Make your pet’s birthday special with PetSmart’s first-ever Birthday Collection

Dog Party Author, DIY Expert, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Gives Additional Entertaining Tips for a Great Pup Gathering

PHOENIX, Ariz., 2017-Jul-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — According to the 2016 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, nearly 30 percent of pet parents buy their dogs birthday gifts. PetSmart is here to serve pet parents across North America with the launch of its first-ever Birthday Collection, an assortment of festive toys, treats, apparel and accessories available year-round to celebrate birthdays and “Gotcha Days” – the day a pet was adopted.

The collection is available at all the 1,500-plus PetSmart stores across North America and PetSmart.com at the Birthday Shop, with items starting at just $4. Included in the festive line are puppy party hats, an “It’s My Birthday” bandana, “Happy Birthday to Me” and “Woof it Up! It’s My Birthday!” tees, plush and vinyl squeaker toys featuring colorful cupcakes, a birthday cake complete with candles and gift boxes, as well as a range of treats like the “Happy Birthday” frosted bone cookie, Birthday Cake Bites, the Pup-Pie Dog Treat, and the Molly’s Barkery at-home decorating kit with biscuits, icing and sprinkles.

“The PetSmart Birthday Collection features a range of items to make birthday or Gotcha Day celebrations even more festive and fun with our pets,” said Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, DIY expert and author of Dog Parties: Entertaining Your Party Animals. “I love the colorful and fun items in the collection.  Whether you are looking for a great gift for a pet, a treat for a four-legged friend or for ways to enhance your next pet party, PetSmart has it all!”

Schlegel Whitman also offered these practical and celebratory tips to throw the perfect dog birthday bash:

Invitations:

  • Create a fun dog-themed invitation to set the tone for the party. Consider a headline like “Calling All Party Animals” or “Please Join the Pawty.” Use graphical treatments like paw prints, dog bones or dogs donning party hats. Set expectations in your invite with “please join us with your dog on his/her favorite leash.”

Keeping it Friendly:

  • Limit your dog guests to 10-12 for small breed and a max of eight for larger breed dogs.
  • Invite guests you know, including dogs with whom your pup has socialized, so it’s not a first-time meeting at the party.

The Space:

  • Contain the doggie space with a fenced in area. Consider using inexpensive, easy-to-install white picket fencing to create the dedicated pup birthday space.

Play Fun Games:

  • Musical Sit is like Musical Chairs. Use hula hoops in lieu of chairs laid out in your backyard and play Elvis’ famed hit, Hound Dog. When the music stops, pet parent and dog must be in the hoop with the dog sitting, which also reinforces the sit command. As the rounds continue, a hula hoop is removed each time until there is one remaining pup – the winner of the game.
  • Trick for Treat: Set up a dog treat table with 3-4 different types of treats and have each pet parent show off their dog’s skills from sitting to more elaborate tricks like dancing.

Food/Beverage:

  • Create a shareable pupsicle. Take a large pail and fill with water and some low-sodium chicken broth. Place colorful toy items from the PetSmart Birthday Collection and freeze in layers. Tip the large pupsicle out onto a low-standing silver platter and place it on the ground. This will offer a tidier option for puppy hydration than bowls of water and lots of fun as the dogs together lick their way to festive birthday-themed toys.
  • Serve up this sharable Pup-Pie Cake complete with birthday candles and a group sing-along of Happy Birthday To You!
  • Offer delicious pet-themed food for humans – like bone shaped tea sandwiches or chili dogs and a specialty drink like the Salty Dog.
  • Keep the doggie and human fare separated. Today’s dog treats look so delicious, it’s hard to tell them apart!

Décor:

  • Create dog-themed décor like flower vases trimmed with bone-shaped doggie biscuits using a colorful ribbon to affix the biscuits to the vase or create a gift table swagged with a DIY pennant streamer featuring dog faces. Simply cut craft paper ears and tongues, use a marker to make eyes and a nose, add pipe cleaner whiskers and attach them to a classic pennant, transforming the triangles into doggie faces.
  • Set up a “photo booth” area with hats, apparel, bandanas, toys and more from the PetSmart Birthday Collection. Use a large picture frame with “Pup’s First Birthday” using colorful Styrofoam letters as an old-fashioned frame-up for the solo or duo-dog photos. This is also the perfect spot to shoot a fun social-worthy group photo of all the doggie guests in their festive birthday party hats with the birthday dog front and center.
  • Create a take-home Doggie Bag with festive items from the PetSmart Birthday Collection like the Squeaker Cupcake Toy, Happy Birthday Cookie and Birthday Hat. Keep the Doggie Bags by the door for guests to take as they depart the party.

