How to Host a Party for Your Pets

Hosting a party just for your dog or cat can be fun if you plan ahead. Here are our tips to make your pet-friendly party a success.
Collie Dog at Holiday Pet Party

Collie Dog at Holiday Pet Party

By: Manvi Drona-Hidalgo
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Choose the Right Venue

Like any party, the right venue is essential for event success. Depending on the climate zone, outdoor venues such as dog parks, backyards and rooftop terraces are ideal. In colder areas, indoor venues like basements or rooms without carpeting can be easily adapted for pet-friendly gatherings.

Dog Wearing Bow Tie Party Favor

Dog Wearing Bow Tie Party Favor

Set the Guest List With Care

As most pet-parents would know, it is preferable to not invite cats to a doggy party or dogs to a kitty party. Plan to only invite one or the other.

A dog party is not the ideal time to bring a new dog into the social mix, and it's definitely not a good place for an aggressive dog or any dog you're unsure about.

Create Pet-Friendly Foods

Like people, dogs love to be treated to homemade goodies. But dogs can't eat many ingredients that people enjoy, like cheese, chocolate, onion, macadamia nuts, walnuts, raisins, grapes or artificial flavorings. Generally, use good-quality ingredients and avoid excessive amounts of sugar and salt. As you would with human parties, ask pet-parents well in advance of any special dietary requirements or allergies.

There are so many gourmet options available at most pet stores, but why not mix it up by making some of your own? Not only are homemade treats fresher, healthier options, they also allow to limit qty of sugar and salt intake. Here are some recipes to try:
-Dog-Friendly Strawberry Shortcakes
-Dog Biscuits With Cream Cheese Frosting
-Peanut Butter Biscuits With Carob Frosting

Have plenty of fresh cool water available in several bowls around the space.

Oat Dog Biscuits With Cream Cheese Frosting

Oat Dog Biscuits With Cream Cheese Frosting

Clear Away Breakables

Clear away any breakable or fragile items from the space. When decorating for a dog-focused event, opt for shatterproof materials and simple ornaments.

For a simple centerpiece, plant a rosemary "tree" in a steel bucket and add pebbles to keep it secure in the center of the table. Place non-edible decorations well above the reach of your tallest guests.

Name Cards and Paw Print Dog Bowl

Name Cards and Paw Print Dog Bowl

Plan Party Activities

Don’t forget to include activities to keep pets busy during the party. Pick up a few rope toys for a quality game of tug of war. Have several balls available so there are at least one ball per guest and play free-for-all fetch. Hide treats around the space and declare the dog who finds most the winner.

Candy-Cane Style Chew Toy

Candy-Cane Style Chew Toy

Create Doggy (or Kitty) Bags

No party is complete without party favors! Purchase or create doggy bags for your guests to take home a share of custom treats. These black-and-white-striped bags were made using wrapping paper and double-sided tape. A strip of craft paper brushed with gold glitter lets you personalize each bag.

Don't forget wearable favors, too, like clip-on bow-ties or personalized collars.

Next Up

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This is the perfect favor for a late-night holiday party. Send your guests home with a ready-made breakfast for the morning after the soiree. It works equally well as a thoughtful hostess gift.

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Make Evergreen Tree Holiday Party Favors

Leave guests with a green that they can plant and watch grow. These evergreen seedling party favors will grow into full-sized Christmas trees in the right conditions, like full sun and room to thrive.

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How to Make Ombre-Painted Pinecone Ornaments

Classic pinecones get a modern, ombre treatment in this painted DIY project. Use the finished, colorful pinecones as holiday party favors or to decorate your home for the holidays.

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How to Embellish Dining Chairs

Think beyond the tabletop this holiday season and create some fun and festive dining chair embellishments. All it takes is a handful of simple, holiday-themed craft store materials and a few dabs of hot glue.

How to Create a Modern Kwanzaa Kinara

Lighting the kinara is one Kwanzaa's most symbolic rituals. Invite the kids to help create this modern version that adds a colorful centerpiece to the Kwanzaa table.


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