In my last post, I talked about National Love Your Pet Day, and this post is a bit of an extension to my previous post. Once again, I want to celebrate our 4-legged or feathered or scaly or underwater or amphibious friends.
do you know the actual birth date, or do you make one up?
You may know your pet’s exact birthday or maybe you have an approximate idea, and you chose a date that you liked. The latter is usually the case if your pet is a rescue. For our rescue animals, we’ve always considered their adoption date to be their birthday because that’s really when their new life with us began.
PET party planning
If we have chosen a birthday for our pet, the degree to which we celebrate that birthday is pretty much all over the place, isn’t it? Some are happy to just acknowledge it in the family by mentioning it. Some people do a little something special like give their pet an extra long walk, some extra attention or even a new toy. And then there are the “enthusiastic pet birthday celebrationalists”. You may be surprised to find that I just made that term up, right here and now.
These “extreme pet celebrationers”, (yep, another new made up term) will often choose to have a full-out birthday party for their furry, feathered or fishy family members. In complete honesty, I have never actually been to a pet birthday party, but in keeping with my practice of elevating any and all celebrations, I think it’s my duty to help plan the appropriate event!
First things first! As with any special party, the first step is to invite a few guests. My suggestion would be to narrow your guests down to the same species as the guest of honor, with their human as their escort. It may not be a good idea to have Peter-the-Rabbit from next door or Porky-the-guinea pig, from down the street coming to your German Shepherd’s birthday party. So, know your audience and be respectful of nature’s pecking order when selecting your guests.
An evite or verbal invitation would be perfectly acceptable, but I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the adorable paper invitations I found online at Amazon, so I’ll include a couple of links, in case you’re interested.
Activities and treats
For activities and entertainment, if at all possible, have this party outdoors. The guests will all be much happier and the cleanup will be 100% easier for you. You can have some tennis balls and a few tugging toys around the yard, some fun music playing and plenty of water bowls laying around. Make sure there are some shady spots for the pups to lay down in and take a break from all the socializing.
Food is easy, because in my latest video entitled Homemade Doggie Treats Recipe, I will give you recipes to make pumpkin and peanut butter treats and your pooches will all go crazy. Here is the link to my video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNz8QzQtlEo
It would also be a good idea to make some extra so that the guests can all go home with their own Doggie Bag! (Is anyone out there enjoying my humor as much as I am? – Yeah, doubtful!)
I do want to give a few suggestions on getting your dog ready for this event, whether he/she is the Birthday Dog or one of the beloved guests. A bath and nice grooming would be appropriate so that your little bundle of fur is looking and smelling their best.
Taking your dog to the groomer is obviously the easiest way to go, however, it can be quite expensive and may not be in your budget. Or maybe you have an elderly dog, like I do, who becomes anxious and traumatized going to the groomers and being around unfamiliar people, odors and sounds. For my 15-1/2 year old Maltipoo (Maltese/poodle mix), I can no longer safely take him to the groomer because he’s deaf, has a hard time seeing and is only 7 pounds, so the stress of being left with a groomer is just to hard on him now.
wash & dry
There are so many great shampoos out there for your pets, so you can ask your veterinarian or another pet owner for recommendations. I will give you a couple of my own suggestions here, however you should be sure to keep your dog’s skin sensitivity into account, and make sure you rinse the shampoo out of their hair for an even longer period than you would think you should.
After shampooing your dog, you will want a good dog brush to get all the tangles out of the hair, and the brush is completely dependent on what size your dog is and what type of fur or hair they have. The sales associates in the store should be able to guide you in the right direction with those decisions.
I always use several old towels to dry the dog’s fur as much as possible and then I take my hair dryer at a warm (not hot) and low setting, and then I blow dry the hair using a brush as I go around my dog. It’s important to get your dog as dry as possible, especially in colder weather.
final grooming touches
After your dog is clean, use cotton balls to gently wipe out the insides of their ears and a doggie toothbrush to brush the tartar buildup off their teeth. If your dog isn’t used to a toothbrush, you can start getting them used to the process by using a wet washcloth, wrung dry, and using your finger and the washcloth, gently wipe around each tooth in a small circular motion.
DIY PET BANDANA
Once your pup is clean, dry and ready to party, you can add that extra bit of style by using a custom made bandana to tie around his/her neck, over the collar. The easy step-by-step tutorial is below.
Materials Needed for Bandanas
At least one 18” x 21” piece of cotton material, otherwise known as a “Fat Quarter”, in the quilting world
One set of pinking shears (zig zag scissors) or plain sharp scissors
One roll of heat bond hem adhesive, 3/8” or slimmer
Tape measure or ruler
Iron your material out, removing any creases
For a larger sized dog, you will need a piece of fabric that is triangle shaped, with the long side being about 22 inches long and the two shorter sides are approximately 20 inches each. Remember, the measurements on this don’t need to be perfect. I laid out my piece of fabric with the long side across the top, and then I folded each side into the center to make an even point on the end. (see photo)
Iron along each of the two folds to make a crease on each side.
If you don’t have the heat bond hem adhesive, cut along each of the creases with pinking shears. This helps to keep the fabric from fraying. Also, cut just barely across the length of the long side so the the edge has the zig-zag to keep it from fraying, too.
If you have the hem adhesive, fold in approximately 1/2” along each of the edges of the material and iron them to make a crease. Then cut a strip of the hem adhesive for each side, making the strip long enough to fit under the folded crease. Then take your iron (not on steam setting) and press the hem adhesive in between the 2 sides of the folded crease, holding the iron for 3-5 seconds along small sections as you go along the edge.
For your dog to wear the bandana, there are basically two options for securing it around their neck. The usual way is to take the two outside corners and tie the fabric together in a little knot around their neck (make sure it’s not too tight!). If this is how you’d like to leave your bandana, then you’re done. Congratulations!
I found that I needed to make the bandana too large to have enough fabric to tie it, so I came up with an easier solution. I used adhesive backed velcro strips and put a small piece of velcro on two corners of the bandana. This makes it easier to take it on and and off your dog’s neck, and I think it fits better, too. If you are using the adhesive backed velcro, I would also add a small amount of fabric glue on the back of the velcro to be sure it stays in place. Congratulations, you’ve finished your cute bandana!
The finished product in the larger size
Smaller Size Bandana
Same as Step 1 for larger bandana
For smaller dogs, you use a piece of fabric that is approximately 19-1/2 inches along the long edge and approximately 14 inches across the shorter sides.
Steps 3 – 5b
Follow the steps as above for the larger size.
If you’d like a few fun suggestions on some great dog toys or accessories, I will list a few of my favorite things, of various prices.
Calming Dog Bed (medium dogs)
**My dogs LOVE these beds.
These bandanas, as you can see, are super easy and a fun accessory for your dog (or cat!) to wear. I hope you’ll try them out, and I hope you will celebrate your pets, because in spite of them being a lot of work, they do so much for us!
Thanks for stopping by my website and reading my blog!