How to throw a doggone good dog party

Follow these tips to throw a memorable dog party for your canine companion!

Did you know there is a National Dog Party Day? If you have a social dog, this is a great excuse to throw him his very own dog party! Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started.

Your doggie guest list

Does your dog have a group of other doggie friends? If he’s a social butterfly, then inviting other canines can be a lot of fun. If, on the other hand, he prefers people over canines, then just invite his favorite dog-loving friends and family.

Dog party location

The best location for your dog’s party should be a place that has plenty of room for both human and dog guests. Too small a location can cause conflict between dogs who don’t have enough room to move around.

Outdoor areas such as a dog park or fenced backyard make great location ideas for your party. Another option is to rent a room at your local dog training club or pet store. Make sure your location is safe and secure.

Poop and potty patrol

There’s nothing worse than stepping in a pile of dog poo at a party. Encourage your party guests to pick up after their dogs by providing them with a roll of poop bags! If your party is indoors, you may want to have a few belly bands on hand for the male dogs to control any urine marking. A belly band is made of soft fabric that wraps around the dog’s hindquarters to act as a blockade in case he decides to mark your favorite chair.

Party food and snacks for the people

When deciding what snacks to provide your human guests, think about foods that are both safe and healthy for dogs. This will eliminate the risk of a dog eating something toxic. Prep your food choices ahead of time by cleaning and removing any pits, seeds or skins. Healthy food choices include pears, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, apples, oranges, bananas, peppers, carrots, celery, kale, cucumbers, radishes, cauliflower, and broccoli — just to name a few. For dips, breads, and crackers, take a peek at the ingredient panel to ensure they don’t contain any ingredients that are bad for dogs, such as onions.

Party food and snacks for the dogs

Before the party, you can purchase your favorite healthy dog treats… or make your own! Dehydrating any of the above fruits or vegetables make great dog snacks. Have plenty of water bowls around the area, with extra jugs of water on standby.

Party decorations

Be thoughtful about your decoration choices. Balloons and other party items that float or move unpredictably can be scary for a lot of dogs — not to mention they pose a choking hazard.  Stick to simplicity with a few bone or paw cut-outs strategically placed around the table.

Party favors

Everyone likes a good party bag to remember their fun day! One idea is to include an inexpensive craft photo frame for your guests to decorate while enjoying the party. Toss in a few healthy dog treats and a toy for your guest’s pup.

Party games

Whether you’ve invited people, dogs or a combination of both, games can be a riot! Bobbing for apples or any other fruit can be a lot of fun for the canines. Toss in a handful of bite-sized fruit bites and allow the dogs to grab for the snacks — just be sure they take turns to avoid food aggression. A scavenger hunt is another fun game that’s easy to organize.

Instead of handing out your party favors, instruct each guest to find a bag that’s hidden just for them! Be sure to hide the bags out of reach of curious canine noses. If you included a photo frame in your party bag, have a decorating station with markers, glitter, glue, and stickers.

Group photo

No party is complete without a group photo to remember the day. Set your camera on the self-timer setting and say “cheese!” Better yet, hire a pet photographer to take candid shots throughout the party. Send all your guests a link to the photos so they can share and print.

A dog party is a fun and exciting way to socialize your pooch — and spend time with some of your human friends. Be safe and enjoy!