A puppy shower is a fun way to welcome the newest member of the family, and unlike a baby shower, the guest of honor gets to join in the fun!
Now, you may already be rolling your eyes at the thought of obsessive dog parents throwing a party for a pooch, but a puppy shower isn’t just for doting on our dogs. Puppy showers have practical purposes, too; they can help you kick off your puppy’s socialization process by introducing them to the humans and canines who will be a part of their life. That’s certainly worth celebrating!
Here are a few things to consider when planning your dog’s Welcome Home puppy shower.
What Does A Puppy Shower Look Like?
Many hosts organize a puppy shower along the same lines as a baby shower–lots of baby blue and pink decorations and G-rated games. However, there are no strict rules when it comes to puppy shower decor. You can be as extravagant or minimalist as you’d like.
Just remember to keep decorations out of reach of your puppy and any other canine guests who may attend. You could have a pretty big, sudden mess on your hands if the pooches get their paws on them, and some decorations can even present a choking hazard. Safety first!
Where Do Puppy Showers Happen?
When picking a venue for your puppy shower, you should take into account how many people you think will attend, as well as how many furry guests you’ll have. If you plan to have the party at home, make sure you have enough space for excited pups to run around and play. A fenced-in backyard is a good option. Just make sure all play is supervised, even for friendly or well-trained doggy guests.
If your party is too big for your smaller living space, you might want to consider having a party at a dog-friendly park or beach. Guests can hang out picnic-style while the pooches play. Doggy daycare centers will also sometimes rent out their locations for puppy parties, so call ahead and check their rates.
Who Should You Invite?
When it comes to the guest list, choose wisely. Not everyone will be on board with a puppy shower, and that’s okay. You should, however, invite the people who will be a major part of your dog’s life so your puppy can meet them and start forming connections and relationships early. That way, your pup will be comfortable when your guests return for a visit later. Emphasize to your guests that this will be very helpful to you and your dog, and it’s a nice chance for you to catch up and celebrate a happy event in your life, too.
As for canine guests, you should invite dogs who are well-behaved and socialized to avoid doggy drama. The last thing anyone wants is for a bunch of wild hounds who cause trouble all in the same place wreaking havoc and teaching your puppy bad behaviors. Make sure to invite the dogs of family and friends who will visit often so your pup can get used to furry visitors.
Should Guests Bring Gifts?
Some ask for gifts to help them get set up as a pet parent. If you go that route, register at a pet supply store or send out a wish list to guests, so you don’t get 25 versions of the same thing. Include items like gift certificates for dog sitters, poop bags, and car restraints so you get some practical stuff, as well.
Of course, some people feel weird about asking for gifts for their dogs. It’s okay if you don’t want your guests to bring gifts, too. Their company and show of support is important whether they come with gifts or not.
Are There Any Unwritten Rules For Throwing Puppy Showers?
There aren’t any rules when it comes to puppy showers, so you’ve got plenty of freedom here. For instance, it’s perfectly fine to throw a puppy party to welcome an adopted adult dog home. And unlike baby showers, you don’t have to rely on a kind-hearted friend or auntie-to-be to set things up; you’ll cross no petiquette boundaries if you throw your own shower.
As for activities, there are no rules here, either. They can be as organized or unorganized as you want. There are plenty of puppy shower games that you can play, or you can just let guests get acquainted in their own ways. It’s totally up to you.
Your main concern when it comes to your puppy shower should be safety for you, your guests, and your puppy. Puppy showers can be a lot of fun for people and for dogs, but both humans and canines have limits. Just keep in mind that it’s easy for a puppy to get overwhelmed, and a scare at this impressionable age can turn into a deep-seated fear. Make the experience festive, but not so lively that your pup is hiding under the sofa.
It may be a good idea to designate a resting space where pooped pups can lie down in peace and quiet. A separate room–or if you’re outdoors, a picnic blanket or carrier/kennel–would make for a good cool-down zone.
Always supervise play, even among trained, socialized dogs. It’s not a bad idea to have a first-aid kit on hand, and you should certainly have the number of the emergency vet in your phone, just in case. Make sure trash is secure and out of reach, and keep human foods and drinks away from the pets.
Oh, and bring some extra poop bags and cleaning supplies. Puppies do what puppies do.
Have you ever thrown a puppy shower? What tips do you have for making it a fun, safe experience? Let us know in the comments below!
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