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How to throw a party for pooches

Virginia Chavez-Nelson is an avid contributor of words for the greater good (see: writer) and a fun-loving Phoenician by way of Argentina. With a degree in Journalism from Arizona State University, Virginia has more than 10 years of expe...

It's paw-ty time!

Whether it's a birthday, holiday, puppy shower, training graduation or just for fun, owning a pup is reason enough to throw a party. Hosting a pooch fest can be just as stressful as planning a non-canine bash. This quick guide will show you how to throw a fun and safe shindig for your favorite party animal.
Dog birthday party

ListCreate a guest list

Does Fido have a best friend at the dog park? Do the neighbors' pooches love to come over for play dates? Let's not forget whose party this is -- make sure your guest list is filled with people and pets your pup enjoys being around. Quick tip: If you're inviting new pets to your party, make sure the owners know their attendance is also required; otherwise, they might look at it as doggy daycare.

Choose a venue

Now that you've narrowed down the guest list, choose a venue suitable for the number of prospective attendees. For larger groups, your home or a dog park make excellent venues, providing you have enough backyard space. Attending a local "yappy hour" at a pet-friendly establishment or making arrangements with your favorite pet boutique can be great options for smaller gatherings. Make the location as creative as your event.

Pick a theme

The theme of the party sets the tone of your event. This is your opportunity to really play up your pet's unique personality. Does your pooch love swimming and being outdoors? Host a Hawaiian-themed party, complete with leis, grass skirts and a doggy pool. If you recently added a four-legged family member, now is the time to introduce her to your nearest and dearest with a puppy shower. From "bark mitzvahs" to "Howl-O-Ween" parties, the theme possibilities are endless.

Dog treatsThe menu

Party fare should include enough variety for both canine and human guests. To avoid any potential health hazards, make sure to pick human foods that are harmless to pets. Have peace of mind by avoiding items like chocolate, grapes, raisins and avocados. Try baking your own pet treats, or check with your local pet bakery for delicious and pet-approved options. Always keep in mind that even pet-friendly foods can cause harm if consumed in excess.

Send out the invitations

Whether you choose to send an email invitation or formal invitations through the postal service, make a statement about the theme. If it's a pool party, let your guests know to bring extra towels for their pets and any pet-approved water toys. If the party is located at a place of business, remind guests to bring plenty of doggie waste bags. Regardless of the theme, the invitations should include all details necessary to provide a fun and safe day for all attendees.

Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the paw-ty with your pooch!

More tips for dog owners

How to keep furniture in good condition with pets at home
Kids and puppies: Rules, safety and responsibility
Using GPS to track your pet

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