Puppy Party

Host a party for your dog? Why not! What better excuse to assemble your favorite two and four-legged friends for an afternoon of fun and activities.

Photography by Superhero Productions

Host a Puppy Party

“In this day and age many people consider their dogs as members of their family. A party is a great way to reward your unconditionally loving pooch,” says Jackie Bacha of Oh My Dog! Boutique & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ, who shares how you can pamper your pup with a stylish event.

Sniff Out a Theme “Approach your pup’s party like you would a child’s,” Bacha says. “Pick a theme, send out invites, and have party favors and gift bags.” Birthdays aren’t the only milestones in your pet’s life; pet adoptions, bark mitzvahs, princess-for-a-day, bark-b-ques, Party Invitations‘yappy’ hour, and holiday celebrations, like Howl-a-ween, are all cute themes for your pet’s event – and are sure to provoke smiles and wags all around. Contact your local stationary store for invitations, make your own, create one online, or send an evite, like the one featured here from Evite.com. “Go all out,” Bacha says, “the crazier you think it is the more fun it will probably be.”  

Who Wants a Treat? Be sure to provide treats, not only for the pets in attendance, but also for their owners. “Looking at all those yummy pup treats can really make a person drool,” Bacha says. Whatever edibles you decide to provide for your two-legged guests, Bacha recommends that the human and dog food items be kept in separate areas to avoid any ‘accidents’. “You’d be surprised how many people have tried the dog treats by mistake!” Bacha says. “Try doing a cake for the dogs and cupcakes for the humans, or vice versa.”  

Safe Treats and Decor

If you decide to create your own menu for your puppy’s party, be aware of those items that are definite no-no’s for pooches. “A number of food items can be toxic to dogs,” says Dr. Melana Martens of East Maryland Animal Hospital in Phoenix. Foods to be avoided include alcohol, avocado, chewing gum, chocolate, chives, coffee, grapes and raisins, garlic, onion, macadamia nuts, excessive salt, and high-fat foods. Don’t be scared off by the list of ‘don’ts’. It’s simple to avoid these items and still make a delicious DIY treat for your pooch.

Good Things Come in Small Packages Whether you’re hosting a puppy party or you’re invited to attend one, you may be wondering about gifts. Is it necessary to bring a gift to a dog party? That may be a question for the etiquette experts to address, but with all of the unique gifts for pets out there, shopping for one can be an entertaining treat! If you do decide to gift the pooch of honor, chew toys, decorative food and water bowls, cozy blankets and beds, or animal-themed picture frames are options that both pup and owner will love.

Time to Play! Plan activities for the pets and their people – it’s sure to be the highlight of your humans’ day and the puppies love the attention! If your party takes place outside, team up (best team? Human + dog) for some sociable outdoor games like, Frisbee catch, fetch, or let their noses lead the way with a treasure hunt. If your party takes place indoors, try decorating cookies, taking a class with your pet, or hiring a professional photographer for a photo shoot. “For most of our parties we like to have an activity to get the people involved,” Bacha says. “For one party we did last summer, we learned how to ‘dance’ with our dogs! It was so funny – and so much fun – watching men and women learn to dance with their pups; the dogs were really good and their people had a great time.”

Games and Activities

Other activities that Bacha suggests include private Doga (dog yoga) classes, customized jewelry or bow-making for your pet, tarot readings, or private training sessions for you and your furry loved ones. “We have even arranged puppy parties at restaurants, where we create a three-course meal for the pups and their owners,” Bacha says. “The sky is the limit!” Puppy Party Do’s!

  • Do treat it like a children’s party! Pick a theme, send out invites, have party favors, and gift bags.
  • Do have treats! Provide treats for all of your guests, puppies and people.
  • Do arrange an activity! It’s important to get everyone, furry or not, involved. Try a ball catching contest or a treat hunt.
  • Do provide plenty of water! Human or K-9, we all need to stay hydrated. Provide several water bowls for the pups and bottled water for your guests.
  • Do go all out! The crazier you think it is the more fun it will probably be.

Puppy Party Don’ts!

  • Don’t have the doggie treats and the human treats look alike! Try doing a cake for the dogs and cupcakes for the humans, or vice versa.
  • Don’t mix large and small breed dogs! Unless the pups are familiar with each other, mixing different sizes and temperaments can lead to squabbles.
  • Don’t host a large party inside your home! Remember that with a lot of dogs and a lot of smells, you’ll be sure to have messes.
  • Don’t buy doggie treats that just look good! Some dogs have allergies and aren’t used to sugars. Make sure you look for organic, wheat-free, and sugar-free products.
  • Don’t forget to make sure your venue is puppy-proofed! Some of the most tempting- and dangerous- things to nibble are everyday household items, like fabric softener, rodent bait, antifreeze, batteries, pool supplies, citronella candles, Rx bottles, socks, and feminine hygiene products! Keep them stored!

 A special thank you to our furry four-legged models, Penelope (Toy Poodle), Ruby (fawn-colored Chihuahua), Mimi Marie (Malti-Poo), Bianca (tan & black Chihuahua), Gucci (German Biewer), and Kyambria (Shorkie).