Do You Celebrate Your Pet’s Birthday?

Iíve always celebrated all of my dogs’ birthdays and remember every one to this day. There is no big birthday cake, but I always honor the occasion in some special way. It usually involves a new toy, treats, and extra time with my birthday dog enjoying an outdoor activity together.

According to a study by the Purina Pet Institute, 43 percent of dog owners celebrate birthdays, while 29 percent celebrate their cats’ †birthdays. If thatís accurate, then Iím actually in the minority.

In contrast, a recent article in Psychology Today by Stanley Coren, PhD, referred to an online survey by Kelton Research. Of 1,000 people tested,

  • 81 percent of dog parents know their petsí birthdays
  • 77 percent have celebrated their petsí birthday by buying him or her a birthday present

My beloved Yellow Lab, Sanchez is 10 years old today, May 17. How could he possibly be 10 already? He was just a puppy yesterday, wearing his “Puppy in Training for Guide Dogs for the Blind” green jacket. Even though he was bred and raised to be a guide dog, he was “career changed” at 18 months of age, for being “too much dog” and I was then able to adopt him.

Heís taken the term “career changed” quite literally, as heís since had a multitude of careers, including agility, musical canine freestyle, acting, student greeter, and mascot/dog model/musical muse for Through a Dogís Ear. If he had become a guide dog, he’d most likely be retired by now. And I would have missed all of the wonderful birthdays we have shared together, including the current virtual party celebrating the wonderful gift he is in my life.

Do you celebrate your petís birthday? Thanks for answering in a comment and taking our poll. If you donít know the actual birthday, do you celebrate your adoption date or make up a date? A fan on Facebook, called it their “Gotcha Day.” Love that! What do you call it?

Have you seen the new Adoptable Pets page on Care2?† Please also share with your friends. Weíd love your help in finding homes for these adorable animals!

Delivering Calm, four paws at a timeÖ

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dogís Ear newsletter and/or Lisaís Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated from an earlier version that ran on May 17, 2012.



Barbara S
Barbara S6 months ago


Rosslyn O
Rosslyn Oabout a year ago

All ours have celebrations with a candle and song...Horses to goldfish and everything in between. The older they are they have the joy of hat, appropriate cake extra special favourite snacks to worming medication...!

natasha p
Past Member about a year ago


W. C
W. C1 years ago

Thank you.

William C
William C1 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jo S.
Jo S3 years ago

Thank you.

Jess No Fwd Plz K.
Jessica K5 years ago

Sure, why not. It also helped that my pets' birthdays were always near together for some reason. Made for a fun day. Thanks.

Kay Martin
Kay M5 years ago

Thank you Lisa for a good article, and thanks to the over 328 care 2 members that commented on this article, I enjoyed reading how each family celebrates the birthday of their pet children, either birth, or adoption, My story is, we celebrate the date my sister and I adopted our minature dashchund puppy from a rescue group. The first time, we went out to the pet store and bought all kinds of toys, chew bones, and gave them to her, She just looked at them and never tried to play with them, or chew on the bone nothing....So the next celebration was for christmas, so we tried again we got her a new bed and blanket, still nothing not interested would not get in the bed, and would not lay on the blanket, she preferred one of my old flannel sheets. I was going thru and giving away some old linens for the boys to use to cut up for rags to clean the cars. She sneaks over and drags the flannel sheet under my bed, as if to say I am hiding this for me. So that is what I let her have. and as far as special treats, she just loves little carrots cut up tiny ,or a small part of the white of an egg, or 3 small milk bone treats for her celebration. So she is the birthday girl so we give her what she likes, not what we like. That is what love is, go figure, we get off cheap here.

Wendy Hood
Wendy H5 years ago

Of course, it's the right thing to do!

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)