Let’s paw-ty — lavish birthday bashes all the rage for dogs

ABC Riverland

By

Catherine Heuzenroeder

Updated

February 08, 2018 06:52:08

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Kymberlee Alderson with border collie Bailey, who will celebrate her second birthday with 43 pals. (ABC Riverland: Catherine Heuzenroeder)
If you think about it the things we need to provide to our children the dogs deserve the same thing,” Dr Smith said.Throwing your pet a party may be more about you than your four-legged friend.”If you think about children’s birthday parties these days, everybody’s first birthday parties for their children become epic events with big birthday cakes; it’s a similar thing with pet parties, they are becoming reflections of ourselves, our relationships and our status,” Dr Smith said.”A lot is anthropomorphism; we impart human traits and feelings and thoughts onto objects and non-human animals.” Dog owners are throwing their beloved pooches parties that rival even the most elaborate kids’ birthday celebrations.The so-called dog ‘paw-ty’ has all the trimmings of an Instagram-worthy child’s affair complete with party hats and tiaras, balloons, bubbles, decorations, guest party bags and treats.Kymberlee Alderson has embraced the trend and expects 43 border collies will attend Bailey’s second birthday this weekend.”It’s taken a lot of planning, making bunting, ordering decorations, making sure it all gets here on time,” Ms Alderson said. He said that dogs were social animals but there were important factors to consider at a dog party.He recommended dog parties be hosted in a large, neutral space to help reduce territorial behaviour.”The best toy for a dog is another dog, so when we think about bringing dogs together for these sorts of events we want to make sure that we minimise their access to toys and bones and possibly even their owners,” Professor McGreevy said.”All those items dogs tend to regard as resources so we don’t want resource guarding behaviours at something that is supposed to be fun for everyone.”Professor McGreevy has conducted research that shows humans often fail to understand what makes dogs happy.Signs that your dog is not happy includes them fleeing, freezing or flirting (showing submissive behaviour).”They are so amenable that we can imagine they are having a good time even if we are failing to meet their behavioural needs.”

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Balls and bubbles are popular at dog parties. (Supplied: Kymberlee Alderson)
She hosted a large party for Bailey’s first birthday and regularly makes the 500-kilometre round trip from her home in Cobdogla to Adelaide to take her pup to parties and beach walks.She said dog parties were becoming common among certain types of dog owners.”It’s sort of an Instagram thing, a lot of people do it with their dogs if they have an Instagram page,” Ms Alderson said. (Supplied: Kymberlee Alderson)
Make sure your dog is happy at a partyUniversity of Sydney Professor Paul McGreevy is an animal science and welfare expert. (Supplied: Kimberlee Alderson)
More about the owners than their dogsDr Bradley Smith is a senior lecturer of psychology at CQUniversity and he said that dogs required food, water, comfort, security and physical and mental exercise.”They are very similar to a child really. External Link:

Instagram post of rambothepuppy
Bailey’s party will be held at Lake Bonney in Barmera in South Australia’s Riverland and there will be kayaks available for owners to take their dogs for a paddle as well as doggie treats, balls and bubbles.”Last year we got pup cakes from a supplier in Adelaide,” Ms Alderson said.The dogs’ owners are all members of Facebook group Border Collie Owners South Australia and they will travel from across the state for the party.Dog owners enjoy chance to socialiseIt is not just a chance for the dogs to play but for their owners to meet each other and discuss their pooches — and they certainly draw a few smiles from passers-by.”Everyone loves it; you don’t see that many of the one breed all at once, so it’s really good,” Ms Alderson said.But what do dogs make of all the birthday fuss? Photo:
Wrapped dog bowls filled with doggie treats were given out as party favours at Bailey’s first birthday party. Photo:
Border collies celebrate Bailey’s first birthday last year with a splash and paddle at Lake Bonney in Barmera.
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