Pet parties: the surprising and occasionally dangerous trend for animal birthday celebrations

Appearance: Either very jolly or entirely hellish, depending on your sensibility.

Legality: Woolly.

It cannot possibly be illegal for me to have a lovely birthday party for my adorable kitten. Let me ask you this: have you tried throwing a birthday party for a pet in China?

Of course not. Well, don’t. A recent party for a dog named Doudou, in the city of Changsha, ended with the police threatening to open fire if something similar happened again.

On the dog? No, on any drones used without permission. Doudou’s owner spent 100,000 yuan (£11,500) renting 520 illuminated drones to fly in formation above the city, showing the dog in a hat popping out of a box. The city operates a strict no-fly zone for drone displays, and this apparently extends to wildly elaborate dog-based celebrations.

OK, in that instance I can see how a pet birthday would be legally iffy. Also, one that happened in India last week ended in arrests, too.

What? Abby the dog from Ahmedabad had a birthday party that was widely attended, and three guests were promptly arrested for breaching Covid-19 regulations.

But if I avoid ostentatious drone displays and public health violations, should I still have a birthday party for my pet? No.

Why not? Because they’re stupid, that’s why.

But celebrities do it. Well, sure. Dua Lipa threw her dog a party, complete with cakes and hats, last year. And Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas recently made a cake to celebrate their dog Gino’s second birthday.

Aw, I bet Gino loved that. He didn’t! They posted an Instagram story of Gino sitting in front of the cake looking massively nonplussed. This is because Gino is a dog and therefore places no value in the human concept of birthdays.

It’s still cute, though. No, it’s gratuitously vain. Your dog is your dog. It can’t read the loving inscription you had iced on its cake and hats probably irritate it beyond all comprehension.

So you’re saying that pet birthday parties don’t actually have anything to do with the animals? That’s right. They’re all about the owners, who are all hideous attention-seekers. You know what pet birthday parties are? They’re gender reveal parties for the non-pregnant.

But I love my pet. That’s fine. You’re allowed to love your animals! Animals are nice. But anyone who throws their pet a birthday party should be forced to live in a kennel. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

Do say: “Pet birthday parties are annoying and pointless.”

Don’t say: “That said, I do have a houseplant that turns three next week. Bring a bottle.”