Planning your Pets Birthday Party!

Updated: Jun 14


I read this quote recently,

" The amazing thing about having a dog is even though neither of you speak the same language, you develop this deep connection that you will never share with a human" (author unknown)


How true is that quote? I know with my own dogs we have a relationship that others would not understand. Each one is special in their own way.


This chocolate (gray, white) Goldendoodle (Ziggy) has had my whole heart his whole life. He turned twelve (12) years old in March. He is now 12 years and 3 months old. I am counting every day.


We have always celebrated their birthdays. My husband usually cooks hamburgers for them or some kind of meat. Its their special day. They don't know why, but they know they are special.


Being a pet photographer, of course I take photos every year. Sometimes, it is just with my cell phone and other times we go to the studio.


Planning a pet birthday photo session or a cake smash. Here are a few steps:


  • Plan where you want to photograph. In studio, your back yard, at a park or in your kitchen.

  • Are you going to have pet friends and humans at your doggy birthday party? I suggest if you are having pet friends & their humans to have the party in your backyard OR in your home. Familiar surroundings and less distractions.

  • In studio - decide on the backdrop or backdrop color. In studio (aka: cake smash) is only for one dog.

  • What will the dog be wearing? Birthday hats, bandanas, neck ties etc. I usually add one at a time in photographs. Start with the bandana and work up to the hat.

  • They have to wear the hat or props - I do not add them later.

  • Some dogs do not like balloons. Others love to play with them and pop them. That's ok. It is their day. Let them have fun.

  • The cake ! There are many dog bakeries around. I have a few cake plates to put them on. I have had clients make their own cakes. I have also used faux birthday cakes and cupcakes. My personal dogs do not like cakes. (However I made this one in the photos - Ziggy spit the blueberries out!) They are meat eaters. I have put a hamburger on a plate for photos. I love stacking up hamburger patties and put candle numbers on top. Or just use the faux cakes and give them the meat later. Also, if dogs do not like the cakes....we put some turkey or peanut butter on the back of the cake - to get photos of them eating it.

  • Some dogs will pick up in the entire cake at one time and its gone. Trust me I am fast with the shutter and get the photos.

  • If the birthday party is at your house with friends - there will be photos of everyone. (When you are purchasing your prints - a photobook is awesome. Have the entire birthday party in on professionally printed album)


  • Have fun. Lets get random photos of your pet. Having fun and eating cake. I will get the photos so don't worry about "sit & stay" photos. You will love the birthday photos.




  • Last but not least, jump in a couple of photos with your pets. I know - so many of us do not want to be in the photos. You will thank me later. Even one shot means so much. I always like to be behind the camera. I hate having my photo taken. But I even set up the tripod and camera on a timer to get this shot. I also had to take about 500 shots to get TWO ! (if I haven't mentioned, I have a ton of patience)

  • Ziggy has lost his hearing at 12 years old. So sounds don't always get his attention. But he is a meat eater. So I sat a piece of turkey ON the camera! Otherwise he would not look at the camera. He also ate a lot of turkey during the 500 shots! Fun....its all about fun for our pets and for us. You have to enjoy it.



Book your Pets Birthday party sessions EARLY. If you book their sessions ON their birthday it will be 7-10 days later before you get your proofs. If you book your session a month early - it gives me time to edit, get your proofs, order prints and books and get your watermarked digitals to share on social media.







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