Birthday Cupcakes for Dogs

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My Maggie recently turned NINE!  Can you believe it?  Time flies when you’re yapping, licking, snoozing, and refusing to get your dachshund butt off the couch and go for a walk.




Maggie was our first pet. We got her back in 2006.  We were living in a rundown one bedroom apartment that we selected purely because it was not only within our meager rent budget, but also because it allowed pets.  I had been saving all my spare cash for a dog for months and had been browsing the shelter and classified ads for weeks.  We met many, many dogs, but none of them spoke to us like Maggie did.


I was so proud to have Maggie.  She really felt like my “furbaby,” and I took her everywhere with me.  She was young, spry, and stubborn. 


We had Maggie for six months. And then… we stumbled upon James.  James and Maggie loved each other at first sight.  Looking back, it’s crazy how fast they connected and clicked because neither one is super friendly to strange dogs.  It’s like they were meant to be.


We have always said that Maggie found her perfect home because no one could love her the way we do.  She has anxiety and various behavioral issues, but we adore her anyway.  Her great qualities far surpass her bad ones.  She is loving, loyal, sweet, and cuddly.  She puts up with a lot of Henry’s crap and lets him “pat” her, hug her, tug her tail… she allows it because he’s part of the pack, and she knows it. 


I love how much she loves us. 


Sometimes, I look at Maggie’s gray little muzzle, and I get so sad. I know that she won’t be with us forever.  I tear up just thinking about a life without my Maggie.  She has been part of Kristien’s and my life since before we were even engaged.  I spent almost 2,500 nights in bed with Maggie!  I wish our furbabies lived as long as we did. 


But for now… I shall wish my sweet girl a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, give her a tight hug, and thank her for being a wonderful dog.  Despite all of her shortcomings (pun intended), Maggie is my number one girl. 


Gluten-Free Birthday Cupcake Recipe for Dogs


Ingredients (makes four cupcakes):


  • 1/2 cup gluten-free baking flour (I used Betty Crocker’s Rice Flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • Cream cheese (for frosting)




  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease four cupcake tins.
  • Mix all ingredients together (except cream cheese).
  • Divide into four portions and pour into cupcake tins.
  • Bake for 13 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, cool, remove from cupcake tins, and frost.
  • Serve (it’s safe for humans to eat, too!)


While the dogs loved this recipe… It is not cat-approved.  Maybe if you mixed in fish?  Eww.


The gluten-free flour is the the rice flour mix from my friends at General Mills.  Remember back in May, when I went on a tour of the General Mills headquarters?  While I was there, I popped into the test kitchens, and they were making breadsticks with the newest gluten-free flour.  The breadsticks were amaaaaazing. 


(In this picture, I am thinking: “Can I have another breadstick, pleeeeeease?”)


I was so pumped to find a gluten-free flour that didn’t taste like a mix of cardboard and glue, and this is my first creation with the sample box that I took home!  I’ll have to make some human recipes soon, too. Smile


Do you celebrate your pets’ birthdays?



  • Lauren @ The Highlands Life August 27, 2013, 1:08 pm

    Oh! I totally need to try that rice flour mix to use for my GF treats I make for friends. It’s always a struggle to get those treats to have the best flour texture. I want light and airy and not cardboard tasting, like you said.

  • Mandy @ Eat Pray Grow August 27, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Great, now I’M craving a cupcake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. I’d blame it on the pregnancy, but I know it’s just my undying love for homemade sweets. Did you try one? If so, how did you like it?

    • Caitlin August 27, 2013, 1:31 pm

      Haha it was good, from a human perspective. Not very sweet of course.

  • Sarah August 27, 2013, 1:37 pm

    We celebrate our doggie’s birthday too- he usually gets scrambled eggs and a hike!

  • Joy August 27, 2013, 2:03 pm

    I always celebrate my kitty’s birthdays I have two cats, brothers, and every May they get special attention on their day and a cupcake that they kind of lick at for a few minutes. One year I made them a teeny little birthday hat, but that didn’t go over very well so I never tried putting one on them again.

  • ali August 27, 2013, 2:04 pm

    I need to try that flour. I typically use fava bean or buckwheat flour (I grind the groats myself) to keep it higher in fiber and protein but every now and then, it’s nice to have something that tastes like regular flour. Also, I totally celebrate my cat’s bday (but mostly just at home because I don’t want to be the “cat lady”). She’ll be 8 on Halloween and she gets a half can of tuna or salmon all to herself (not all on the same day, I spread it throughout the week). It makes me sad to think that she’s getting older too. I know cats can live a long time but 8! 🙁 It feels like yesterday when I adopted a scrawny, sick 4-month old kitten!

