It's a dog's world! | india | Hindustan Times
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It's a dog's world!

Treats, special cakes, gifts, games and more – pooch parties organised by doting ‘parents’ are the latest dos in town. Here's how to plan a party for your pooch.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2010 16:18 IST
Parul Khanna

Pooch partyAs Toofan woofed out the candles on his cake, 20 close friends barked in applause. Toofan had just turned five and he was celebrating his birthday with his canine pals. Slices of his birthday cake were distributed, along with other treats. And then the games began – with prizes – chicken bones and balls. After all, it was Toofan’s birthday. So what if he’s a dog?

Doggy days out
To store manager Adeeti Sharma who hosted the party, Toofan, her Labrador, is not a pet. He’s her child. Which is why, she says, just like other kids, when he has a birthday, he should have a party. She’s not the only pet owner to think this way. Says Mumbai-based pet nutritionist Kat Ferrara, owner of Waggy Bags Gourmet Dog Barkery, a bakery that supplies gourmet food, cakes and treats for pets, “Celebrating one’s pet’s birthday is common in Europe and the US.

Here, the concept is slowly catching on. When I started four years ago, I’d get about two orders for cakes for dogs’ birthdays. Now, on an average I get 15 to 20 orders a month – sometimes, it goes up to 50. Just as with any child, a dog’s birthday must be special, say pet owners. Saraswati Nambirajan, vice president, JP Morgan, Mumbai, threw her German Shepherd Bosky a party when she turned one. “She had an aroma massage and then joined the party,” says Nambirajan. “She mingled with friends and had treats she is not usually allowed.

It was my way of showing her my love.”Pet ‘parents’ think hard about what their ‘child’ might want. Sharma’s Toofan had a great time when left free in the park with his pals. “Sometimes, when they live with humans, dogs forget that they are dogs,” says Sharma. “This kind of interaction with other dogs is healthy for them.” And dogs get tons of presents. “I remember my Labrador Banjo sitting in the middle of a pile of gifts,” says Anupama Vinayak of www.petvacations.in and party planner for doggy parties. “The gifts ranged from bones to a bed, toys and collars.”

Canine capers
Only the dog’s friends, pet parents and pet lovers are invited to such parties. When Vinayak celebrated Banjo’s fifth birthday, she invited 40 doggy friends and 100 human friends. Banjo had made these friends on his walks in Aarey Milk Colony, Mumbai. “I befriend people who walk their dogs there,” says Vinayak. “Our dogs also get friendly.” And, as with any party, the aim is to eat well.

The birthday girl or boy cuts the cake (with a little help), slices are distributed among canine pals, and snacks are served. Kat Ferrara makes cakes of chicken, mutton and beef combined with fruit, as well as vegetarian cakes for dogs with food taboos. She also makes cupcakes and gourmet meals on order. “My chicken and apple cake is the most popular,” she says. She avoids sugar and other substances harmful for dogs. But Nambirajan likes the idea of treats. “At Bosky’s party, I ordered ice-cream for the dogs,” she says.

“Having it once in a while won’t harm them.” Then there are games with prizes. Some games test the dog, says Vinayak. So prizes are awarded to the dog who rolls the best, shakes paws the most courteously, etc. “At Bosky’s party, we had paper tunnels. Parents and dogs raced through them to be first,” says Nambirajan. Homemaker Megha Anand, a Delhi-based pet parent to Doberman Simba, organised musical chairs, played by both parents and pets.

Plan the party
Open space
: Have it outdoors, so dogs can run around freely.
Water: Ensure there’s plenty.
Treats: Either order online or get them from pet shops.
Toys: Keep rope toys so the dogs and humans can play tug of war.
Friends: No party is complete without doggy guests. So encourage your pet to socialise while on a walk so he or she can make friends.