Pet Party Hosting Guide

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As the world starts returning to some semblance of normal, we wanted to share some tips for hosting a successful pet-friendly party.

For many people, (ourselves included) pets are not just pets; they are our best friends, our family members, and most importantly, an important part of our support system. We want them to be happy and enjoy their lives as much as we enjoy sharing it with them!

A pet party is a fan way to thank our animal friends, whether it’s celebrating a new addition to the family or it’s one of your furry friend’s birthdays, we know a pet party is sure to please. To be honest, a pet party is more for us than our pets, but with the right ideas it can be an amazing day for you and your pet. That’s why we’ve created this guide to hosting a perfect pet party that will have you wagging your tail for weeks!

Photo by Christina Hernández on Unsplash

Choose the Right Venue

Of course, like any party for us humans, the right venue is critical to ensure your pet party is successful. For pups, if the weather is good, we suggest considering outdoor areas like dog parks, backyards, and rooftop terraces. When it’s just too cold or hot outside, or if this party is for your feline, you can set up at home in the living room or in an out of the way space like the basement.

Be Mindful Of Your Guest List!

As we all know, it’s not ideal to invite cats to a doggy party or dogs to a kitty party. We recommend planning to only invite one or the other (even if you’re kiddos are super social). While your pup may be the star of the dog park, a dog party is not the perfect time to bring a new dog into the social mix. We also definitely think it’s not a good party idea for an aggressive pup or any dogs you are unsure of to be on the guest list.

When choosing who to invite, it’s best to stick with socially adept doggos that your pup is already familiar with. Dogs can get anxious when presented with groups of other dogs they aren’t already acquainted with and as a result will be not as likely to enjoy themselves and may even act out instead.

Keep the number of guests low, we recommend between about three and ten pets on the guest list (including your own). We suggest also keeping in mind these additional Guest List considerations:

  • Keep the party to two hours so your pets don’t get stressed being around too many animals for too long.
  • Pet drop-offs aren’t allowed; owners must be present with their pups.
  • Leashes should be brought along to help manage any pet conflicts if they should happen.
  • Pets that are ill or in heat should not attend.
  • All pets who are attending the party should be up to date on their vaccinations.

Activities

No matter what kind of pet you have, it’s always important that you build in time for playtime. One way to get dogs’ tails wagging is with playing fetch or tug-of-war, or have several balls available so there is at least one ball per guest and play free-for-all fetch. If your party happens to be in the dog days of summer, fill a kiddie pool with water and let the doggies go for a dip. 

We suggest letting your kitty chase a piece of yarn or a flashlight beam in a dark room for feline fun (just expect a catnap for both of you afterward). Hide treats around the space and declare the pet who finds the most a winner

Have a pet parade, particularly if your pets will dress up in costume. You could also have a talent show where old dogs show off their new tricks. If there will be kids at your pet’s party, paint their faces to look like a pet.

If kids are attending, have them woof, meow or otherwise “sing” “Happy Birthday” to your pet in his or her own language. At parties just for your pet and your family, take time to present your pet’s presents and let your pet test them out.

Food & Drink

Photo by Duncan Kidd on Unsplash

Keep your pet top of mind when planning your menu. For human guests at a puppy party, make puppy chow (or, as Chex calls them, Muddy Buddies), the snack food that looks like Purina but tastes a lot better, and serve it in small dog bowls personalized with each pup’s name in paint pen so their owners can take them home later. Add hot dogs with all the fixings and a bone-shaped birthday cake and you’re set for human food.

For your canine guests, offer dog biscuits and other treats from the pet store or pet bakery. Make sure to keep the pup food on a different table from the people food, since some doggie delicacies can be easily confused with human ones.

For drinks, try offering people a Salty Dog ,a Red Dog, or Southpaw Light brew. Treat your pup to Rover’s Bowser Beer, a non-alcoholic, non-carbonated beer for dogs made with malt barley and beef broth (no, we’re not kidding).

Kitty parties call for fish — fish flakes for the kitten guest of honor and fillets for the humans. You might also set out bowls of Swedish fish and Kit Kats for your people and catnip for your cat. For an absolute purrfect kitty birthday “cake,” give your cat a can-shaped helping of Fancy Feast (or their favorite canned cat food) with optional mayonnaise frosting.

For human guest drinks at this party, you can whip up a punch bowl of Tom and Jerry, and serve milk flavored with chocolate malt powder or vanilla syrup. It’s better to save the milk for the humans, not your cat, since many adult kitties are actually lactose intolerant. Instead, you can offer your feline guests a little chicken broth diluted 1:3 with water.

As a reminder, make sure all treats (whether pet or human) are consumed in healthy moderation to avoid causing health related issues such as pancreatitis, etc.

Create Doggie (or Kitty) Bags

Of course, no party can be complete without party favors! You can purchase or create your own bag of favors for your guests to take home a share of goodies and treats.

Don’t forget wearable favors also, like clip-on bow ties, bows, and/or personalized collars.

Planning a celebration for your pet can be just as fun as planning one for your human friends. Your pets can have the opportunity to enjoy socializing with their own kind, and your human guests will be delighted to take home a happy and exhausted pet.

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