  • Dori August 27, 2013, 2:08 pm

    The first photo of Maggie and James, with the Elmo hat on her is phenomenal. And the photo of them kissing in bed is the sweetest! I love my sweet boy Larry SO much and I completely understand how you feel. I can’t celebrate his birthday since we don’t know when he was born or exactly how old he is, but we will celebrate his birthday as the anniversary of the day we adopted him. We think he was around 2, so we’ll probably celebrate on January 1. I buy the pup cupcakes from Sprinkles!

  • Kelly August 27, 2013, 2:10 pm

    I know how you feel! My little pup will be 10 … TEN! … in October. His ears and muzzle have gotten so grey in the last year, and I really cannot imagine him not being (literally) by my side. I’m a little crazy about his birthday. He gets a day at the beach (and as many rolls as he wants in the dead fish smells he finds), a trip to a pet store to get his favorite treats, and then we make a trip through the Wendy’s drive-thru for his annual “frosty and a fry.” HA! It’s a long story on how THAT got started. Sadly, we have recently moved from our home on the coast, but a part of me still wants to make the 5 hour trip back home, so that his big 1-0 can be spent in his (and my) happy place. We shall see! Happiest of birthdays to Miss Maggie. They are so important to our lives, and I’m so happy to see that Henry will grow up knowing the love of an animal.

    • Kelly August 27, 2013, 2:12 pm

      p.s. Just wanted to note that Max’s “annual Wendy’s trip” is the ONE and ONLY time you’ll find me driving through a fast food drive-thru!!! 🙂

      • Megan August 27, 2013, 3:19 pm

        It’s okay if you go to drive thru’s every now and then. Noone will shame you for indulging in something not so healthy occasionally.

        Plus, the frosty’s are awesome.

        • Kelly August 27, 2013, 10:32 pm

          Oh, I’m not ashamed! I just don’t like fast food in general, so it’s a little odd I take a dog of all things through a drive thru once a year!

      • Lindsey August 28, 2013, 8:33 am

        geesh, who cares if you go to a drive thru more than one time a year?

  • Ashlee@HisnHers August 27, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Aw Happy Birthday maggie! We recently lost our 7 year old Chihuahua that my husband and I had had since we were only 18 and dating! It’s a shame they can’t live as long as us.

  • Emily @ The Good Era August 27, 2013, 2:31 pm

    Perfect timing, my fur baby’s 2nd birthday is Sunday! We were planning a hike and eggs, but no I think a cupcake is necessary too. 🙂 His birthday is 2 days before our anniversary. This is how I convinced the hubby to get him because I told him it was fate. It’s amazing how much we love him!

    Happy birthday Maggie!

  • Stacey August 27, 2013, 2:55 pm

    I love your pictures and how much you love your furbabies. I’m a mother to two (furbabies) and they are definitely my beloved children! They get ‘fun’ bones each year for their birthday… and we usually get an ice cream cake for us 😉 haha. I also love you adopt from shelters; best way to go! For us it was a wonderful experience to rescue an abandoned animal. Our youngest peanut has an amazing story and she’s only 7 months.

  • Megan August 27, 2013, 3:02 pm

    Are you dogs gluten sensitive, too?

    • Caitlin August 27, 2013, 4:29 pm

      no but i dont feed them gluten regularly. they eat a grain-free food.

  • Kim August 27, 2013, 3:23 pm

    Aww, how sweet! I definitely celebrate my cat’s birthday as well as his adoption day. He is a purebred Persian and his previous owner didn’t want him anymore so I adopted him shortly after he turned 3. He came with his purebred papers, so I know his exact birthday (as well as his parents names). I’m still amazed that his owners didn’t want him. He has brought me so much happiness. I could never hand him over to a new owner. He’ll be turning 8 in December, but he still acts like he is a kitten!

    Happy birthday Maggie! I hope it’s a wag-tastic day 😀

  • cathy August 27, 2013, 4:27 pm

    That picture of Henry and Maggie is precious!

  • Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind August 27, 2013, 4:34 pm

    I’ve made treats for my dog before with wheat and pb…she didn’t really like them. But my mom did. LOL.

