They Say It’s Your Birthday!

Your dog or cat’s birthday is approaching and you would like to mark the occasion in some kind of meaningful way (Presents? Cake? Even a party?). Don’t worry – you are not alone!

In the past 20 years, pets have cemented themselves as equal family members for the majority of the pet owning developed world. The fact that the amount of money spent on the pet industry in the United States has more than tripled from 17 billion in 1994 to 66 billion in 2016 speaks to this. No longer referred to as “the cat” or “the dog”, the pets that share our lives are now our “babies” or “fur kids” and the privileges that go along with such a relationship are vast.

A recent report from the UK showed that 90% of pet owners surveyed stated their pets received a birthday or Christmas present. An American survey showed that 7% of owners had holiday or birthday parties for their pet, and 28% bought birthday presents specifically.

While not everyone understands why someone would go to the trouble and expense for an animal that doesn’t understand the importance of one day over another, it is very meaningful for many people. The special relationship that comes from a pet that gives unconditional love to them every day of the year needs recognition, in the same way, you would for a human. In addition, if pet owners do not have children they have never experienced the joy (and stress!) of planning and executing a party; seeing their “child” open up the desired gift, and play with their friends in a fun activity.

The pet industry has caught on to this and is now providing pet-friendly cakes and recipes, loot bags, decorations, games, and indoor play facilities to host a party for your pet and their closest friends. A simple google of “Dog Party Toronto” will show a variety of options – whether you’re interested in a small gathering at your home or a large space for entertaining.

I have been blessed to have family and friends who understand (and share) the special love that I have for my dogs, and have participated in birthday parties with me in the past.  The joy I felt on these days has even surpassed my own birthday memories!  If you are a fellow pet ‘parent’ who marks the birthday occasion in any way big or small, know that your friends at McLean Animal Hospital understand, and would love to wish your sweetie a Happy Birthday!

dog cake

Peanut Butter Delight Dog Birthday Cake

-1 cup white or whole wheat flour

-1 tsp baking soda

-1/4 cup peanut butter

-1/4 cup vegetable oil

-1/3 cup honey

-1 egg

-1 tsp vanilla

-1 cup shredded carrots (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350  F (180 C). Mix flour and baking soda together. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a ring mold sprayed with nonstick spray for 40 minutes (or 15 minutes if cooking in a 9” round pan). Frost this cake with recipe provided and keep in refrigerator

Cinnamon Dog Birthday Cake Frosting

-8 to 12 ounces of nonfat cream cheese (room temperature)

-3 tsp cinnamon

-1 tsp vanilla

-1 tsp honey

Written by Stephanie Ferguson, RVT