60% of dog owners in America celebrate their dog’s birthday. When you have a rescue dog, you might not always know the exact date that your dog was born, so why not celebrate their “gotcha day” instead? Bringing a new family member home is certainly something special to commemorate. You can throw a little party at the dog park and take them to some of their favorite places as a treat.
Invite some friends
If your rescue dog enjoys the company of other canines, then invite a few of their friends over. If you want a little more space, arrange a time and date to meet at the park so that they can play together. You could pick somewhere with barbecue facilities, or ask each of their human counterparts to bring a plate of something tasty to eat. You can even set up a social media page for celebrating your dog’s special day and ask people to share photographs.
Some tasty birthday food
For your gotcha party, don’t be tempted to feed canine guests anything that you wouldn’t normally give your dog, or you could end up giving them tummy ache or worse. You can, however, use their regular dog food and shape it into a special birthday cake. You can also give them natural treats, such as fresh carrots, sliced apples and banana. Don’t ever give a dog human cake, as sugar is toxic to them. Sweeteners such as xylitol are also harmful, and can result in liver failure.
Get them a special gift
What better way is there to celebrate your dog’s gotcha day than to get them a gift? Toys help your dog to relax and provide the essential mental and physical stimulation that they need. Playing with a toy also helps them to learn, and promotes natural behaviors such as exploring and foraging – it is a rewarding experience for them. Balls are, of course, one of the most popular gifts to give a dog, particularly for working breeds like Labradors and Spaniels. Treat-dispensing toys and puzzle toys are also a good idea if you have a curious and fun-loving dog, or a chew toy that won’t break into component parts. A rescue dog + a new toy = instant happiness.
The day you brought home your rescue dog is extremely special. Throwing a gotcha party is a great way of celebrating this milestone together.
Article by: Jane Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and dog owner