  • Sydney August 27, 2013, 4:36 pm

    I have a dachshund named Maggie too! She’s got a couple years on your Maggie though… gonna turn 11 soon! I think she’d agree that a nice pupcake would be worth getting out of bed for 😉

  • K @ Finding a Skinnier me August 27, 2013, 5:06 pm

    Aww Maggie is adorable!!! My oldest furbaby just turned 10 years old and I see all her grey hair and get super worried! She’s been in my life for 9 years and I couldn’t imagine not having her around :)) Happy Birthday to Maggie!!!

  • Ginger August 27, 2013, 5:36 pm

    Aww- how sweet! Happy Birthday, Maggie.

  • Jen August 27, 2013, 7:24 pm

    Finally new Maggie pictures! She may or may not have inspired me to get my own cow dachshund. They’ve definitely been lacking lately.

  • Lauren @ Peaks and Passports August 27, 2013, 7:51 pm

    This is adorable! I’m pretty sure I’d love to eat one of your dog cupcakes too 🙂

  • Jolene ( August 27, 2013, 7:56 pm

    I don’t have pets, but I would totally celebrate a pet’s birthday!!

  • Jenea Mason August 27, 2013, 8:03 pm

    Birthdays are bitter sweet when it comes to our animals. I loved, loved, loved this post though!! You’re fur babies are super cute.

  • Beks August 27, 2013, 8:34 pm

    I wish them a happy birthday, but I don’t bake them cakes. They’re finicky eaters, so I wouldn’t want them to go to waste. But Happy Birthday to your beautiful little one!

  • Rebecca August 27, 2013, 8:34 pm

    Aw, sweet! Happy birthday to Maggie!

    I’d maybe celebrate a pet’s birthday if I had one. We had a dog for a while but we gave her away to a new family about a week and a half ago, but I totally regret it. The house is so boring now… Someday I’ll get a new dog or a cat and celebrate their birthday(s)!
    My friend just celebrated her new dog’s first birthday this weekend–she found lot of different flavors of dog biscuits or something when she was on a trip to give him, which I thought was nice. 🙂

  • Lee August 27, 2013, 9:16 pm

    Happy Birthday Maggie!

    We celebrate my dog’s birthday by giving him his favorite food – sliced deli meat turkey on a whole wheat pita. That dog is crazy for pita bread.

  • mollie August 28, 2013, 12:27 am

    well, now i’m crying before bed! i am CONSTANTLY lamenting to my husband about the fact that we won’t have enough time with our pets. i’m hoping our cats will live to be 16-18, but our dog (lab mix) will probably only be 10-12, and he was almost 2 when we got him 🙁 i can’t believe that stupid turtles live to be 200…

  • emily August 28, 2013, 1:31 am

    This post is so flipping sweet! It was Webster’s Buyday recently and he and my husband split a steak! 🙂

  • Brittney August 28, 2013, 8:38 am

    Happy Birthday to Maggie! Clyde is already getting gray on this chin and he’s only three! I can’t think about life without him either without getting all weepy. It’s so great to see how Maggie and James are with Henry. I can’t wait for Allie and Clyde to play together. She’s already fascinated with him and smiles and watches him whenever he’s around.

  • Laura August 28, 2013, 8:42 am

    My dog, Hannah, who I’ve had since high school is 13 and it breaks my heart to think about her passing away. I know 13 is pretty old for a dog and if she’s sleeping deeply or something I’m always worried she has died so I have to wake her up to make sure 🙁

  • Jackie August 28, 2013, 10:56 am

    Wow, we never really celebrated our dog’s birthdays (he just gets plenty of treats throughout the year 🙂 ) but I have to say, after two kids, he’s just moved down our priority list. He’s well taken care of, exercised, etc. but once we had babies, our attention and love is pretty much sucked up by the human kiddos!

  • Alyssa August 28, 2013, 11:09 am

    I try not to think about the day my baby, Beau, is no longer with us. I used to cry when he was a puppy thinking about it. I love him so much! Nice to see you still love and appreciate your pups even with a little human in tow 😉

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed August 28, 2013, 1:05 pm

    My furbaby just turned 9 too! She’s definitely getting gray and slowing down… I can’t even think about life without her, but I know we will have many more awesome furbabies in our life! For now, I’ll just enjoy the cuddle sessions 😀

  • Reenie August 28, 2013, 1:50 pm

    OMG…. the picture of Maggie and Henry ~ adorable!!!

    Happy Birthday Maggie!!


