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This year Dog Party Day is June 21, next Sunday, and the perfect time to throw a fun party for your dog/s. COVID-19 has suspended a lot of activities, but this idea could be a lighthearted diversion for you and your dog. Don’t think it’s silly—half of American households have dogs, so you will not be alone in using this day as a greyt excuse to throw an epic dog party!

Who to Invite?
Think about your dog’s personality. Would your dog like to be the only pup at their party? If you want to make your dog the center of the attention, invite your dog loving friends and family over and dote on your one and only. Does he like the company of a few familiar canine pals? This should determine who’s invited. You might be tempted to invite everyone you know with a dog, but restrain yourself and limit attendees to a maximum that you, your dog and your venue will comfortably handle. If you’re a multi-dog household, then you can have the best of both worlds by having all your dogs enjoy the party.

Two things to remember if other dogs will be present: it’s better not to invite dogs he’s never met; a party isn’t the best place for them to get to know each other. Also, be sure owners know they should stick around for the party, rather than just dropping their dogs off for a few hours.

This time of year, your large fenced yard is ideal. If you don’t have a fenced yard, consider your local dog park or a dog beach. For inside parties, you  might want a dog-friendly locale, like a local doggy daycare or obedience school. Whatever the location, make sure it’s escape-proof.

Decorations                                                                                         This depends on your preference – do you like to go all out?  Matching invitations, banners, party plates/cups, hats?  If you prefer to keep things simple, maybe just some doggy-themed disposable plates from the party store will do. You decide what is fun and manageable for you.  Your dog doesn’t care!

What’s a party without food and drink? For the humans, consider dog-themed treats, like mini-hotdogs and sandwiches cut into bone shapes. Fuss-free snacks could be as simple as chips and dip, and veggie platter. How about nuts in a dog bowl? Trail mix that looks like kibble? Use dog-themed cookie-cutters to make cookies for your human guests. Greyhound, bunny and squirrel cookie cutters here =  Make sure people food is put in an area that is out of reach of the dogs. For drinks, there are several beers with dog-themed names to go along with the usual soda and water.

Of course, the dogs deserve some special treats, too. You can whip up some delicious party dog treats that are healthy and tasty. For some easy pupsicle recipes, check out my earlier blog= More ideas on Pinterest and Instagram. Always double check ingredients to ensure they are safe for the dogs. Some common foods you should never give to dogs are chocolate, avocado, grapes, and dairy. If you prefer to buy treats, you may be able to find a local pet bakery in your area that will bake a personalized cake just for your party.  Your local pet store will have a variety of treats that are safe for all dogs.

Make sure you have several bowls of fresh water available.  If outside and the weather is hot, put a couple of ice cubes in the water dishes.

Fun Activities
Every party needs activities. If it’s hot out, you could fill a kiddie pool, so the dogs can take a dip, or set up a sprinkler. A basket of new tennis balls will entertain your canine guests. Or combine both ideas and fill a kiddie pool with tennis balls: instant bouncy pit for dogs. Fill a bucket of water with tasty snacks (like cut up hot dogs), and let the dogs play “bobbing for treats” (maybe one at a time).

How about a bone-shaped piñata full of dog treats — it's fun for everyone. Clear out the dogs and have the humans go at it with a blindfold. Then . . . release the hounds! The dogs will go wild for the treats, and the humans will have fun too.

Relaxation Area                                                                                     In addition to games and activities, you should also provide an area for pups to relax and get away from the action. Be sure this area is shaded. It is also a nice touch to pick up some pillows and blankets from a secondhand store and put them out for dogs that need a break.

Provide plenty of poop bags. Dogs will relieve themselves during the party, especially if they eat a lot of food. Make sure you pass out poop bags to owners during your party so you don’t step in anything or have a huge mess to clean up when it’s over. If your party is indoors, schedule a couple of mini-breaks for all the dogs to go outside and do their business to avoid having accidents on floors or carpets.

A fun way to end your party and say farewell to your furry guests is by handing out “doggy favors.”  Send your canine guests home with some treats to enjoy after the party’s over. This would be the place for larger treats, like bully sticks, chews, jerky, etc. Don’t want to cause any squabbles over chewies.

At the end of the day, celebrating your dog is what it’s all about: appreciating the bond you share with your best friend. There are so few times in life when we can enjoy pure simple happiness, and what could be happier than a bunch of dogs, playing freely, misbehaving joyously, and generally having a great time? Nothing can compare to the companionship our dogs bring to our lives, so give your dog a little extra fun on Dog Party Day!


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