Celebrate 8 Important Dog Milestones

adult tan and white french bulldog

Reasons to Celebrate With Your Dog

Dog birthday celebration. Mark dog milestones.
“Let’s get this party started!!”

 Celebrate dog milestones like your pup’s birthday.

The minute your pet walked into your life, everything changed. You nabbed an instant best friend who you get to watch grow from stranger to family member. If your dog entered your world as a puppy, you quite literally get to watch them grow and learn every single day. And all pet parents know that all dog milestones are precious, and you don’t want to miss even one!

Consider marking any of these milestones with a royal pet portrait and turn your pet into a true king or queen with a canvas portrait. 

Here are some of the biggest ones to celebrate throughout the year.

Birthday

Frankie eating a birthday cookie for his first birthday.
Frankie turning 1 year old!!

Your dog’s birthday was one of the best days of your life, so you want to celebrate this dog milestone every year. For the big first birthday, get all the neighborhood animals—plus your two-legged friends and family members—together for a fiesta. Celebrate each year with a fancy new squeaky toy and a homemade pet cake. Be sure to create your own birthday traditions each year, like a trip to the pet store or dog park.

Gotcha Day

Chloe in my arms like a baby.
Chloe when we got her from a local rescue.

Understand your new dog may have baggage from a previous owner who was abusive or neglectful.

Gotcha Day is the special day a person or animal joins their family by adoption and considered one of the major dog milestones. It’s especially important for pet parents who don’t know the exact birthday or history of their furry friend due to them having multiple owners or unknown life history. Even if you do know your pet’s actual birthday, as anyone with a beloved furry family member can attest, his or her Gotcha Day is one of the most memorable moments during your life together! We all remember that first ride home and wet kiss!

Officially potty trained

photo of brown and white boston terrier puppy sitting on grass
“Well, if I knew it was that easy to get treats I would have went potty faster!”

If you got your little guy as a puppy, you know what a big deal this is! And, since positive reinforcement and rewards are recommended by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a great way to train and bond with a pet, this is one milestone where it’s A-OK to pile on the kisses, snuggles, treats, and toys. You can—and should—celebrate all the significant developments in behavior and training as your pet gets older.

Obedience school graduation

Cute Pug puppy in a graduation cap
“I’m so proud of myself for not eating poo anymore!”

Ah, you must be so proud! Your pup passed puppy school! This is a huge deal and means that your pet is ready for a long life of behaving well in your household. To celebrate your pup’s transition into adulthood, surprise them with a cute dog bandana that shows their big personality. Whether they are shy, spunky, or protective of their owners, there’s a pup scarf to help celebrate it.

Christmas

Chloe's first Christmas with antler headband.
Chloe’s First Christmas
Frankie's Christmas
Frankie’s Christmas

We love Christmas with our pets because it’s SO cute to hang doggie and kitty stockings from the fireplace. Oh, and then there’s the fun part—filling them up and watching them dig through them on Christmas morning! You could start a memorable tradition of sending out funny photo cards featuring your favorite furry model or taking your pets to meet and take pictures with Santa at the mall or pet store. You could also dress them up for the holidays because nothing’s cuter than a dog in jingle bells and a dog in a Santa hat!

National pet days

gray short coated dog sitting around confetti
“Remind me again what we’re celebrating?”

National Dog Day takes place annually on August 26 to celebrate all dog breeds, pure and mixed, and to help shed light on the number of dogs in need of rescue each year. National Cat Day, which takes place on October 29, also helps raise awareness for animals in need. To celebrate these dog milestones, consider donating to the pet rescue of your choice—maybe the one where you got your pup?—in your pet’s name. Some other pet-related days to celebrate annually include:

  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (January 14)
  • Love Your Pet Day (February 20)
  • National Walk Your Dog Day (February 22)
  • World Spay Day (February 26)
  • National Pet Day (April 11)
  • Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day (April 21)
  • International Chihuahua Appreciation Day (May 14)
  • National Hug Your Cat Day (June 4)
  • National Best Friends Day (June 8)
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 21)
  • Dog Day (August 26)
  • Black Dog Day (October 1)
  • Pit Bull Awareness Day (October 26)
  • Cat Day (October 29)
  • Black Cat Day (November 17)
  • National Mutt Day (December 2)

First swim

Frankie's first swim in a kiddie pool.
Frankie’s first swim!!
Chloe's first swim in a kiddie pool.
Chloe’s first swim!!

If you have a dog who won’t stay out of the water—we’re looking at all the labs, goldens, and Newfies out there—then you’ll probably vividly remember the first time they went for a dip. Although you may have had to provide some gentle guidance, they eventually doggie-paddled their way to success, and you haven’t been able to keep them out of the water since! The same goes for their first dock jump, dog show, or agility competition.

First Vet Visit 

Chloe at the vet office
“I better be getting some treats to be here!”
Frankie at the vet office
“I’m pooping in the house as soon as we get home.”

Establish a relationship with your vet to provide the best possible care.

Your pet’s first vet visit is an occasion to celebrate! If you rescued or found her, that very first visit will be quite illuminating, cluing you into her age, breed, and any possible health concerns. Celebrate the first vet visit with some special treats and a belly-scratching session or two to mark the occasion.

Celebrate dog milestones every day with your pet 

Pets are such an essential part of our lives, mainly because we know our time with them is short. Turning every holiday or milestone into an event to celebrate will help ensure that you don’t take a single second for granted and that every day is a pet-centric day. As all pet owners know, those dog years sure do go by fast, so every single one should be cherished!

Image of person holding dog in their arms.

Published by Dogwuvr

My love of animals started when I volunteered at a humane society. From there I wanted to teach people how to take care of their precious pets and get the word out about adopting. I went to Animal Behavior College and got my Dog Obedience Certification. I have been working in veterinary clinics and give people information about dogs.

2 thoughts on “Celebrate 8 Important Dog Milestones

  1. I love to celebrate with dogs! I have had several party’s for dogs. I like to make them dog friendly ice cream with whipped cream on top, then we play a bunch of games.

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