Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A Tail Wagging Good Time: Harry's Dog Party

Dear Pet People,

My dog, Harry turned 8 this week and we celebrated with a special doggy birthday cake and a little party. The recipe for the cake is here.  As with any great party, part of the fun is the recap.

Harry was on his best behaviour, and aside from wolfing down his share of the cake in five seconds flat, he didn't embarrass me with any 'Frat Boy' antics.

Here he is waiting for the cake.  It was Harry's own idea to hop onto one of the chairs.  I guess dogs who get birthday cakes don't have to sit on the floor.

Harry is wearing the Red Glitter Paw tag.  

Notice the expression of focus and patience giving way to frantic anticipation.  It's the same look he gives the pizza delivery guy.

Harry loved the cream cheese frosting.  Again, this cake looks good, but the human taste-tester (who prefers to remain anonymous) gagged when she took a bite.

Some action shots:

The cake was a bit/a lot chewy, which slowed him down a little.

We gave Harry a new chew toy at which point he ran inside to enjoy some chewing time - alone.  No diva type behaviour from this dog!

You can read my tips for planning your own dog birthday party here.

Enjoy your pets,


Sunday, 19 August 2012

A Birthday Cake You Won't Like...

Dear Pet People,

I just baked a birthday cake for my dog - now that's something I didn't think I would ever say!  Harry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel turns 8 tomorrow and we feel like celebrating; which means we need a cake.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of recipes all over the internet for dog birthday cakes, but none of them perfectly meet Harry's dietary restrictions.  He's on a low-protein, wheat-free, lower-fat, sugar-free, preservative-free diet.  Basically, he can't have any of the good stuff.  

I channeled my inner Julia Child and came up with a "birthday cake" recipe for my doggy birthday boy.  The cake's in the oven right now and it actually smells pretty good - but I still don't think I'm going to try it!  I have a feeling Harry will love his birthday cake- but then, he's eaten ivory soap before, so there's that.

Here's the recipe I put together to make a dog birthday cake:

Harry's Doggy Birthday Cake

Harry's Birthday Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Lightly grease an 8 inch round cake pan.


  • 1 cup of barley flour
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tblspns of oil
  • pinch of cinnamon 


  • Lightly beat the eggs and add in the oil, pumpkin and applesauce.
  • Mix well.
  • Slowly add the barley flour and cinnamon and stir well. 
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes.

Note: This cake will not rise since I haven't included baking powder or baking soda in the recipe.  I have read conflicting information about whether baking soda and baking powder are safe for dogs, so I erred on the side of caution and left them out.

  • Once the cake is completely cool, frost with whipped low-fat plain cream cheese (thinned with a bit of milk or water if necessary).
  • I used crumbled dog treats and blueberries for decoration.

Harry will just get a small piece of his birthday cake for dessert - we don't want any upset tummies! 

Enjoy your pets, and Happy Birthday, Harry!


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Birthday Party Tips - Gone To The Dogs

Dear Pet People,

The family is celebrating!  Our sweet boy Harry is turning 8 years old and we've decided to have a paw-ty! Of course, Harry doesn't have a clue that he's going to be the birthday boy.  The party's more for us, actually; a way for us to get together and enjoy the wonderfulness that is Harry!

Celebrating a pet's birthday is becoming more and more common.  The Purina Pet Institute suggests that about 43% of owners commemorate their dog's birthday or adoption date.  Whether you mark the occasion with a new toy, extra snuggles, or a themed bash, dog birthdays are yet another indication of the importance of pets in our lives.

Harry's party will be a fairly simple affair.  If you decide, however, to make your dog's birthday a tricked-out social event, here are some handy tips to get the party started.

Choose the Date

Plan the party on or around your dog's actual birthday (if you know it), or on the date of his/her adoption.

Choose the Location

If you plan to invite 4-legged friends and their people, make sure your home or backyard can accommodate the whole group.  If your dog has lots of dog friends who are well socialized, consider gathering in a local park (with leashes attached) or in a leash-free area for dogs.

Invite the Guests

Be sure that all invited doggy guests are healthy, up-to-date with vaccines, are spayed/neutered and friendly with dogs and people alike.  

Don't forget to mention to your people guests that dogs will be in attendance.  This is especially important for those with allergies and special consideration will be needed for children who may be attending the dog-party. 

