Throw a party for your dog
Fancy throwing your dog his very own party? Then go for it! Here we tell you everything you need to prepare and ways to make the party fun for your four-legged friends...
- Party guest list - think carefully about who you're going to invite; we're talking canine guests in particular, but you may want to consider your human guests too. Avoid obvious clashes and be prepared for some squabbling if you're including some dogs the others don't know. Often, things will run perfectly smoothly, but don't assume that all the dogs will get along famously. You could make it official by sending out invitations.
- Party venue - if you're planning to hold the party at home, first work out how many guests you can safely and happily accommodate. Is your garden completely dog-proof? You don't want canine guests escaping while their owners are busy chatting. It's also a good idea to have a contingency plan of what you will do if the weather is bad. The location also depends on the size and number of dogs that you plan to invite.
- Walk this way - organising the party so that it includes a good walk first is an excellent idea. It gives all the dogs the opportunity to socialise in an open space, where they can have a good run around, burn off any excess energy, and sort out any differences of opinion. Check out and plan the route beforehand and make sure it's suitable for all of your party guests.
- Playtime - plan your party games before the event itself, bearing in mind your canine guests and what they might enjoy. There are lots of games you can include. Keep them short and simple and don't try to cram in too many in one afternoon. Try to organise the games so everyone has a good chance of doing well at something and remember to include a prize for each winner - things like toys or treats are ideal.
- Food - remember to provide food for both human and canine guests. It's probably best to avoid barbecues and picnics at ground level unless all your doggy friends are very well behaved. Make sure any food provided for the dogs is suitable and safe. There are some yummy products available nowadays that can help to make the day even more special for your dog. Access to a constant supply of clean, fresh water is important for your canine guests too, particularly if they are being very active.
- Presents - this is your chance to indulge your canine pal with a new collar, lead, or toy. Why not put together a party bag for each of your doggy guests to take home with them? Include a few treats, chews, and a toy.
When it comes to party games, the opportunities are endless. Use your imagination to think up some fun and different games. Activities you might like to try include:
- Musical sits: Scatter some hula hoops on the lawn (one less than the number of canine guests). The participants walk around in a large circle and when the music stops rush to the nearest hoop and get their dog to sit inside it as quickly as possible. The guest without a hoop is out, and the number of hoops is gradually reduced with each round until there is one winner.
- Apple' bob: Two owners and their dogs race over a couple of jumps to the end of the garden where there is a children's paddling pool filled with plastic balls or other floating toys. The dogs must retrieve a toy from the pool and then get back to the finish as quickly as possible. First across the finish line wins.
- Egg and spoon race: Owners and their dogs line up at the start and it's a straight race to the finish line. However, each owner must run with the dog's lead in one hand and an egg on a spoon in the other. If the egg falls, it's back to the start.
- Pass the parcel: Wrap some dog treats in layers of old newspaper or wrapping paper and get your human guests to pass it around until the music stops playing. It's nice to make sure everyone gets a go at unwrapping a layer and winning a prize.
So, what are you waiting for? Get party planning!