Planning a party for your dog would raise some eyebrows in the past but in 2022 even dog food companies are writing blogs about pawties. There are so many reasons to throw a party for your furry best friend like a birthday, gotcha day, puppy school graduation or any special occasion, you know, like first successful nail clip.
Of course, if your dog doesn’t love to socialise, you should probably skip this article and just make them a cake and let them have a party for one.
To be the best pet party planner and host a fun and successful pet party for your dog, you are going to need proper planning. We’ve got you covered with some handy pet party planning tips.
Before you plan anything, you’re going to want to decide how much you’re willing to spend on the party. A budget is going to help inform all other party planning decisions, you know like ice sculptures and stuff.
Once you’ve got your budget, you’ll need to start planning what you need and when you will need it. An example of a party planning checklist could look something like this.
• Organise guest list
• Choose location
• Send party invitations
• Make or organise dog cake
• Plan activities
• Party decorations
• Doggy snacks
• Snacks and water for parents
• Party bag fillers
• Game prizes
• Poo bags
• Party outfit for your dog
When it comes to guests, you’re going to need to consider your dog first and foremost… like you always do. You know your pup best, and only you can make the call on what kind of party they’ll enjoy most. Remember, the party is kind of for you, but it’s still mostly for them and each dog’s needs are unique.
Some questions to consider when choosing the guest list are:
- How well does your dog handle crowds and noise?
- Does your dog like other dogs?
- How does your dog go with strangers?
Some dogs don’t do well in crowds or may take longer to warm up to strangers. This doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate them, it just means fitting the event to their needs. Perhaps they only want to hang out with another one or two dogs, or maybe just a few of their favourite humans.
We advise against a party of dogs without their owners for safety reasons. Also, it must be said, but parties are for friendly dogs only. You don’t want a nervous or reactive dog there having a miserable time and really bringing down the mood, it’s not fair on everyone but especially not fair on them.
Now that you’ve decided on guests, let’s start talking location. When deciding on party locations, there are a few things to consider such as:
- Size of the party – number of humans and dogs, will the location fit everyone comfortably?
- Space – is there enough space for any planned activities?
- Weather – will it be hot or cold, sunny or rainy? What’s the rain plan?
House party – make sure your yard is secure and there is plenty of shade and water for everyone.
Dog park – dog-friendly space, easy clean up, but this is a public space so you may have to share the space.
Dog beach – similar to a dog park but with lots of sand and water (see above).
Hire a venue – if you’ve got that cash money, this is a great idea and a very real option these days. Some cafes and doggy daycares are ideal options.
The time of day can also determine the weather. For outdoor parties, avoiding times where the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold is highly recommended for logical reasons. A two-hour time limit is more than enough time to ensure most dogs and humans are tired but not cranky.
Once you’ve decided on a place to host the party and the guest list, you must remember to invite them.
How do you want to invite your guests?
- Facebook invitation
- Premade invites
- DIY invites – time consuming but fun!
Things to include in the invites:
- Time, date and location
- Food allergies (dogs and humans)
- A gentle note on the invite about leaving aggressive dogs at home. An example may be: Puppy Pawties aren’t for everyone, so if you think it’s not your dog’s scene, we understand if you need to leave them at home
- Let guests know whether or not they should bring a gift (your presence is my present)
- RSVP number of dogs and humans
If other dogs are invited, making goodie bags will be a real pup pleaser. Ideas for things to put in the goodie bags:
- Treats – Did someone say freeze-dried Little Bites
- Doggie bandanas
- Toys – tennis balls are always fun
- Poop bags – always handy
If there are going to be multiple dogs at the dog birthday party, make sure none of them have food motivated aggression, and even if everyone seems pretty chill, it’s still good to be cautious while handing out treats. Remember to always ask the dog’s owner for permission before feeding them anything. Make sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water for thirsty party puppers.
When it comes to the humans’ food, be sure not to have anything in pups reach that’s harmful to dogs, like chocolate, grapes, onions and caffeine.
It wouldn’t be a party without a cake… even if it isn’t your dog’s birthday, cake works for all occasions... especially days ending in 'y'.
Easy Birthday Cake for Dogs Recipe by Chefs & Dogs - https://www.bigdogpetfoods.com/guides/easy-birthday-cake-for-dogs-recipe
Activities and Games
Ok, you’ve named the time and the place, what will you do at this party?
Sometimes it’s best not to have a plan – because dogs. But, if you think you can manage some activities and you’re really gunning for pet parent of the year, then we’ve got some ideas.
Have humans and their dogs show off their dogs best stunts, and see who has the best sit, stay, do what I say, and high five!
Such a fun idea for a backyard party if you have the space. Get a do it yourself agility kit (or make one) and let the dogs have all the fun.
Don’t forget the prizes!
If you’re really, really 'extra' and want to turn this party up, we have some other wild ideas.
Other wild ideas:
• Balloon arch
• Ice sculpture
• Doggy and Me makeover station
At the end of the day, dogs are simple and easy to please. Sure, an ice sculpture and a photobooth would be epic and your party would be talked about for years to come, but all that matters is that our dogs are happy and the short time that we have on earth with them is spent enjoying each other.
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