Many pet owners think of their animals as their best friends and family members, regardless of species. They show up in family photos, eat dinner at the same time as everyone else, hang out on the couch and act like a member of the human pack. So what better way to celebrate our pets’ special occasions than with a family get-together or party?
Today, 11 percent of dog owners hold holiday or birthday parties for their pet. This has increased from 7 percent in 2014, reports the 2017-2018 APPA National Pet Owners Survey Debut.
Well, there are plenty of animal lovers who have gone above and beyond to celebrate their furry family members with a proper pet party, and we’re here to showcase the love, dedication and fun.
Parties are a great way to catch up with old friends and make new ones, all while celebrating a common cause or, in this case, the birthday dog. So, when owner and French Bulldog fanatic, Marci Bracco Cain wanted to celebrate the birthdays of her six rescue Frenchies—12-year-old Geno, 9-year-old Lulu, 6-year-old Hugo, 5-year-old Rooney, 4-year-old Zoey and 13-year-old Buddha—she decided there was no better way than with a combined party for all fur babies. Or better yet, it could be a circus/carnival theme party that would also allow attendees to join in on the fun.
The event was held at Point Pinos Grill in Pacific Grove, California, where a design team was recruited to create an outdoor park setting, a personal chef to develop a custom menu for humans and animals, and a professional photo booth service with carnival costumes in tow. The party featured clowns, ringmasters, a paw and palm reader, as well as a pet psychic. Four-legged guests were encouraged to don costumes of their own, making the event come to life at this one-of-a-kind pet party.
Typically, a bar or bat mitzvah is a cultural celebration in the Jewish religion in which a boy (celebrating a bar mitzvah) or girl (celebrating a bat mitzvah) has reached the age of 13 and is regarded as an adult. But, when Frankie Feldman, a giant white Labradoodle, reached the age of 13 in dog years (just before his second birthday), his owner, Lisa Johnson Mandell, decided to throw him a “bark” mitzvah that was anything but typical.
Held in the family’s backyard in Studio City, California, the event hosted Frankie’s special “Doodle posse” as well as the neighborhood dogs and their owners. With all attendees outfitted with a clip-on yarmulke—a cap worn by Jewish individuals during prayer—a ceremony was held to celebrate Frankie’s graduation from puppy to dog.
Included was a neighbor’s reading as Frankie performed his best haftarah, a portion from the Hebrew scripture, by howling on cue. Following the ceremony, Hebrew National hotdogs and red velvet cupcakes with blue Stars of David were served to the humans, and special “pawty” favors were handed out to the pups. Guests—both two- and four-legged—were invited to carry on with the fun by taking a dip in the family pool.
As pet owners, we get loyalty, love and affection from our furry family members on a regular basis. But animal lover Kathy Vegh, Co-Founder and CEO of My Heart Wall, can tell you that these emotions are not exclusive to human-animal relationships and interactions.
When her four-year-old daughter asked if their puppies, Zsa Zsa, a 1-year old Schichon, and Charlie, a 1-year-old Cavachon, could get married, Vegh, known for her creativity, responded with, “Sure! Why not?”
The ceremony script was written by Vegh herself, featured her daughter as the official flower girl, and hosted 13 humans and seven dog attendees. The event was equipped with a fake grass aisle and altar, doggy-themed beverages, custom tuxedo and dress dog cookies for the bride and groom, and because no party is complete without dessert, a special cake made by a local baker.
The puppy wedding included a unity cup for the pups as well as an official puppy marriage certificate and wedding book for guests to sign with their well-wishes for the newlyweds. The ceremony ended with the announcement of Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Zsa Zsa Barkley as “Who Let the Dogs Out?” played in the background to truly make the celebration the puppy wedding of the year.
Whether an occasion calls for an animal-themed event or not, any celebration can easily be turned into a pet-stravaganza with enough imagination and dedication. So when pet owner and business woman Katie Tovey-Grindlay’s company neared its 2-year anniversary, Tovey-Grindlay decided that there was no better way to commemorate the event than to throw a dog party at her home in Bristol, United Kingdom to celebrate.
Decorations for the affair included balloons, party hats and confetti, all coordinated in her company’s brand colors for recognition. Guests included a 6-year-old black Labrador named Bertie; a 5-year-old Dachshund mix named Toby; and two mini Dachshunds, 4-year-old Trudie and 2-year-old Tilly, who arrived at the dining room in bow ties, ready to be served at the table.
Party food consisted of blueberries, raspberries, cucumbers, carrot sticks and dog-shaped coconut oil doggie treats, as well as a pet-friendly cake, adorned with edible dog bones along the sides and a number two on top. As the saying “Pictures or it didn’t happen” goes, a professional photographer documented the event so that the party could live on.
Parties are a great way to celebrate the ones you love in the presence of great company. You can get as creative as you want with the themes—and pet parties are no different! Because animals are often considered family, it’s no wonder that pet parents feel the need to go above and beyond for their furry companions. So next time a special occasion comes your way, consider featuring your four-legged family member as the star of the show. You may surprise yourself with the ideas you come up with, the people who will help and participate, as well as the amount of fun you will have.