It’s paw-ty time! It may be your pet’s “gotcha day” or birthday; it may be Christmas, Hanukkah, or Presidents Day; it may only be the first Monday in May. Whatever the date, including your pet in your celebrations is a lot of fun!
Since Cinco de Mayo is a few days away, we figured now would be a great time to give you some tips about how to safely and creatively celebrate with your pets.
Choose the right venue
Pick your location carefully. For parties that are inside, make sure you’ve “pet-proofed” the room. Keep in mind that dogs can get overtired or overwhelmed so consider keeping indoor parties to 45-90 minutes to avoid any mishaps.
For outdoor parties, if you don’t have a fenced in backyard consider renting space in a daycare or training facility or check out your local dog parks. Be sure to have plenty of baggies to clean up after all of the guests! With outdoor parties you have more flexibility on the length of the party, just let pup parents know they can come and go as their pups prefer!
Be your pet’s chef/bartender
What better way to celebrate with your pet than with a special treat? Whether you cook them up a feast or buy a “pup-cake,” your pet will love it! There are many great recipes for pet snacks online, including these dog safe cake recipes or these adorable “bark-aritas.”
Plan your treats with your pet in mind and keep the human food away from the pets. If you are holding a party with your pup’s best furr-iends, check to make sure none of them have food allergies ahead of time.
If you aren’t a baker, there are many places you can purchase pup-friendly snacks and cakes. Check out some delicious treats from PetCakes!
When serving your treats give each guest their own plate or bowl to avoid any arguments over resources. And don’t forget to hydrate! Make sure that there are enough water bowls with fresh water for all of the pups.
Dress up with your pet
Choose a theme for your party that both you and your pet can participate in. If your pet likes to dress up, coordinate your outfits for a Hawaiian themed party with leis or an Cinco de Mayo party with sombreros. If your dog or cat isn’t interested in wearing anything, try to find a themed toy for them to enjoy (and for you to photograph them with!).
Invite their friends
If your dog (or even cat) has particular friends, send out invitations to include them in your pup’s party for some fun and romps. Be sure that you have chosen your venue with care though. Fenced in yards or rented doggy daycare facilities where your pup and their friends can safely celebrate with enthusiasm are best for larger groups.
Make sure any pets that you’ve invited are “pre-approved.” This is not the time to introduce a new dog to the crew, so only invite those who know each other and are comfortable together. Pet parents should be on hand to supervise during the paw-ty and to give any pup who may be feeling overwhelmed or anxious some quiet time out of the mix.
Inviting your pet’s friends can be great fun, but make sure you have safe activities planned. Consider putting out a kiddie pool or having a basket full of balls or frisbees (just make sure there’s enough to go around so no one gets jealous!). You could even plan an obstacle course or relay games for pets and their owners!
Spend time with your pet
You love your pet and they love you. Why not celebrate the holiday, whatever it may be, with some special one-on-one time with your pup or kitty? Take some time out of the holiday to do something you enjoy together, whether it’s playtime, a meandering stroll, or just a nice snuggle on the couch.
Donate in their honor
Give other pets the chance for the love and care your pet found with you. Consider donating to a shelter or rescue to help them feed and house pets who are waiting for their fur-ever homes. Share your donation and your pet’s celebration on social media to help spread the word and raise more funds for pets in need.
For those of us who are cat owners, we know that the idea of a large group of people/animals can be quite scary. Instead of overwhelming your cat, try these party ideas:
- Plan a small guest list, limiting the invitees to family and friends your cat knows well. Likely your cat would appreciate them leaving their own pets at home unless they are already good friends.
- Choose a quiet and cozy venue. Pick a room in your home where you cat feels comfortable and make sure you create some safe places where the cat can retreat if he or she needs to take a break.
- Make the games cat friendly. Consider having your guests play with a laser or some new toys with your cat. Keep everything laid back, but don’t forget the catnip!