Choosing the perfect location for any party is important. Choosing a dog-friendly location for your bash can be even more challenging. We prefer to host a dog party at home or another private residence that the dog guests are familiar and comfortable with. If you can’t do this, here are some other options to consider:
♦ A local park, specifically a dog park if you have one in your area
♦ A local dog boutique
♦ A local doggie day care
♦ Any pet-friendly raw space.
Any party must have the perfect mix of guests especially a dog party. Here are some things to consider while crafting your guest list:
♦ To avoid any social “faux paws”, invite only dogs that know and play well together.
♦ Invite an equal number of male and female dogs.
♦ Invite an equal number of small and large dogs.
Tip: Make sure all of the dogs you invite are up to date on their vaccinations.
The invitation is an integral part of any party as it is the first impression guest will have of the event. Because the concept of a dog party is so unique and fun, you want to make sure that your invitation sets the right tone. Here are some creative ideas:
♦ Fill a clear jar with bones and create a custom label with all of the party information.
♦ Send a can of dog food! Attach an adhesive label to the can or include a paper invite in a mailing box.
♦ Send an individually wrapped dog treat personalized with the invitees name and attach a tag with all of the party details.
♦ Send a small dog tog toy or stuffed dog. Tie a tag with all of the party details around its neck.
You can also buy pre-made paper invites. These can be ordered blank or have the company or a local printer print the party details on them for you.
Finding the perfect words for any invitation is always a challenge. Here are some catchy canine phrases to get you thinking:
♦ “Calling all Party Animals”
♦ “Wanna have a playdate?”
♦ “It’s a “PAW-TY” Darling!”
Create custom postage! Visit Zazzle.com to create a stamp with anything from creative text like “WOOF” to a picture of your pup.
Pet Party Menu for Pups
The guests of honor deserve the finest in canine catering. Here are some of our favorites for the main course that even the most “paw-ticular” pooch is sure to love. And don’t forget the cocktails!
♦ The burger and fries box from the Kool Dog Kafe RRRRrrrribbs from The Three Dog Bakery Philly cheesesteak and pupperoni pizza from BONejour
Serve a non-alcoholic and non-carbonated dog beer like Happy Tail Ale or Bowzer Beer Cock a-doodle Brew. If you prefer wine, try some of my favorites from Bark Vineyards like Pinot Leasheo, White Sniff-n-Tail, Johnny Barker Black Lab, Barkundy, Sauvignon Bark.
Save room for dessert and serve up the finest in puppy pastries. Here are some unique ideas: Order personalized dog treats for each of your canine guests. Serve at the party or wrap them in cellophane and tie with a ribbon to give in a take-home “doggie bag.
“ Ask guests to send an image of their dog ahead of time. Create custom cookies that feature the mug of their mutt! Check out www.mydogsbakery.com (for a treat the human guests can enjoy try Cookies by Design!) Get creative with the classics – serve “snickerpoodles” or “vanilla woofers” from Three Dog Bakery.
Tip: If you are throwing a birthday party ” use bone shaped candles on your pooch’s cake! Available at www.just4pooches.com.
Simply Delicioso Doggie Chow
Celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffman created a recipe just for Lulu Flynn’s party that you can prepare at home!
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey or buffalo meat
1 cup uncooked Basmati rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup frozen chopped broccoli or blanched fresh broccoli
1/2 cup chopped carrots, blanched
Mix meat, rice, water and ginger together in a large saucepan or soup pot. Bring to a boil, stir thoroughly, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook 20-25 minutes, until rice is done. Stir in vegetables and cook an additional five minutes. If making multiple batches, be sure to cool the pot in an ice bath to prevent spoilage before storing.
Dog Party Décor
Scatter decorative dog bowls around the party (this will also ensure that none of your guests come down with doggie dehydration!) .
♦ Set up dog houses. These canine cabanas will double as resting area for any pooped pooch.
♦ Scatter dog pillows on the floor/ground.
♦ Scatter glass bowls or pillars of colorful, novelty dog toys.
Hire a dog walker to entertain the dogs while the humans “play”. Hire a mobile pet groomer to groom the dogs on-site. Design your own dog collar! This interactive activity is great for human guests. Provide inexpensive nylon collars and let owners bedazzle them at the party. Make your own doggie stationary and labels.
Pupparazzi: Set up a digital photo station. Snap shots of your guests and print them on-site. Coordinate a doggie “Bitch and Swap”.
Ask owners to bring old collars, leashes and carriers.
Doggie Bags That Give Back
Your dog party is a great time to let guests know about one of your favorite pet charity organizations. If you are passionate about the cause, give your guests the opportunity to learn more about the organization and make a donation themselves. You can prepare some information about the organization or pick up extra fliers and give them to guests in their gift bags.
Gift bags are a great way to thank your guest for coming to your party. Here are some fun ideas for purrrrfect gifts:
♦ A bag of bones, rawhide chews or Greenies.
♦ A collar, leash or collar charm .
♦ A dog toy –perhaps the host’s favorite . Grooming products like doggie shampoo or canine cologne.
♦ A canine cookie cutter in the shape of a bone or paw print.
♦ Individually wrapped, personalized dog treat . Paper photo cards to house the digital photos taken at the party
Tip: Everyone can use a new leash, or an extra one (aren’t you always looking for one?). As a party gift, have each dog’s name personalized on a leash. It’s affordable and cute! For more fun tips on how to throw the purrrfect canine bash, check out Lulu Flynn’s new book, “The Ultimate Dog Party” available at The Limited and on her website www.luluflynn.com.
Puppy Chow Snack Mix for People
For a homemade dessert for human guests that’s doggone good, serve Chex Mix “Puppy Chow”.
9 cups corn Chex, rice Chex, wheat Chex, or a combination
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Measure cereal and place into a large bowl. In a 1-quart microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter uncovered on high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds more or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into a 2-gallon sealable food-storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag and shake until cereal is well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator until you are ready to serve it at your party. ■