What’s the best way to have a party for your pooch? Well, that depends. You’ll need to consider a few things first, like the time of year, the weather, where you live, how many people (and pooches) you want to invite, etc.
If you have a house with a fenced-in backyard, and if the weather is pleasant, you can have the party right at your home! If that doesn’t work, no problem, there are other places that can be perfect for celebrating your furry best friend. Scope out some local dog parks or parks that are dog friendly. Does your dog like the water? Many places now have doggie splash parks, or you can take your furry friend and his buddies to a dog-friendly beach, for a little splashing and some frisbee. If the time of year and weather are factors that keep you from having a party outdoors, many doggie daycares and pet stores now have areas to host doggie birthday parties.
Decorations and party games will depend on the location you chose for the party. There are a wide variety of games to play with the pups. However, you may want to consider your audience. Will it only be dog games or should you include games for the dog owners as well? Try having a theme in which the owners and dogs dress alike and have a contest with prizes for best dressed. Maybe include some cocktails for the dog owners as well? If that sounds like your kind of party, you might want to check out this list of
9 Tasty Cocktails Named After Dogs: https://www.rover.com/blog/cocktails-for-dog-lovers-greyhound-in/
If you choose a water-themed party, you may want to limit the decorations and focus more on the games. Some ideas for water games are:
- Pool fetch – each owner throws a toy in the water to see whose dog is the first to bring the toy back
- Pirate dive – some dogs love to dive and retrieve a toy or object off the floor of a pool. Owners can throw a sinkable object and see whose pup is the first to surface.
- Ring jump – owners hold a hula hoop in the water and have the dogs jump into the center of the hoop into the water.
Once you decide if you’ll be in a park, your backyard, or heading indoors, that’s when you can really ramp up the decorations. Depending on your pups personality, and maybe even the breed, you may choose elegant party decorations or you might want to get a bit corny and use decorations like, “It’s Your Birthday Pawty!” Oh, and don’t forget the goody or “doggie” bags for the pups who come to the party. Include squeaky toys, treats, bones, etc. Go dog gone wild!
Here are some games ideas for indoor and/or at your home:
- Hide-A-Treat – use a treat ball or even a tennis ball with slits cut into it. Put a treat inside the ball. When you say go, have the owners give the ball to the pooch. The first pooch to get the treat out is the winner!
- Paw Painting – all you need is paper and dog-safe paint. Each owner can press their pup’s paw into the paint and then press the paw onto the paper. This can get as elaborate or as simple as you wish. You can make or buy frames and use fancy paper and colorful paints. This is a great keepsake that everyone can enjoy.
- Treat Toss – give each owner 10 small treats. Have the owners stand a distance from the dogs and throw the treats. The dog that catches the most treats wins.
Now, onto my favorite topic, the food! What’s a party without the food? You will want to ensure you have food, drinks, and treats for both human and canine guests. People food can be in the theme of doggie food or decorated with a dog theme. The pup food is the fun part! How about a BARKuterie board with dog treats, dried fruits, and other dog-friendly foods? You can make or purchase dog cookies and of course you’ll need to have pupcakes! There are so many dog-friendly cake recipes that would be fun to make into pupcakes. Finally, the grand entrance of the cake for the birthday boy or girl. Many places, such as chewy.com and petco.com sell cakes that are made especially for dogs, but here are a few recipes, if you want to make one yourself!
Your guests may ask about gifts. What can they bring for your pup? Some great ideas are donations to a local animal shelter. You can recommend food, blankets, toys, or money as donations. Call your local shelter and ask what they currently need and be sure to request those items from your guests, in honor of your birthday buddy. Other ideas are your pup’s favorite treats, clothing items, blankets, beds, and their favorite kinds of toys. Look at places online such as Etsy.com for personalized gifts. Etsy also has unique decorations for your pooch party as well.