Try to ignore any eye rolls you may get when you invite people to a dog birthday party!  Some people just don't get it.

Plan the Party Food

Fresh water for the dogs is essential.  Treats for dogs should be limited and simple. No one wants to deal with the after effects of a pooch with an upset tummy!

Stick to well tolerated treats such as apples, carrots, watermelon or plain dog cookies. 

A dog birthday cake is a must-have. You can either bake your own or order it from one of the many dog gourmet shops opening in larger urban areas.  Each dog should have only a few spoonfuls of the "cake". Use individual plates in order to avoid disaster!

Since Harry is on a low-protein, wheat free diet, I will be baking his cake.  This should be interesting and I'll let you know how it goes!

Don't forget about nibbles and drinks for your people guests!


Honestly, if your dog is fortunate enough to have a family who plans a birthday party for him/her, they're are already quite lucky, and don't need gifts.  Most people are very aware of the plight of animals in shelters.  Consider asking guests to bring donations of clean bedding, toys or blankets for dogs in shelters - or guests could make a cash donation to an animal welfare organization.


Decorations are always fun!  Select a theme and let your imagination run off-leash!  Paw Prints, Rocker Chic, Ultimate Frisbee, Prince or Princess, Hawaiian are just the beginning of party theme ideas.  

Be sure that all decorations are safely out of reach of the dogs - some dogs will eat anything and everything.


Always make sure the pets are properly supervised.  (Depending on the human crowd you roll with, this tip may apply to them as well!)  Make sure the backyard or home is secured so that no one wanders off.  Be sure there are no choking hazards within the dogs' reach and keep any food or beverages served to people guests away from the dogs as well.

This is a photo-shopped image - never put lit candles close to your dog.

Small children and dogs always need to be supervised when they are together.

Clean Up 

Life happens .... you will need a supply of poo-bags, paper towel and stain remover!

Have Fun!

Dogs are in our lives for such a short time - and yet they rapidly become loved and valued family members.  Take lots of pictures and create lots of memories!

Enjoy your pets,


Coming up next - A Dog Birthday Cake Recipe

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Pet ID Tags For Cool Dogs

Dear Pet People,

Is your dog one cool dude?  Does he have a rock 'n roll edgy vibe?  Or maybe your darling's a bit of a diva.

Your dog is totally unique and you know it! That's why you want an id tag that perfectly suits your pet's personality.

Rockin' doggie is a new line of designer id tags at

All rockin' doggie tags are "handcrafted in the United States using the best materials available and the highest level of craftsmanship".  These id tags are made from pup safe, lead-free pewter.  They are simply gorgeous!

Our selection of rockin' doggie disc tags feature a recessed glitter background and a variety of center shapes: heart, four-leaf clover, peace symbol, crossed bones, and a star.  Perfect for pet people who want a cool, yet elegant looking tag.   

These disc tags are durable!  At 25mm diameter (about the size of a quarter), they will fit nicely onto the collars of most sizes of dogs.

Looking for a totally unique tag for your little diva or rock star?  The 'Diva', 'Spoiled' and 'rockin doggie' tags are both fun and sophisticated.  

These pet tags rock the trendy layered look!  An inscribed ribbon, heart and doggie bones work together to produce a visually fabulous tag.  The lettering on the tag is slightly recessed and darkened.  Also made from lead-free pewter, this style of tag feels light (perfect for little dogs), yet it's hardy enough to withstand most doggie antics. This is the Yorkshire Terrier of pet id tags!

Lulu of rockin' doggie, Modeling a Heart Tag

Medium and larger sized cool canines can also have fun with the rocker chic look, too!  The engraveable guitar pick id tags pay homage to the legends of rock and roll.  They are a totally unique style of dog id tags.  The lettering is slightly recessed and darkened. You'll notice the high quality of  rockin' doggie tags the minute they're in your hand.  The edges are smooth, the lettering and designs are exceptional and the attention to detail is outstanding.

I love rockin' doggie's guitar pick tags so much that I now have the Elvis inspired 'The King' on my keychain!

As an added benefit, rockin' doggie donates a portion of all proceeds to providing dogs to those with special needs! is proud to carry a large selection of dog id tags from rockin' doggie. We think that these are some of the best and coolest pet identification tags on the market!

Enjoy your pets,