10 Ways to Celebrate Your Dog's Gotcha Day

Posted by Erin Ballinger

Fido’s Gotcha Day is a special occasion on the calendar. Wondering what a Gotcha Day is? It’s the anniversary of a dog’s adoption. Since many pet owners don’t know their dog’s actual birthday, they celebrate this day instead. Whether you choose to make it a monthly or annual event, we’ve rounded up some of the most fun festivities and ways to spoil your pup on his Gotcha Day. These ideas will have your hound howling with joy for birthday celebrations, too!

Throw a Party for Your Pup

Party animals. Photo by iStock/Brand X Pictures

Party planning for your canine companion can seem daunting, but it’s actually very easy. Start with the BringFido Birthday Box, which has everything you need for your pup's "pawty." The box includes a Dog Birthday Cake Kit (featuring a reusable silicone bone-shaped pan, peanut butter-flavored cake mix, icing packet, and candle), a bag of Birthday Cake Bites dog treats, and a plush dog toy. If it's a big bash for your best friend, we suggest making some extra dog treats, stocking up on dog beer, and choosing a fun location. You can plan a playdate for your pooch and her posse at a local dog park, where they can run free and maybe even meet some new playmates, or raise a toast to her big day at the best dog-friendly brewery in your state. Invite your pup’s two- and four-legged besties, and let the fun begin!

Let Fido Pick Out a New Toy

“Can I get a new bone, too?” Photo by @xandertheaussiedog

Take your dog on a shopping spree at the pet store on his special day. Allow your pup to stroll the aisles (on-leash, of course!) and choose a new toy or bone. There are several dog-friendly chains where you can get in some “re-tail” therapy, or you can support a local pet store.

Hit the Road With Your Dog

“I ‘chews’ the scenic route.” Photo by BringFido/Karl

Your dog’s Gotcha Day is worthy of an epic adventure. Why not hit the open road and explore the best pet-friendly places in America? Take a road trip to charming small towns, European-inspired destinations, or iconic thoroughfares like The Great River Road, The Pacific Coast Highway, The A1A, and the most famous of them all, Route 66. For a less ambitious “pawty,” book an overnight stay at a hotel where Fido can be spoiled rotten by his own butler, play at an on-site dog park, or be within walking distance to the ocean. If he prefers vacation rentals, reserve the most luxurious dog-friendly Airbnb in your state.

“Whine” and Dine Your Furry Foodie

“This looks like enough for me.” Photo by @champagne.hachi

Have you ever taken your dog to a restaurant where he has his own menu? Treat your pooch to a night on the town at a gourmet restaurant with a dog menu for his Gotcha Day celebration, and you’ll both leave licking your chops. If you really want to spoil your special pal, check into a pet-friendly hotel with a doggy room service menu.

Do Fido’s Favorite Thing in the World

This water dog loves to get wet. Photo by @isabellaandpenelope

Besides spending time with you, what are your best friend’s favorite things to do? If she likes nothing more than a walk in the park, make it a memorable Gotcha Day with a trip to a dog-friendly beachfront park or one of these epic dog parks. If Fido’s a water dog, try one of these pet-friendly activities together. Outbound hounds will love a trip to a dog-friendly state or national park. Laid-back Labs might prefer a picnic on a nice day, while couch “pugtatoes” will be happy chilling on the sofa with treats, pets, and a good movie about dogs. Whatever Fido wants, Fido gets on Gotcha Day!

Treat Your Doggy Diva to a Spa Day

Treat Your Dog to a Spa Day Photo by @Liliboas

Pamper your pup with a rejuvenating day at the dog spa. In addition to warm and cleansing baths to make Fido feel and smell fabulous, you can treat your pooch to special treatments like blueberry facials, mud masks, and hydrotherapy treatments. If your canine doesn’t like going to the doggy day spa, you can spoil him with some at-home grooming instead.

Dress Your Dog to Impress

“I’m ready for my closeup.” Photo by iStock/pankration

Keep your handsome hound looking dapper with some new duds for his Gotcha Day. Whether he needs a spring outfit, winter jacket, raincoat, or hiking gear, he’s sure to look sharp with a new addition to his wardrobe. If you want to share in the celebration, pick out an on-trend matching ensemble from Fit Frenchies.

Plan a Photoshoot With Your Pooch

“This is my good side!” Photo by Treddy Chen on Unsplash

There’s probably no shortage of pics of your pup on your smartphone, but on Fido’s Gotcha Day, invest in a pro and make it a fun activity for the whole family. You can organize a photoshoot with your dog at picturesque spots around the country, or contact a local pet photographer to immortalize your “pawfect” subject on his special day.

Give Back to Your Local Animal Shelter

It feels grr-eat to donate! Photo by Facebook.com/GvilleHumaneSociety

Your dog’s Gotcha Day is an excellent time to help out local animal shelters. The most obvious way is to make a charitable contribution to your favorite local rescue in honor of your pup. But, you can also ask about their needs and set up a donation drive with your friends, family, and coworkers. Or, you can roll up your sleeves and volunteer by cleaning stalls or taking adoptable dogs on walks. Finally, crowdsourcing fundraising on your social media is another easy way you can give back in honor of your dog.

However you choose to celebrate Fido’s Gotcha Day, we know your dog will feel the love!

How do you celebrate your dog's Gotcha Day or Birthday? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by BringFido/Crystal.