10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party

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There are dog people and there are cat people. We are dog people. I’ve grown up around large dogs my entire life and knew when I had my own family, we would have a dog in our lives. To celebrate every year together, what better way to honor your special family member than hosting a party for its barkday!

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party

We've had our mini schnauzer, Zeus, since he was 3 months old and not once in all of his 9 years have we celebrated his January birthday. Although he has caused grief and destruction over the years (from skin allergies and chewing on furniture, to special gifts left on the carpet when he wasn't getting enough 'attention') we can't imagine life any other way.  It never occurred to me to celebrate since January in the Seattle area is not outside birthday weather and I like my dogs like I like my children, outside as much as possible!

Since he is considered a senior but very active dog, feeding him high quality food is important to a longer, happier life with more opportunities to celebrate.  To do this, we feed him Purina® Pro Plan® Savor Adult Shredded Blend, chicken and rice formula, a high-quality nutrition made with real poultry. It's a combination of crunchy kibble and tender shredded pieces that he loves.

With optimal levels of protein and fat, it helps him maintain an ideal body condition for his busy days of running in our backyard and keeping us safe from the deer and raccoons that live in our greenbelt.

With a little help from PetSmart, here are a few of my favorite tips to make your barkday party a success!

Location, Location, Location!
Regardless of who the party is for, the right venue is essential for success. Outdoor areas like dog parks and backyards are perfect for warmer weather soirees.  In colder times, opt for indoor areas like basements without carpeting, doggy daycare or pet store party rooms.

Come. Sit. Stay.
I always love a good party invitation, whether paper or digital! I love this free dog party invite download and this adorable digital invite. Either way, don't forget important party info like where exactly to meet at the park.

Choose Your Guests Wisely
Just like a kid or adult party, creating your guest list for your pet's party is just as important.  If your pet has a group of doggy friends, a party is not the ideal time to bring a new or aggressive dog into the social mix.

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party; party table

Set The Scene
Search “doggy birthday party” on Pinterest and you will find an endless amount of party inspiration! Get tails a-waggin’ and less stress for you with my easy tablescape. Whether you are indoors or out, a simple tablecover of astroturf from your local hardware store is a great base for your party table. I made a simple banner from cardstock and fun doggie-themed wrapping paper.

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party; party banner

Let Them Eat Cake.... 
Like people, dogs love homemade treats, but they can't eat many ingredients we enjoy, like cheese, chocolate, walnuts, grapes or artificial flavorings. There are so many gourmet options available at PetSmart (I love their Treat Bar) and you can mix things up making your own treats like Apple and Peanut Butter Pupcakes.  A quick online search will yield easy recipes; generally, they use good-quality ingredients and avoid excessive amounts of sugar and salt.

Don't forget, just as you would with human parties, ask pet-parents well in advance of any special dietary requirements or allergies.

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party; water station

...And Lots Of  Water

I set up a little water station to help our 4-legged guests stay hydrated.  Be sure and have lots of cool water and bowls on hand.

Have A Rockin' Playlist
Load up your iPod and keep your human guests rocking out with dog-inspired tunes...but keep it in the background, loud music can be frightening to dogs.

Who Let The Dogs Out | Baha Men
Gonna Buy Me A Dog | The Monkees
Who Am I? (What's My Name?) | Snoop Lion (when he was Snoop Dogg!)
Me and You and a Dog Named Boo | Lobo
Atomic Dog | George Clinton
(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window? | Patti Page
Walking The Dog | Rufus Thomas
Puppy Love | Lil Bow Wow
Hound Dog | Elvis Presley
Diamond Dogs | David Bowie

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party; doggy toys

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party; doggy toys table

Keep Pets Busy
Don’t forget to include activities to keep pets busy during the party. On our table, I have an assortment of toys for play.  From rope toys for a good game of tug of war to balls for free-for-all fetch, they do double duty as favors; pet parents can take them home!

Lazy Dog Area
Even dogs need a place to relax, especially in warmer weather.  Ask guests to bring extra dog beds and old blankets and if you are outdoors,  set up under shade for chillin' out.

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party; doggy treats

Send Them Home With A Smile 
No party is complete without favors! Besides their toys, I set up a big bowl of our shredded blend dog food and bagged up some so guests could use them as treats during the party and at home.  You can fill your doggy bags with fun like like bandanas and poop bags.  Don't forget pet-parents need a special treat bag, too!

10 Tips For Hosting Your Dog's Barkday Party; Zeus checks out our table

As a good dog owner, you want your pet to be happy so make sure one way is at meal time! Be sure and head to PetSmart for the following in-store offer; SPEND $15 on any Purina® Pro Plan® product, 5/31–7/5. SAVE $15 on your next purchase of 10.5-lbs. or larger Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Cat or Dog Food or Litter by 7/31.

I hope you have been inspired to make every moment with your dog count!

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