About PetSmart®

PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 55,000 associates, operate more than 1,500 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as pet-focused services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart® Doggie Day Camp® and pet adoption. PetSmart, together with non-profits PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, invite more than 3,000 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 7.4 million adoptions – more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. The company’s portfolio of digital resources for pet parents includes PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, OnlyNaturalPet.com, Pet360.com, petMD.com, Pawculture.com, AllPaws, an online pet adoption platform that helps potential pet parents find the perfect pet to adopt based on their home, family and lifestyle, as well as BlogPaws, the world’s first pet blogger and influencer network. Through these digital platforms, PetSmart offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, PetSmart launched its Buy a Bag, Give a Meal™ program in March 2017. For every bag of cat or dog food purchased March 1 – Dec. 31, 2017, PetSmart will donate a meal to pets in need and expects to donate more than 60 million meals in 2017*.

Follow PetSmart on Twitter: @PetSmart
Find PetSmart on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PetSmart
See PetSmart on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/PetSmart

*Ends 12/31/17.  5 oz. dog food, 1.5 oz. cat food donated to PetSmart Charities to feed dogs and cats in need.  See details at petsmart.com/giveameal. The actual number of meals donated is based on dog and cat food bags sold.  The meal donation estimate is based on historic sales for similar time periods. No guaranteed amount. Rescue Bank and Feeding America will help distribute a large portion of the pet food donation in the U.S.

Source: PetSmart Inc.

PetSmart and party expert Kimberly Schlegel Whitman partner to share easy and creative dog-friendly holiday recipes

Pet Party Expert, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Shares Festive DIY Creations for Holiday Home Décor and Petsgiving Celebrations

PHOENIX, 2015-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — This time of year, as families everywhere look for more ways to incorporate their pets into holiday traditions, PetSmart and party expert, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, editor-at-large of Southern Living Magazine and author of Dog Parties: Entertaining Your Party Animal, have teamed up to share easy and creative dog-friendly holiday recipes.

Two iconic holiday classics – the gingerbread house and holiday wreath – have been recreated with dogs in mind using popular PetSmart treats like Milk Bone® dog biscuits, Pup-Peroni® and Milo’s Kitchen® treats. These dog-friendly crafts are a festive and yummy treat for our furry friends and a wow-factor gift or holiday party idea.

“I love Petsgiving – that special time of year when we, as pet parents, give thanks to our best friends for the unconditional love they give us all year long,” said Whitman. “I like the idea of not only buying and making gifts for your own pets, but also thinking about pet-friendly parties and presents for fellow pet parents.”

“These two amazing creations – the Gingerbread Dog House and Dog Treat Holiday Wreath – are simple and fun for any dog enthusiast. The wreath makes a unique home décor item and the Gingerbread Dog House is a fabulous dog party theme. Picture pet parents coming together to make this great holiday treat then letting the dogs enjoy it.”

Gingerbread Dog House
The Gingerbread Dog House is a straight-forward, simple cookie recipe similar to the classic treat made of cookie dough rolled and baked into the shape of walls and roof panels. The icing is made of low-fat cream cheese and you can also use all-natural peanut butter – both serve as delicious adhesives for putting together the house and affixing pup-friendly embellishments. The white icing is best applied using a pastry bag or a plastic storage bag with the corner snipped off to give the house a classic winter feel, Whitman advises.

“The Pup-Peroni® treats are log-like and give the gingerbread house a rustic cabin feel and make the perfect exterior wall treatment. You can use Milo’s Kitchen® treats for the roof shingles – the chicken jerky strips or chicken grillers both work, but the grillers with the grill marks make for a great roof. The Milk Bone® dog biscuits offer the finishing touch for the door, chimney – even a front walkway!”

Created as a treat, not a meal, the Gingerbread Dog House is perfect for a holiday pet party, where dogs can share and enjoy the treat together, Whitman said. See the easy DIY recipe here.

Dog Treat Wreath
This simple creation starts with a circular piece of cardboard the size of the desired wreath. A Milk Bone® biscuit and a Pup-Peroni® treat, cut in half, are paired up and affixed to the cardboard base by snugly lacing and wrapping a 2-inch festive ribbon around the treat pairs. There is no glue involved so, when the holidays are over, you can easily remove the ribbon and let your pup indulge. See here for more detailed instruction on this DIY holiday item.

“You are sure to get ooohs and aaahs when you show up with this wreath on your arm – the perfect holiday hostess gift for any dog lover,” said Whitman.

About PetSmart®
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they can live more fulfilled lives. This mission impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates, and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 53,000 associates, operate approximately 1,444 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and approximately 202 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding,PetSmart Doggie Day Camp day care services and pet adoption services in-store. Our portfolio of digital resources for pet parents – includingPetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, Pet360.com, OnlyNaturalPet.com andpetMD.com – offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. Through our in-store pet adoption partnership with independent nonprofit organizations, PetSmart Charities™ and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, PetSmart helps to save the lives of more than 450,000 homeless pets each year. In addition, PetSmart supports organizations that make communities a better place to call home through our philanthropy program, PetSmart Gives Back™. By giving back to the communities where we live and work, PetSmart not only celebrates the power of pets to enrich people’s lives—we live it.

Follow PetSmart on Twitter: @PetSmart
Find PetSmart on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PetSmart
See PetSmart on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/PetSmart

SOURCE: PetSmart Store Support Group, Inc.