  • Melissa August 28, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Happy Birthday Maggie! My oldest furbaby turns 9 on Sunday 🙂 We usually celebrate with doggie ice cream (and the birthday dog gets to sleep in bed with us) but I might have to bake something for her this year!

  • Sonia the Mexigarian August 28, 2013, 3:08 pm

    Happy Birthday to Maggie. Just love the picture of her in her hat 🙂 I love doxie’s. One day I will rescue one. I can’t even think about the day we lose our 2 year old Lando, it’d be just too hard. We’re more bracing ourselves for when Addie, my MIL’s basset who is the QUEEN of the castle, is no longer with us. She’s 10 and has gone through 2 rounds of cancer and chemo. Much love to your little furbabies!

  • Helene @healthyfrenchie August 28, 2013, 4:52 pm

    Aww such a sweet post! It brought a tear to my eye!
    Happy birthday Maggie!
    Freddie usually get some extra cuddles and some bones / treats haha
    I never thought I would celebrate a pet’s birthday but he’s our little fur baby

  • brooke @ sweats & sweets August 28, 2013, 8:28 pm

    This made me tear up! I miss my dachshund Bonnie. She passed last year, she would of been 13 this year. I got her when I was 12 years old. To say she was just a gift is an understatement. She truly was a best friend and oh how I miss her everyday. I miss her silly faces, Frito smelling paws, her utter laziness and fondness for my husband. We do celebrate Onyx’s birthday, our sweet border collie who is 7. She is a spoiled rotten mountain dog who is loved beyond belief.

  • Emily August 29, 2013, 2:18 am

    This post came just at the right time. We recently had to put our cat to sleep as he was in agony from skin cancer. He was so beautiful and cuddly and loving and funny that after he’d gone it was like my own sibling dying – he was born in our house in 2000 when I was 10. We used to push him in an old pram and he LOVED having permission to be lazy so he stayed everytime 😛 I love reading about how much people consider pets as babies as Wilson was that for us.
    Thank you <3

    • Emily August 29, 2013, 2:20 am

      Happy birthday to Margaret Britney Spears Thatcher also sorry!!! <3

    • Caitlin August 29, 2013, 7:05 am

      Sweet memories of your furbaby <3 I am sorry for your loss.

  • Alex @ Kenzie Life August 29, 2013, 9:08 am

    Happy Birthday to Maggie! I always love your pet posts. By the way, you are so beautiful, Caitlin! I have two adopted shelter dogs too but have no idea how old the second one is. Honestly no one even knows what kind of dog she is because she looks more like a fox. Anyway, I do like to get them “adoptiversary” presents every year on the day I adopted them. Dogs (and cats) make life so much better! Thanks for the recipe! I want to try that out for the next adoptiversary!

  • Maria August 29, 2013, 1:17 pm

    Happy Birthay Maggie.

  • Emma August 29, 2013, 7:19 pm

    I love that you made cupcakes for the dogs, I thought I was the only crazy that celebrated her dogs birthdays! On a side note, we have a rat terrier that looks just like James, every time I see pictures of him on your blog I do a double take. Cute pups!

  • Sarah September 16, 2013, 7:26 am

    My furbaby girl tuend 9 this summer too! ALl the white on her coat is making me sad but she has so much energy still! I have 2 other pups, 1 turns 9 on Dec 15th, You bet we celebrate!!! My 3rd and youngest turns 7 on January 4th! AHHHHH I love them to pieces and they always get a birthday celebration!

  • Devyn January 1, 2014, 2:08 pm

    Thanks for the dog treat recipe! I wanted to make something yummy for my dog’s birthday, so I adapted it a bit to fit the contents of my pantry!
    I used 1/2 cup flour
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    2 tbls peanut butter
    1 egg
    1 banana, mashed
    2 tbls half and half

    I mashed the banana with the half and half before mixing all of the other ingredients together. I also made mini cupcakes instead of full sized cupcakes. It made A LOT so halving this recipe for a smaller dog (like mine) would definitely be a good idea if you aren’t looking for a lot of treats. I also ended up baking them at 350 for 11 minutes, but you could probably bump it up to 400 for 8 minutes or so. They come out a bit like a fluffy pancake consistency, which was fine for my dogs.

  • Buddy Holliday October 29, 2015, 4:13 pm

    Hello, today is 10-29-15, and it is my dog, Buddy’s birthday! We are deciding to try out your cupcakes for him……… We hope he enjoys them!

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