Human-Friendly and Dog-Friendly Venue
Human guests and dogs enjoyed the party venue which consisted of Jo's house and garden. Toys were arranged around the venue not just for display, but as fun obstacles for the small dogs. The venue had a crib, too, where dogs could retreat to and nap anytime.
Party Registration and Guestbook
Offer a Guestbook for Humans and Dogs
All guests, pets, and humans registered in the guestbook before entering the main party place. Pets were required to mark the guestbook using their paws as their signature. Party hats were immediately distributed to the dogs and most wore them for the entire duration of the party (we did not force it on pets that disliked it).
The Birthday Cakes
Consider Customizing a Cake
We selected a customized Mexican-inspired fondant cake in the shape of a cactus. Jo and Julie called the cake their dream cake and met with a cake designer prior to the party to make sure it came out just right. The cake was as delicious as it looks, and the cupcakes surrounding it made it even more tempting.
Make Sure the Birthday Boy or Girl Is Dressed Fashionably
The gowns were perfect for the birthday girls. Honey wore a Mexican-inspired, lengthy gown which her owner received from a friend who makes customized dog clothes for all occasions. Ginger wore a lavender and lace short gown, which was designed and created by her owner, Julie.
Party Food Keeps the Guests Happy
Prepare a Human Food and Pet Food Menu
Jo and Julie coordinated with one caterer that they knew and trusted to prepare the party food. The caterer agreed to make two menus consisting of a human food menu and a pet food menu.
Human Food Menu Ideas
Cucumber Soup Puree
Rainbow Fish Fillet
Pasta (Bolognese, Carbonara, Agle Olio)
Assorted Bread: Canopies, Raisin Bread, Carrot Bread
Pet Food Menu Ideas
Ground Beef Sauteed in Olive Oil
Ground Pork Sauteed in Olive Oil
Pink Salmon Sauteed in Olive Oil
Party Games Are a Must
Play Party Games for Entertainment
A birthday party will never be complete without games, so at a dog party, it is common to see dogs and humans participating in games. The humans, regardless of their age, enjoyed the games and wanted their dogs to win prizes. We played the following games:
- The Paper Dance
- Chihuahua Race or Dog Race
- "Bring Me" or Fetch
Winner of the "Best in Mexican Costume" Award
"Best in Costume" Awards Ceremony
For the finale, we awarded prizes to the dogs in the best Mexican-inspired costumes. The first place "Best in Mexican Costume" winner won a pet tower with stuffed toys. The second place winner won a dog bed, pillows, a blanket, and stuffed toys. The third place winner won a pillow and a blanket. We also gave out lovely consolation prizes for the non-winning participants.
Lashes, a Yorkshire Terrier, won the "Best in Mexican Costume" award. Judges based the vote on uniqueness and creativity. Her costume was a red chile with a green leaf on top. The majority of the guests wore Mexican-inspired gowns, but only Lashes (companion of Connie Perez) had the most unique costume.
Blowing out the Birthday Candles
Don't Forget to Sing "Happy Birthday"
Blowing out the birthday candles was a lot of fun. Dog owners held their dogs and stood around the birthday honorees. The humans sang "Happy Birthday" willingly, and expressed their wishes and happiness.
If you are active in a dog community, this type of birthday celebration is common. People outside of the group are often surprised and amazed to see the extravagance of such a celebration—but our companions deserve it!
Friends and Guests
Party Souvenirs Show Your Guests Your Appreciation
All of the friends in our dog community were invited, and most of them are also fellow participants in our community doggy fashion show where Honey and Ginger first became friends. For doggy parties, you invite friends who love dogs just like you. Jo and Julie ended up inviting more than 80 humans and 40 dogs!
The party souvenirs or giveaways were another reason to enjoy the party. One set of each giveaway cost around P 400.00 or $10.00 each. Guests were given the following favors:
- Stuffed Toys
- Framed Caricatures of the Dogs
- Dog Magnets
- Dog Memo Pads
- Dog Bags
Our Party in "Animal Scene Magazine"
© 2013 Maria Cecilia
Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on December 27, 2017:
Hi Jackie thanks so much for reading this hub. I guess you are a dog lover too...Yes loving a dog is universal...
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 27, 2017:
I think we most enjoy dogs so much, no matter where we come from!
Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on April 06, 2017:
Hi Linda Thanks so much for visiting my hub. Welcome another Dog lover..
Linda Rogers from Minnesota on April 06, 2017:
I had a blast reading this and looking at all the fun pictures. You are a true dog lover which we have in common. Thanks for sharing the fun article on parties for pets.
Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on May 01, 2013:
Mona sorry for late response, of course I will invite you but I will only throw a party like that if I have so much much... Like a month before his birthday I won in a lotto about 50 Million Pesos LOL... The only thing I can afford for Peso is bring him and PM with other relatives in a restaurant near my house, that can also accommodate dogs. Oh your daughter's best friend was so lucky to be with her in her Bali vacation, reminded me of myself when I was a little girl, because I was an only child whenever we go to a movie or visit a place like Manila zoo or fiesta carnival (no malls yet LOL) father always bring one cousin or friend with me.... I also wish I can bring Peso to a beach, so curious of his reaction since he hates taking a bath, I wonder what will he do if he sees me soaking myself to large body of water....
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on April 26, 2013:
I will buy one tomorrow so I can read your article and your introduction. I can understand your wanting to have a party like that for Peso, because you went through so much with him. Also, since Peso is an askal the coolness factor would be raised higher if you had a party like this for him:). Personally, I'm not much of a party type. For example, rather than pay for my daughter to have a debut, the hubbie and I brought her and her best friend to Bali for a vacation. For the same reason, I would bring my dogs to the beach, because they've never been there:(. But if you throw a party for Peso, please invite me!
Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on April 25, 2013:
Mona do you have a copy of Animal Scene for the month of April? my introduction to that article was a recollection of my first doggy birthday celebration... you know Mona that's my dream birthday party for Peso maybe not that extravagant but at least a party with friends and love ones, maybe we just didn't know but maybe there are dog lovers who celebrated their dogs party that way, I saw one before at national tv, she celebrated her dogs' birthday but instead of gifts she requested her guest to donate to PAWs and CARA. I think her name is Sharon and her dogs are English Bulldog and a Pug. Thanks Mona for visiting again..
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on April 25, 2013:
I agree with you, it overwhelms...personally, if I had the money I wouldn't have spent it that way. I would just take my dogs to the beach for a swim. But then, it is really interesting to see what people in the Philippines are doing for their dogs. When I was much younger dogs were considered frivolities and weren't given even minimal care. So we have traveled quite a distance:) And of course, you were a major force in bringing the love of askals to the fore.
Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on April 23, 2013:
Mona I love friends who celebrate their dogs' birthdays but this one really overwhelms...My friends told me not to reveal how much they spent because some people might misunderstood. They just love their dogs, and you know Mona I observed three groups of dog owners 1. those who join or frequent participants of dog show 2. Those in agility group mondio ring, etc. 3. and this group that loves to clothes their dogs and compete in the fashion show. but in whatever category I have faith in them when it comes to loving their dogs....
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on April 23, 2013:
This looks like a major milestone in Philippine dog history! I thoroughly enjoyed your story, Maricel. Thanks for publishing it and for letting your readers enjoy the party by looking at the fantastic pictures:)