Category Archives: Dogs

6 Tips For Planning Your Dog Birthday Party

The key to a successful dog birthday party (as with any other event) is in the preparation.

I thought I was slightly obsessed about my annual birthday celebrations for my dog and for many years kept it to myself for fear of being judged as the ‘crazy cat lady’ by my friends, until I found out that there are many people just like me out there who throw a dog birthday party each and every year for their beloved pooches. You can celebrate your dog’s actual birthday, the day of his adoption, or make a day up (but stick to that day each year)!

A number of surveys have shown that between 40 – 65% of dog owners celebrate their dogs birthday by throwing a dog birthday party, giving a dog birthday cake, special treat, new toy or commemorating with a trip to a special place.

If your planning on celebrating with a dog birthday party here are my 6 TOP TIPS that will help make the event run smoothly and ensure a fun filled day for your friends and their fury friends.

Before the big day you may want to consider some of the following:

1. Who to Invite

It is highly recommended to invite a small number of dogs that your dog is familiar with and played with before. Think about the space you will be hosting in and how many dogs you can cater for in this area without them trashing your house! And don’t forget adult supervision! Remember, every dog you invite comes with a human companion, which means there are two mouths to feed per invite. Don’t forget to check on food allergies and preferences for the dogs and their parents. You may like to include this on your puppy party invites.

If you’re worried about canine conflict at your party, just invite the birthday dog and his human friends. That way, he’s the centre of attention which he will no doubt love!

2. Food, Food, Food!

As with any great party food can make or break the event, and just like us – dogs love their food! Highest priority, of course, is the Dog Birthday Cake to celebrate your pooches special occasion. There are so many creative ways to make a dog birthday cake that your pooch will love, and it’s another fun family activity where you can be creative in the kitchen! You’ll probably find you have as much fun baking the cake as your dog will have eating it. There are so many different flavour combinations and creative decorating tips that can help make a unique dog birthday cake for your fury friend.

You will also need to serve up some tasty snacks and dog birthday treats for your pups fury friends. Providing Puppy Party Bags filled with treats and gifts are always a big hit for fury and human friends alike. There are loads of fun ideas on different party food that your dogs will love!

With all the excitement make sure to keep plenty of water easily accessible. Its best to have one bowl per dog spread around the yard for food and water to avoid conflict.

3. Entertainment

Party games are a great way to keep everyone entertained and are great bonding exercised for the dogs. There are so many great options – be sure to have your camera on hand to capture the memorable moments.

4. Theme

Dog birthday parties are all about creativity, so think outside of the box and consider organising your dog’s birthday party around a theme. There are so many cool options for themes for your dog birthday party. Some of our favourites (if we had to name a few) include pirate, halloween, princess, sports, superhero and beach themed dog birthday parties. Consider whether you want your guests to come dressed in costume for your chosen theme or whether your theme is for decorative purposes only. If you plan to host a dress up party then be sure to encourage your friends to bring their dogs in costume so that everyone enjoys the fun. There are so many great outfits to choose from for the special day.

5. Expect the Unexpected!

As the saying goes – accidents will happen – and with all the excitement expect the unexpected! Before the party be sure to take a good look around your space and remove anything valuable or that could be easily damaged by a swinging tail or the lift of a leg. But even the best planning cannot avoid all accidents so keep paper towels, cleaning spray, baggies and a first aid kit on hand just in case.

6. Greetings

Before the party gets into full swing introduce all dogs to each other outside of the yard/park in a neutral area to help avoid conflict later on. Be sure to ask your friends to bring dog leads for this, and once they’ve gotten acquainted you can show them into the yard or park and release them from the leads. If you have the party in your yard make sure your gate and fence are secure so all those celebrating are safe.

What You Should Know about Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

People always talk about having separation anxiety when their loved ones go on extended holidays or get assigned to work in far-flung areas. But what many don’t realize is that humans are not the only creatures that can experience this feeling. Dogs also develop separation anxiety, and it can become a problem both for them and their owners when the condition becomes severe.

Why do dogs have separation anxiety?
There are several events that can trigger What You Should Know about Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
in dogs. Those that are given up by their previous families and placed in shelters often exhibit this behavioral problem. This is also the case for dogs whose families have moved to a new home and those that have lost a human family member (either because of death or moving away).

Dogs whose owners change their schedule can also experience separation anxiety. For example, if you used to work at home but then get a new job in an office, your dog might get anxious when you leave for work since he’s used to having you at home the whole day.

Separation anxiety versus simulated anxiety
Just because you have a seemingly sad dog doesn’t mean he’s automatically going through separation anxiety. He might be experiencing simulated anxiety, which has similar symptoms with the former but is actually a type of learned dog behavior.

Simulated anxiety happens when the dog mainly wants to get his owners’ attention. For instance, if your dog frequently jumps on you, you might push him away to show that you don’t like his behavior. But, while the action might have a negative connotation on you, your dog might actually interpret it as positive since he got you to notice him. As a result, he’ll develop the habit of jumping on you when he wants your attention.

So how do you tell if your sad dog has simulated anxiety or true separation anxiety? Well, if your dog has the former, he’ll usually exhibit negative behavior most of the time; if he has the latter, he’ll usually behave badly only when you’re out of the house.

Signs of separation anxiety
Different dogs exhibit different behaviors, but there are several common signs that you should look out for. These include:

• Howling
• Excessive barking
• Pacing in a circular pattern or a straight line
• Digging (particularly in points of exit like doors and windows), sometimes in an attempt to escape
• Chewing on objects other than his toys, or excessively chewing to the point of destroying his toys
• Urinating or defecating, with some dogs even exhibiting coprophagia (eating their excrement)

How to reduce or eliminate separation anxiety
One of the first things you should do is to remove leaving and arriving cues (such as fussing over your dog when you get in the door). Acting like going to work and coming home are a big deal can actually make your dog more anxious, so go through your routine quietly and act like it’s a normal part of the day that your pet should get used to.

If your dog has mild separation anxiety, you can calm him down by giving him an activity toy that’s filled with delicious treats when you leave. This can distract him from your departure since his attention will be focused on extracting his snacks from the toy. It will also make him associate his alone time with a positive experience (i.e. enjoying yummy snacks).

If your dog has moderate to severe separation anxiety, he won’t be easily distracted with food. Because of this, the best thing you can do is to get the help of experts, like us here at Atlanta Dog Trainer. Through our professional dog training services, we can help your pet recover from separation anxiety and develop good dog behavior.