Mike Koozmin/The ExaminerCelebrate: Steph Lane gives his 12-year-old Chihuahua

Party planning for pampered San Francisco pets

Ryan Peters adopted his 3-year-old Cocker spaniel-poodle mix from San Francisco Animal Care and Control two months ago, but he’s already planning her birthday party for next year.

The 31-year-old San Francisco resident said he and his girlfriend were lucky to have found Nietzsche, and throwing a party is one way to show that.

“I’ve had a lot of dogs growing up and this is our first dog together,” Peters said of he and his girlfriend. “We don’t have kids, so this is kind of a supplement.”

Peters is among a growing number of pet owners who are looking to show their animals how much they truly care by throwing a party in their honor.

How and why parties for dogs are held differ depending on the owner. Some include cakes and decorations, while others have food specifically for humans and specifically for dogs. Some throw the party in a park and others host at home. Peters said he plans on getting invitations and making it a themed party.

“Her Halloween costume was a dragon, so we may do something along those lines,” he said.

Steph Lane of Lafayette said he makes sure his 12-year-old Chihuahua, Larry, gets a piñata to honor the pooch’s Spanish heritage. The party is meant to be for Larry, but he said he has fun in the process.

“I love throwing the parties,” Lane said. “It’s just as much for the dogs as it is for the adults. It’s a great excuse for a party.”

Larry’s birthday is in December, but Larry isn’t the only pampered pet in the Lane household — Lane owns a bulldog, Chewie, who also is feted.

And Lane said his 10-year-old daughter also recently threw her 2-year-old Chihuahua, Peanut, a party. His daughter picked the decorations and the theme.

“She planned the whole thing,” Lane said.

Instead of throwing parties, Kevin Edwards and his 9-year-old pit bull mix, Cocoa, are frequent dog-party attendees. He said he’s been to parties where hot dogs were cooked for the animals and gift bags have been given out, including T-shirts for the adults.

“We celebrate [Cocoa’s] birthday the whole month,” Edwards said. “It’s one big party.”

For Aishe Berger, the growing number of parties — both planned and attended by pet owners — is an opportunity to expand her business.

Berger, owner of the day care, training and walking service SF Puppy Prep, is in the early stages of creating a planning service for puppy parties. She said she is partnering with a local bakery to get the idea off the ground.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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