If there’s ever a day to spoil your dog, it’s on your companion’s birthday. Throwing your dog a birthday party is a fun way to celebrate your four-legged friend and to thank your pet for being a beloved companion. It’s an excuse to rally your dog’s furry friends, to decorate your home in paw prints, and to purchase some special treats for your dog and its pals.
Baby Hope and Wendy Diamond attended the most fabulous dog birthday party for Baby’s dear friend Pupi Dupi Arbus, in New York. Loreen Arbus, Pupi Dupi’s mom, talked about her puppy love and gave Wendy advice on how to plan the perfect doggy paw-ty!
“I chose to call her Pupi Dupi because what else could it be? She’s SO Pupi Dupi! Her funniest trick is when she does ‘Hollywood Girl’. She sits, lies down, rolls over and her little face tummy and paws are in a casting couch position!” said Loreen of her beloved pouch. When asked who Pupi Dupi would be if she was a celebrity, Arbus replied without hesitating: Lucille Ball.
Loreen Arbus is currently the President of the Loreen Arbus Foundation, The Goldenson-Arbus Foundation, and Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc, and serves on over a dozen nonprofit boards. Her philanthropy supports a broad scope of interests, including advocacy for women and girls, and for the world’s largest minority, people with disabilities. Arbus holds the distinction of being the first woman to head programming for a U.S. network, a feat accomplished twice (both at Showtime and Cable Health Network/Lifetime). Ms. Arbus, widely recognized for her humanitarian and professional accomplishments, has received The Heart of Giving Award, presented by President Bill Clinton in 2001, and was chosen as one (of 40) Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World 2002. She lives in New York, Los Angeles, and Buenos Aires. She is a high-profile Argentine Tango choreographer and professional dancer.
While your dog may not understand what a birthday is, or why you want to celebrate it, he will appreciate all the love, affection, toys and treats that she gets on his special day.
Here’s advice on how to throw the perfect dog party!
The first set when planning a doggy party, is to decide on your location. Inside or outside? Do you have a yard? Will the weather allow you to party outside? Make sure that you have areas for both to be comfortable, tables and chairs for humans and lots of running room for the dogs. If you decide on an outdoor party, make sure there is a shaded spot for resting if the weather’s warm, and always have a plan B, in case of rain. Either way, inside or outside, you must provide easy access to a place where your 4-legged guests can “take care of their business.” But just in case, be prepared for an indoor accident with appropriate cleaning supplies to quickly clean up the “spill.”
The guest list
The second step would be to decide on the guest list. Ask yourself these questions: how many dogs and dog parents can I accommodate? Do they all get along (the dogs of course!)? Refrain from inviting dogs that have aggression issues. If you’ve decided to have your dog’s party inside, keep the number small and manageable. Make sure that your four-legged guests are neutered or spayed, up to date on vaccinations, and well socialized.
Then you can start thinking on your invitations! You can purchase dog birthday invitations online or from a nearby pet store. You can find dog themed invitations at party supply stores as well. There is also the option of making your own, designed in the shape of bones, or else! You can include a photo of your pet inside along with the date, time, and location of the party. Make sure you note any special directions such as items to bring or theme requirements inside the invitations, if you are having a “no gift birthday”, for example, and want guests to bring dog food and toys that will be donated to a local shelter, or if you want guest to make a donation to a charity in your pooches name. While choosing your invitations go ahead and pick up some thank you notes to send after the party.
For Pupi Dupi’s party, Loreen Arbus requested donations be made to my new book HOW to Train Your Boss To Rollover’s charity – K9’s For Warriors- providing service dogs to our Veterans with PTSD. “The amazing Wendy Diamond mentioned K9’s for Warriors and I’m a disability activist passionate about dogs – what a perfect fit!” she says.
