As a treasured member of your family, it only makes sense to celebrate your dog’s birthday in style. If you have children at home too, it’s a lovely excuse to get creative, bake treats and generally spoil your furry friend!
A staggering 70 percent of UK dog owners celebrate their canine companions’ birthday every single year. In a recent poll, we found out how they celebrated their dogs' big day. Read on for some inspired ideas and even a delicious recipe to get you on your way.
How Much Should I Spend On My Dog’s Birthday?
How much you spend on your dog is entirely dependent on your income, budget and the number of people in your household! Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and other ad hoc treats all add up. It can get a bit overwhelming adding it all up, let alone planning and organising anything.
Ready for the surprising statistic?
Our poll revealed that the average British dog owner splashed out £62 on their canine’s most recent birthday - with 50 percent not ashamed to admit that they ALWAYS spend more on their dog than on their partner’s birthday. Shocking, we know!
And whilst some admitted that although they don’t spend more on their dog’s birthday, secretly, they would LOVE to indulge them. Little wonder then, perhaps, that three quarters of people described their canine companion as their ‘soulmate’.
Young Spenders Influenced Online
According to our poll, we also discovered that under 30s spend the most on their dog. They really roll out the red carpet - splashing on average £70 on their dog.
Interestingly, just over half of 16-29 year olds admitted that they often feel influenced by social media when it comes to treating and spoiling their four-legged friend. A staggering number of videos - predominantly on TikTok, Youtube and Instagram - are inspiring people to celebrate their dog’s birthday with increasing creativity and effort.
If Money Is No Object: Hosting A Dog’s 1st Birthday Party
Our study found that just over half of dog-owners admitted they dreamt about one day hosting a lavish party for their beloved dog and their four-legged friends. Ideas for hosting a 1st birthday party for their dog include:
- A tasty spread of dog-friendly treats
- Garden party (do you have space to set up an agility course?)
- Group swim at the local beach or river
- Animal-friendly party games (fetch, tug-of-war, frisbee, find-the-treat)
- Group photos
- Special doggie bags for pup-pals to take home
Gifts For My Dog’s Birthday
The beauty of having a dog in your family is that they have no expectations and make few demands. They have no idea when their birthday is and will unconditionally love you whether you make a fuss on their birthday or not.
However, we know that spoiling our dogs is one of our great privileges and so we’ve got a few ideas to get the inspiration flowing.
Something to play with, to bond over and to stimulate their brains - a new toy. More than half of the nation’s canine companions will receive brand new toys for their birthday. Think chews, squeaky toys, rubber balls (and launchers), knotted ropes, plushies, snuffle mats (you can learn how to make one at home) and toy sticks.
Let your dog unwrap the gift themselves - it can make the whole gifting process more exciting! If your dog has a tendency to snaffle everything in sight - use a gift bag instead of wrapping or tissue paper.
We discovered from our poll that 39 percent of dogs will enjoy a gourmet meal on their birthday. Either handmade by their owner or bought in, especially. It’s a great opportunity to offer something more adventurous for your 1 year old pup to try out. Our gourmet beef and wild boar wet dog food is a real treat to offer. Or why not sample one of our luxury National Trust variety packs with two options: turkey & goose and duck & venison.
If you haven’t yet transitioned from puppy to adult food, you read our advice on how to begin here. It’s really very simple and a lovely chance to include more variety in their diet.
Collars and harnesses
A third of dogs will typically receive a snazzy new collar as a birthday gift. We think this is also a lovely way to mark your pup turning into an adult. Knock yourself out with every variation of collar you can think of: tweed, leather, herringbone, neoprene, reflective, flashing, mesh, woven and even character themed. Just remember that you should always be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.
If you enjoy fitness and want to begin running with your dog, a comfortable, adjustable harness also makes for a practical but special gift.
We think that most dogs love pampering as much as humans do. Celebrate their birthday by creating a mini spa experience at home - a long bath, extra brushing and a doggie massage. Or you could take your dog to a groomer for an extra special treatment - they’ll love the extra attention and physical touch.
Other Ways To Celebrate Your Dog’s 1st Birthday
According to our poll, here are some other interesting, inspired ways to mark your pup’s transition to adulthood.
- Dog-friendly birthday cake (27%)
- Birthday card (18%)
- Extra-long walk (40%)
- Extra-long cuddles on the sofa (44%)
- ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to them (31%)
- Watching a dog-themed film such as Lassie or 101 Dalmatians (11%)
- Meet-up with dog pals in the local park (13%)
A Birthday Cake Recipe For Your Dog
We teamed up with a pet nutritionist to create the perfect bake at home treat that you and your pup can enjoy together on their birthday! These easy-to-bake birthday pupcakes are delicious and sure to get the tail-wag of approval.
Just a note: these bakes are ideal for healthy, active dogs as a little treat. Cupcakes not recommended for dogs on a low fat diet, or with a history of pancreatitis due to the higher fat content. Only share when baked, as unbaked dough or mixture should not be fed to dogs.
For the cakes:
- 60g unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp of vanilla essence
- 150g all purpose flour
- ½ tsp of baking powder
- 125ml buttermilk
- 1 ripened banana
For the topping:
- 50g Greek yoghurt
- 50g unsalted peanut butter (Xylitol free)
- A handful of Forthglade treats or banana slices
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius
- Whip the butter and add the egg
- Add vanilla essence and buttermilk and stir
- Combine the dry ingredients
- Mash ripened banana and turn mixture into dough
- Add to cupcake holders and bake for 25 – 30 mins
- Allow to cool before adding the topping
- Decorate with your pups favourite Forthglade treats
Portions: the recipe makes 8 cupcakes.
Nutritional information: calories 1580 (197.5 per cupcake), carbohydrates 38 %, protein 11 %, fat 51 %. The cupcakes can be frozen (not the topping). Treats should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet.
Celebrate, Even If You Don’t Know The Date
As we deduced from our poll, an impressive 84 percent of owners know their dog’s real birthday. However, 69 percent of those who aren’t aware of the actual date, have made one up; ensuring they can still celebrate. We think they’re worth it and deserve the attention and fuss on their special day.