How To Plan A Real-Life Dog Party: Let’s throw a puppy party! Your little bundle of fur and wet kisses is with you for the long haul, so why not celebrate with your friends? There are plenty of themes to choose from and dozens of reasons to have a party.

For every event, consider whom you should invite, what the event should be celebrating, where the event will take place, when it will happen and how you’re going to make it happen. All of the answers to these questions need to be considered because good planning is key to making the event a success!

The Details

Do you just want to see your Pug in a tutu? Or do you want to watch your Greyhound romp with his friends? Perhaps you want to ring in the big 1st year birthday for your pooch. Here are just a few reasons and seasons to celebrate:{+++}

– A birthday
– Halloween
– Obedience school graduation
– Valentine’s day
– Christmas
– St. Patrick’s Day
etc, etc

doginfrockThe list of reasons to throw a dog party goes on and is limited only by your imagination. The next step is to consider your budget. How much do you want to spend on the event and where do you want the money to go: fabulous invitations, killer decorations or catered food? Will you be buying an over-the-top costume for yourself and your pooch?

The Time & Place

When and where go hand in hand – or paw in paw, actually! For instance, a themed party might dictate when you’ll throw your bash. If you want the dogs to be able to run around outside, a winter holiday party might not be what you are looking for – unless you live in a year-round warm climate area.

Think about a location that is available to you. Outside spaces to consider are your backyard, a public park, a dog run, a dog-friendly beach or a friend’s place. When considering a public area, like a park, be sure to follow the rules. If you choose a public space that requires dogs to be leashed and your four-legged friends are running around unattached, being asked to leave will put a damper on your fun time.

Also, if you choose a public place, remember cleanup bags. Leaving a landmine of feces around will not only affect you and your guests, but also the future use of the place as a dog-friendly environment.
Think about how long you want your party to go on. Will you be in an area, such as a dog park, where the dogs can run around for a few hours and the humans can kick back and hang out, or is an hour more realistic? Along with start time, be sure to include an end time to the party. That way your guests will know what to expect, and when it’s time to go home.

Bringing It All Together

Congratulations! You’ve got your doggie party theme picked out, the perfect budget for the costumes, food and party supplies, the right time and place for the event, and finally, the entertainment agenda. Now it’s time to put it all together and figure how how to get everything done. So let’s help you organize:

Step 1: The Invitations

To let people know, you can send them an e-mail, buy invitations at a store or through a website, or even make your own. Consider a quick save-the-date e-mail before sending out the official invitations. Let people know as far in advance as you can to make sure they put the date in their calenders.

Tie in your invitation with your party theme or location. Then include what, where and when. Also note special instructions or requirements that your guests need to know about – bring a leash, BYOB, etc.

Consider adding a date by which you would like your guests to RSVP. Depending on your timing, give your guests at least two weeks to respond. Once the replies start coming in, it’s time for the step-by-step event planning – making what you imagined actually happen!

Step 2: Preplanning Time

The key to keeping control of how you are going to do everything is by planning ahead. Start by making a big list of who is coming – dogs and their people. List what food and drinks you are going to serve – for dogs and for people. What are they drinking out of and eating off of? Will forks be enough or do you need spoons for the ice cream? How many plates, cups and napkins? Are you going to do goodie bags for the guests?

Then make a list of what you are going to do at the party – activities that are going to be available for your guests, and what they require. Do you need poop bags? Balls or Frisbees? Include a list of decorations. Will you need to buy party hats and birthday treats for the birthday puppy and his pals?

Step 3: Put All Plans In Motion

Start by including a list of when things need to happen. For example, what needs to get done two weeks before the party? Can you confirm the party space? Order the cake? Buy decorations? What needs to be done two days before or the day before? What has to happen the morning of your party.

Work backwards. Writing down everything you need to do and then marking it off will help keep you on track. Your lists will become so handy that by party day, they will look like your puppy chewed them up!

The day of the party will be busy dealing with last-minute issues, but try to give you and your puppy a little down-time before it starts. Smile at how great it all looks and how fun and crazy it will be when the guests start to arrive. And keep your camera on hand at all times – this will definitely be on of those days you want to remember!

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