Party theme and decoration
Pick a theme that best represents your dog! You can coordinate your theme with the colors and patterns of his coat, or his personality! If you have a Dalmatian, decorate your party with black and white party favors or if you have a poodle, throw a “Pink Poodle” party. You can also model your dog’s birthday bash after a famous dog like Scooby-Doo or Snoopy. Consider having a costume party and asking everyone, pets included to dress up. This is something that can be a lot of fun for both the dogs and humans. Have a luau party and put dog-friendly leis on guests as they arrive or do a Western theme and have dogs come wearing bandanas around their necks.
Some paw print balloons and some fun and festive paw print party hats are a simple and inexpensive way to get the paw-ty started.
Since you’re having both pet and people guests, you have to be careful when choosing the menu! You’ve got first to make sure to have plenty of fresh water on hand for your dog and its friends to sip during play breaks. Put dog treats in bowls on the table to be distributed throughout the party. Pick up a canine birthday cake – the doggy bakery has also become popular and there is probably one near you – or whip up one at home. Make sure to serve food, drinks, and snacks for the humans attending the party as well!
The dog food for Pupi Dupi’s party was made by Anna Scala; Dog Cakes for Dogs (aka the Dawgie Bag). Click here to visit the Dog Cakes for Dogs website; call at 917-579-8319.
Gabrielle Machinist catered for the dog parents. Visit the website here: GO Catering. E-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Having a birthday party is no fun without activities! You can organize a contest for things like “the best party dog” or “the most mischievous pooch”. Another fun idea is to have a “look-alike” contest, where your guests vote which dog/human combination look the most alike. Or have your guests bring some dress-up clothes for their dogs, and have a beauty contest. If your party is outside, playing the classic “fetch” is sure to be a success! Fill the party with a variety of toys, balls, and Frisbees for your canine guests to play with. Organize a dog agility race!
Doggy Goodie Bags
Goodie bags are optional, but sending your canine guest home with a goodie bag or personalized bowl filled with dog toys and treats is always a fun way to end the celebration. You might give a thankful doggie goodie bag with some fun memorable tokens of appreciation, including; doggie treats, a fun safe small toy, a gift certificate to a doggie boutique, or restaurant where both pet parents and dogs are welcomed. Don’t forget to take pictures and to send them to your guests after the event.
For Pupi Dupi’s goodie bag, his mom Loreen Arbus chose to include gifts and mugs she had brought for one of her trips to Buenos Aires, Argentina. A personalized gift is always more thoughtful!
- Have either all the dogs unleashed, or all of them leashed. Dogs can act more defensive when they’re on a leash, and could be at a disadvantage with others who are off-leash.
- Bring pickup bags and cleaning products in case of accidents!
- It is best to give treats that don’t last longer than a gulp. If a dog takes a larger treat away to sit and eat it, a skirmish could result. Of course if you are sure that your dog guests can behave, this isn’t an issue!
- If you’re having a party in your back yard, don’t put food down on the ground, or your own dog may get territorial.
- The safest way to introduce food to a group of dogs is to have the parents feed bite-size snacks to their dogs.
- The safest mix of guests is equal numbers of males and females.
- Have guests’ veterinarian information on hand in case of an incident and keep first aid items nearby.
- Be sure that you’re not serving anything unsafe. No chocolate, no alcohol.
If you are serving adult alcoholic drinks to pet parents, don’t let your dog indulge no matter how much fun their having! The scary part is that dogs are sometimes attracted to alcoholic beverages in all forms and sadly, they can die after a single taste. In fact, hundreds of dogs do get sick and suffer death from alcohol ingestion each year.
If you indeed suspect your pet has slurped up some ale or an icy cocktail, look for the warning signs that include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing and lack of coordination. If your dog exhibits these signs after being in contact with alcohol, consult your vet immediately.
Certainly if you want to share the merriment of the festivities with your dog, including the old fashion drinking of beer, there is a way to bypass sickness if your dog desires to dip in! Pet product companies have already launched a number of pet-friendly, non-alcoholic beers. Try this canine event drink: Bowser Beer Ale – a non-alcoholic beer high in protein, containing Glucosamine which essential for maintaining healthy joints.