Is there a more exciting experience than being a pet parent? We take care of our furry friends almost like our own children and that certainly means celebrating special occasions together. Even though they can be super smart, we’ve all wondered at one time or another: do dogs know when it’s their birthday?
Everyone can recognize our pets are more intelligent than we usually give them credit for, with amazing skills humans lack like the ability to track a scent trail and their advanced memory skills. However, when it comes to complex thinking, there's no actual cognitive capacity that enables them to perceive the concept of celebrating a birthday with a big display as we usually do.
Do they understand it's their birthday?
Experts in dog behavior even say that, in terms of comprehension, they're approximately the same mental age as a two-year-old toddler, which means what they really have is not a full notion of what a birthday means, but rather a feeling about the environmental change around them, so pups may not understand the gesture but are sure able to recognize a fuss when they see one.
In other words: your furry friend is obviously not entirely rational, but dogs DO have a sixth sense for celebrations and party vibes and they will definitely notice changes in their routine. That means they’ll know something’s up if you show up with an unusual amount of treats, take them to a new place or just act a little different around them - don’t be surprised if they respond with suspicion or excitement.
Celebrating a birthday or “adoptaversary” can get a dog parent so much joy that it's more than encouraged to celebrate the date as long as your pet likes the idea too! If you're thinking "party time!" but also "what should I get them?", here are a few things you can do to throw your special friend a memorable birthday and spoil them as they deserve:
Get them a custom portrait:
Pets are members of our family and every dog parent’s camera roll is filled with pictures of our "fur babies". Turn your favorite pic into a modern pet portrait and add that cozy touch to your home decor - after all, what’s the point of being an obsessed pet parent if no one knows about it?
Get them a personalized mug:
Here’s another idea - turn your favorite pic of your pup into a custom dog mug! There's no cozier feeling than sipping on your morning coffee and snuggling up with your fur child in the morning. The best part is they’ll be next to you for every sip.
Throw your pup a party:
ig: lucylovesyou.frenchie | theminischnauzersibs
No birthday is complete without a party - for dogs especially, it might be a welcome experience since they've historically lived in packs and evolved to view humans as equals and one of their own. Social interaction through celebrating their birthday, for instance, can totally feed their need for connection and belonging.
The perfect birthday party includes your pup's most cherished friends, whether they're humans or animals, so invite them over for an afternoon of canine shenanigans. Feel free to customize the playlist with songs that fit your dog’s personality. The celebration could also be a movie night or a pajama party 🎉
Bake them a wheat-free cake:
Birthdays remind us of how lucky we are to have spent another year with the ones we love so it's only fair to throw your four-legged friend a birthday party! And it wouldn't be the same without cake they can enjoy safely - this one looks so yummy it almost makes you want some. They also have ice cream and cookies especially made for dogs so you can please all pup guests!
These dog birthday cakes come complete with frosting so you can have a dog bakery at home. The treat requires only eggs, oil, and water for a special cake entirely edible for dogs. Microwave or bake, either way, they're quick, easy and fun.
Take them to a special place:
Can you tell how much your dog is obsessed with their daily walk? It could be extra special if you take them someplace new on their birthday. You can try exploring a new hiking trail together or maybe take your dog to a new park. To make it even more fun for them, don't forget to let him take his time to sniff around and take in all those new and exciting scents.
As natural explorers at heart, a picnic at the park could make your furry friend’s day. Whether it is a beautiful morning at the beach or a trip to the lake for a swim, a day away from your dog’s usual routine will help you give them the best birthday possible.
Whether you want to take your dog out for ice cream and then to the park for a walk, or surprise him with a party, they'll likely know something's up. No matter how you end up deciding to celebrate, don't forget to ensure the moment is truly pleasant for all humans and animals involved when making plans. It's important to guarantee he's well-socialized with your guests, so the occasion won't be for your benefit alone. Dogs may not be able to comprehend the specifics of a celebration but they can sure enjoy it along with us.