How to Throw the Ultimate Puppy Birthday Party

Am I too old to throw a puppy-themed party for myself? Because I want one really, really bad.


As the eldest of 10 kids, I was fairly spoiled as a wee babe (at least before the other nine showed up and I had to share) and no stranger to themed birthday parties. But even though I was extremely dog-crazy and dog-deprived thanks to asthmatic siblings, my parents never thought to throw me a puppy-themed party. I didn’t realize how much I was missing until I stumbled upon these shots by photographer Jessica Kettle of her son Max’s third birthday celebration, which, if you’ll forgive the phrase, looked like a doggone good time.

She was kind enough to let me share them with you. So, behold: this is how you throw a doggie birthday party for your kid. Or your new puppy! Or for a full-grown person who is completely dog crazy (hint hint to my coworkers).

Jessica decided to throw her son a puppy party because for at least six months, he was determined to be a puppy.

“He would make me feed him out of my hand, he randomly would start crawling and barking (like, no matter where we are),” she wrote on her blog. “I would say ‘let’s go, Max,’ and he would immidiately correct me: ‘wet’th do, puppy!’ Thus, the puppy party.”

Above: The party spread, which included a display fire hydrant from Hobby Lobby and stamped butcher paper for a table runner.

The cake was genius: cradled in a pet dish from Pet Smart and topped with Cocoa Puffs!

The bags were stamped the same way the table runner was.

The guests got to eat with their faces on the floor, just like dogs! For games, they got to play “obedience school,” and “fetch,” which I’m guessing was too much fun for the adults watching.

I actually own this very same pinata pictured above — Dogster’s Managing Editor, Vicky, and another friend, Audrey, gave it to me when I left SF Weekly to run Dogster’s editorial program three years ago. It now sits in our office kitchen. Seeing it at Max’s birthday party brought a smile to my face.

And a party’s not a party without cookies! Jessica used a bone cookie cutter from Hobby Lobby.

All photos courtesy Jessica Kettle Photography.

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