National Dog Party Day is celebrated on June 21st, and it’s a fun holiday for dogs to let loose and enjoy the company of other canines.
If you’ve never thrown a dog party before, this is a good day to give it a chance. Dog parties can be as elaborate or as laid-back as you and your pup want them to be. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to throw a party that your dog and their furry friends will enjoy.
Keep in mind that you may need to change up some of these party tips due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All humans should wear masks and practice social distancing, and maybe limit petting when it comes to dogs who don’t live in your home.
Here are a few tips to make your dog party a barking blast on National Dog Party Day.
1. Give Pups Space To Play
Whether you invite a lot of dogs or only a few of your pup’s closest canine friends, they’ll need a safe place with a lot of room to run around and have fun.
If you have that space in your home or yard, that’s great, and it’s probably a fairly safe option.
If you want your pup and friends to enjoy the outdoors, consider having the party at a dog beach or dog park where the dogs can run and play. However, if you’re planning on having a very large gathering, you’ll probably need to check and see if permits are necessary, so plan for that.
You must also check to see if beaches and parks near you have closed or limited the number of people they’ll admit due to the pandemic. Follow your local regulations and guidelines. They’re there for your safety. A dog party isn’t worth risking anyone’s health.
2. Pick Party Games
Your dog and their pals will probably be happy to run around and make their own fun, but adding some games to the mix can make for some great mental and physical exercise.
Bobbing for toys is a fun game. All you need is a kiddie pool and some dog toys, then let pups grab their favorites from the water.
You can also have fun contests, like seeing who can fetch the fastest, do the best trick, or stay the longest. You can do doggy obstacle courses or hide treats and let the dogs search for them like an Easter egg hunt.
Prizes for the winners might make things fun, too.
3. Invite Your Pup’s Best Friends
Picking out a guest list can be tough. You should only invite dogs who get along and have been properly socialized, or incidents become more likely.
A good place to start is with your pup’s friends from doggy daycare or training classes.
You can also invite playmates your dog has met at dog parks, neighbor dogs, or relative dogs that can handle playing in a group setting.
Again, stay mindful of the pandemic and follow your local safety guidelines. Limit the size of your party and make sure every human who attends will have enough space to socially distance.
4. Make Treats
What’s a party without good food? Your dog and their friends will love some healthy, homemade snacks, made by you.
There are plenty of recipes online, so look around for one that suits your skill level and your dog’s tastes. Be sure to check with all the guest dogs’ parents to see if they have special dietary requirements.
The video above gives a low-calorie treat recipe from our own culinary canine, Chef Henry.
5. Keep It All Safe
Even with dogs who are fully socialized in a reasonably safe setting, accidents can happen. A dog party can be a good time for dog owners to catch up with each other and have fun, but someone must always supervise the action.
Alcohol should only be enjoyed in moderation, if at all, and certainly kept out of canine reach. Provide access to plenty of fresh drinking water for dogs, and pay attention to the weather report if you’re having your party outside so you can prepare.
Have vet and animal hospital phone numbers ready, and make sure your doggy first-aid kit is up to date. Stay alert and don’t be distracted by conversation.
And it bears repeating: keep pandemic safety guidelines in mind.
6. Help Other Dogs
A dog party is a time for fun, but it can also be a helpful event for other dogs who are waiting for their forever homes.
Consider asking guests for a donation to your local shelter. It doesn’t even need to be a monetary donation. Many people have items that shelters could use in their homes right now, and your local shelter might be happy to take them. Just check your shelter’s list of acceptable donations.
It might also be a good time to encourage others to volunteer. Have fun and make a difference on National Dog Party Day!
Is your dog going to have a party on National Dog Party Day? What are your best tips for throwing a great dog party? Let us know in the comments below!