Let’s face it: Hosting a puppy birthday bash is as much for your pup as it is for you and your guests (both pooch and human) to enjoy. While it may seem like a frivolous idea, a pup b-day party is a great reason to get a group of like-minded dog lovers and their furry children together and snap some adorable photos that will last a lifetime. Not only is a pup party a great excuse to get outside and have some fun, but it’s also a wonderful way to socialize your dog with other pooches.
If you don’t know your pet’s exact date of birth, it is always a great idea to use the day your dog arrived home. If that date is too difficult to remember, pick an approximate birthdate, mark it on the calendar and “call it a day.” Your sweet dog won’t know the difference! Now let’s get to the good stuff…here are some tips for hosting a fun, memorable puppy party:
1. Scout the Right Location For Your Needs
Picking the perfect venue comes down to a couple simple questions: How many people and dogs do you plan to invite? Are the dogs potty trained? It’s best to choose a place where your dogs have plenty of room to play freely and interact with one another. While the logical choice seems to be an outdoor space, it’s not impossible to host an indoor party. Consider these pros and cons when making a decision.
- Outside venues provide pups fresh air and room to run. A pet-friendly backyard is a fantastic option as the dogs will be contained and safe and the only rules to follow are your own. If you don’t have a backyard, other potential outdoor spaces include dog parks or outdoor play areas at doggy daycare facilities or centers. When checking out these venues, make sure you are able to block off a private section for you and your guests. Also, assess what items you’ll have to bring. For example, if there aren’t existing picnic tables, you may want to bring a table and chairs for your human guests. Lastly, be sure to inquire about fees associated with reserving the space.
- As long as you’re comfortable with lots of dogs and people in your home, a house party can be a great, safe choice for a pup party. You know the setting including which areas are perfect for playing and which areas are completely off-limits. Other indoor possibilities include event spaces at dog hotels or daycare centers, or even a “luxe party spa package” at a doggie day spa. Even if you decide to hold your party predominantly indoors, make sure there is an easily accessible outdoor area for potty breaks. If hosting outside the home, you should also bring plenty of cleaning supplies in the likely event of accidents occurring inside.
2. Remember, It’s Not a Birthday Without Cake
A pooch party is a delicious opportunity to watch your slobbery guests drool over some yummy dessert. This is a fun, tasty part of the event that all your guests – human or dog – will enjoy, not to mention that cake makes for a prime photo opportunity. Don’t want to spend money on a large cake? Opt for mini cupcakes or even go DIY with a dog-friendly recipe, like this one.
3. Don’t Stop at Cake: Provide Plenty of Refreshments and Treats
Make sure to address all of the needed accouterments specific to pups, such as providing plenty of dog bowls filled with fresh water and a “treats station,” with a variety of pup-friendly snacks accounting for potential allergies or food restrictions. For example, you may want to provide chicken treats for the hearty eaters, as well as vegetarian options such as sweet potato or peanut butter for pups that are allergic to chicken. With a multitude of choices, dog owners will stay worry-free and rest assured that their companion will be fed, safe and happy.
4. Decorate To Your Heart’s (and Budget’s) Content
Dog birthday parties are a great excuse to get your creative, crafty juices flowing. Depending on your budget, the scope of décor will vary; however, prioritizing table accessories is a good place to start. A unique and pulled-together table is always an eye-catching centerpiece of the party where guests can gather as well as serve as a nice reminder of what you’re celebrating. A banner of photos capturing your dog’s growth and experiences over the years is a cute idea. Or, consider a basket of favorite dog toys that guests can later take home as favors. Another décor tip: Inexpensive balloons can be easily turned into doggy faces by drawing features, and attaching some floppy ears. Don’t have construction paper for the ears? Not to worry! Brown paper bags should do the trick!
- Place settings and/or favors for your four legged guests should be special. Leaving a toy at each dog’s setting is a nice idea. Don’t want to spend money on toys? Not to worry! Instead, repurpose those water bottles you are using to fill the water bowls. Buy some fabric or fun colored socks from your local dollar store or drug store. Stuff that empty water bottle in the sock and tie it up tight. The end result is sure to be a real crowd pleaser!
- “Doggy Bags” are also a great party favor to leave on the table as well. Stuff a paper bag with a couple treats, tennis ball, and some plastic potty bags. Fold the top, draw a face on the front, write the furry guest’s name below the face and attach some ears.
- Is your party not looking as festive or colorful as you had imagined? Grab some bright colored chalk and show your guests the way by drawing some large paw prints on surrounding sidewalks and streets or your front door and driveway.
Most importantly, always remember that the best birthday gift you can give to your dog is love and attention! Your companion will be thrilled no matter how pretty the table or cake looks and will love you that much more for dedicating an entire day to him!