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RSVP: It’s Your Dog’s Gotcha Day!

All the ways to celebrate your party animal.

by Casey Gueren
April 1, 2021
happy dog with birthday cake in dog bowl

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Your last birthday guests may have included a bottle of wine and a Zoom screen, but the novelty of a virtual fête will be lost on your dog. Their ‘Gotcha Day’ is the anniversary of the day they were adopted, and as such, is deserving of a proper party — so what if they can’t read a calendar?

Let them eat cake

The way to a dog’s heart is through its stomach. Fortunately, if there’s one thing you learned during quarantine is how to bake. You did learn how to bake banana bread? Dozens of dog-friendly recipes, from carrot cake to peanut-butter pie, are a click away. If your dog doesn’t have a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with a home-cooked steak dinner.

Design a scavenger hunt

Your spoiled dog will never tire of new toys but rather than splurging on the umpteenth ‘indestructible’ one that will assuredly be reduced to a pile of stuffing before their special day is over, hide treats around your home and cheer on your pup from the sidelines.

Nutrition Calculator

If we could give our pets infinite treats, we would. But this tool will tell you the right amount to feed your friend.

Host a dog park party

Unlike booking a private karaoke room so you can let loose with your inner circle, your dog won’t object to reveling with their best friends and gate crashers alike at the local watering hole, a.k.a. the dog park. A good host never forgets party favors, and you can ask pet parents to pay it forward by donating to a dog rescue (perhaps the one where you found your pup, if they are adopted). Good luck getting your dog’s guests to wear party hats.

Splurge on designer duds

Some dogs are dressed better than their parents these days. Don’t let your pup suffer the shame of wearing a dupe at daycare and hook them up with some Maxbone streetwear.

Commission a portrait

Sure, your pup’s special day will be immortalized on Instagram for all eternity, but why not take it to the next level with a custom portrait. From a photorealist painting that captures your dog’s likeness to a cartoony sketch that captures their personality, a framable keepsake is more meaningful than a shareable one. 

These products were independently selected by our editors (and approved by their pets!) but if you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.
P.S. Prices may change, and if a product is out of stock, oops, it was there when we published it.

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Casey Gueren

Casey Gueren is a writer, editor, and content strategist. You can find her work at SELF, BuzzFeed, Women's Health, Cosmopolitan, and others.