PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to the 2016 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, nearly 30 percent of pet parents buy their dogs birthday gifts. PetSmart is here to serve pet parents across North America with the launch of its first-ever Birthday Collection, an assortment of festive toys, treats, apparel and accessories available year-round to celebrate birthdays and “Gotcha Days” – the day a pet was adopted.
The collection is available at all the 1,500-plus PetSmart stores across North America and PetSmart.com at the Birthday Shop, with items starting at just $4. Included in the festive line are puppy party hats, an “It’s My Birthday” bandana, “Happy Birthday to Me” and “Woof it Up! It’s My Birthday!” tees, plush and vinyl squeaker toys featuring colorful cupcakes, a birthday cake complete with candles and gift boxes, as well as a range of treats like the “Happy Birthday” frosted bone cookie, Birthday Cake Bites, the Pup-Pie Dog Treat, and the Molly’s Barkery at-home decorating kit with biscuits, icing and sprinkles.
“The PetSmart Birthday Collection features a range of items to make birthday or Gotcha Day celebrations even more festive and fun with our pets,” said Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, DIY expert and author of Dog Parties: Entertaining Your Party Animals. “I love the colorful and fun items in the collection. Whether you are looking for a great gift for a pet, a treat for a four-legged friend or for ways to enhance your next pet party, PetSmart has it all!”
Schlegel Whitman also offered these practical and celebratory tips to throw the perfect dog birthday bash:
- Create a fun dog-themed invitation to set the tone for the party. Consider a headline like “Calling All Party Animals” or “Please Join the Pawty.” Use graphical treatments like paw prints, dog bones or dogs donning party hats. Set expectations in your invite with “please join us with your dog on his/her favorite leash.”
Keeping it Friendly:
- Limit your dog guests to 10-12 for small breed and a max of eight for larger breed dogs.
- Invite guests you know, including dogs with whom your pup has socialized, so it’s not a first-time meeting at the party.
- Contain the doggie space with a fenced-in area. Consider using inexpensive, easy-to-install white picket fencing to create the dedicated pup birthday space.
Play Fun Games:
- Musical Sit is like Musical Chairs. Use hula hoops in lieu of chairs laid out in your backyard and play Elvis’ famed hit, Hound Dog. When the music stops, pet parent and dog must be in the hoop with the dog sitting, which also reinforces the sit command. As the rounds continue, a hula hoop is removed each time until there is one remaining pup – the winner of the game.
- Trick for Treat: Set up a dog treat table with 3-4 different types of treats and have each pet parent show off their dog’s skills from sitting to more elaborate tricks like dancing.
- Create a shareable pupsicle. Take a large pail and fill with water and some low-sodium chicken broth. Place colorful toy items from the PetSmart Birthday Collection and freeze in layers. Tip the large pupsicle out onto a low-standing silver platter and place it on the ground. This will offer a tidier option for puppy hydration than bowls of water and lots of fun as the dogs together lick their way to festive birthday-themed toys.
- Serve up this sharable Pup-Pie Cake complete with birthday candles and a group sing-along of Happy Birthday To You!
- Offer delicious pet-themed food for humans – like bone shaped tea sandwiches or chili dogs and a specialty drink like the Salty Dog.
- Keep the doggie and human fare separated. Today’s dog treats look so delicious, it’s hard to tell them apart!
- Create dog-themed décor like flower vases trimmed with bone-shaped doggie biscuits using a colorful ribbon to affix the biscuits to the vase or create a gift table swagged with a DIY pennant streamer featuring dog faces. Simply cut craft paper ears and tongues, use a marker to make eyes and a nose, add pipe cleaner whiskers and attach them to a classic pennant, transforming the triangles into doggie faces.
- Set up a “photo booth” area with hats, apparel, bandanas, toys and more from the PetSmart Birthday Collection. Use a large picture frame with “Pup’s First Birthday” using colorful Styrofoam letters as an old-fashioned frame-up for the solo or duo-dog photos. This is also the perfect spot to shoot a fun social-worthy group photo of all the doggie guests in their festive birthday party hats with the birthday dog front and center.
- Create a take-home Doggie Bag with festive items from the PetSmart Birthday Collection like the Squeaker Cupcake Toy, Happy Birthday Cookie and Birthday Hat. Keep the Doggie Bags by the door for guests to take as they depart the party.
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 55,000 associates, operate more than 1,500 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as pet-focused services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart® Doggie Day Camp® and pet adoption. PetSmart, together with non-profits PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, invite more than 3,000 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 7.4 million adoptions – more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. The company’s portfolio of digital resources for pet parents includes PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, OnlyNaturalPet.com, Pet360.com, petMD.com, Pawculture.com, AllPaws, an online pet adoption platform that helps potential pet parents find the perfect pet to adopt based on their home, family and lifestyle, as well as BlogPaws, the world’s first pet blogger and influencer network. Through these digital platforms, PetSmart offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, PetSmart launched its Buy a Bag, Give a Meal™ program in March 2017. For every bag of cat or dog food purchased March 1 – Dec. 31, 2017, PetSmart will donate a meal to pets in need and expects to donate more than 60 million meals in 2017*.
*Ends 12/31/17. 5 oz. dog food, 1.5 oz. cat food donated to PetSmart Charities to feed dogs and cats in need. See details at petsmart.com/giveameal. The actual number of meals donated is based on dog and cat food bags sold. The meal donation estimate is based on historic sales for similar time periods. No guaranteed amount. Rescue Bank and Feeding America will help distribute a large portion of the pet food donation in the U.S.