Who doesn’t love a good house party or backyard barbecue? With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted for the vaccinated and as cases decrease in the U.S., people want to go back to spending time with their family and friends. And who doesn’t want their furry friends in attendance?
If you’re planning on hosting a get-together to celebrate the new normal, you’ll surely want to make it pet-friendly. But what does a pet-friendly party look like? It depends on the type of party you’re holding. Parties with friends and dog-centric parties will have different needs, and you want to remain attentive to what your dogs want.
From chew toys to quiet spaces to bully sticks, here’s everything you need to host the perfect pet-friendly party.
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Parties with Other Friends
Make a plan
Create a game plan before your big day comes. That means thinking of potential dog hazards, places where dogs aren’t allowed, and where dogs should generally hang out throughout the party.
Make an isolated space
It’s a good idea to have a place where dogs can go if they look anxious or nervous. A lot of noise, multiple dogs, and many new faces can be overwhelming for a dog, so it’s important to give them a place where they can decompress if they need it. This could be as simple as providing a small, fenced off area where dogs can be let in and out. It will allow dogs to occasionally be put in by their owners, whether they’re in need of relaxation or simply need some alone time.
Don’t get too rowdy
After many months away, you might be ready to get loud and really shout about how much you’re loving life. With it being summertime, you may even feel compelled to set off some fireworks. However, it’s best to forgo them, as they are known to throw many dogs into a panic, and that’s no fun for anyone. Keeping things under control will prevent your dogs from getting anxious or working themselves up. Your neighbors will appreciate the lack of barking.
Avoid feeding pets
Make sure that all your party-goers are on the same page: Do not feed the pets with your hands. No matter how much a dog begs, no one should feed them any food meant for humans. Doing so will only reinforce begging behavior, and it could lead to them eating something they’re not supposed to. Instead, supply some treats and dog bones that all the pets in attendance can enjoy.
End the night at the right time
Another good idea is to set a time limit for your get-together. This might sound silly, but it’s something you should consider: After the last 16 months, you’ll likely want to party the night away. But doing so can be bad for your dogs, as it would break their regular schedule. If you plan on making it into a memorable night, make sure to ask people to bring along their dog’s food and, potentially, a bed if they want them to get their rest while you all party on.
Plan the perfect guest list
While you’ll want to invite all of your friends’ dogs to your pet party, you should be mindful of who it is you’re inviting. Do your best to invite dogs that are already friendly with one another; however, avoid dogs that are highly reactive around other dogs. Even if they calm down after some time, you don’t want a potentially aggressive scenario to happen. Invite dogs that are calm and well-trained to keep everything copacetic.
Get your space ready
You need to make sure that the dogs have a safe space to hang out, play, and celebrate. That involves removing all human food from places where dogs can reach it. You should also remove any plants that would be dangerous for them to nibble on, as well as any large or breakable objects they could potentially knock over.
Make sure the menu fits
Your party doesn’t have to be outfitted with premade treats, chews, and biscuits. While they’ll love having some pig ears to gnaw on, they’ll also love some fresh-made baked goods. However, you’ll want to be mindful of what you make. Some human food isn’t good for a dog’s health, so you should know what to avoid when making dog food. These include ingredients like almonds, cinnamon, garlic, and ice cream.
Also be mindful of how much salt and sugar you use if making baked goods for the dogs in attendance – both can be detrimental to their health, even in moderate consumption.
Give them something fun to do
As much as they’ll be able to enjoy one another’s personality, you should also give the dogs in attendance something to do. Your best bet is to provide a lot of dog toys. These include rope toys that multiple dogs can pull on at the same time and chewy balls of all shapes and types – squeaky, durable, and more. It’s an easy way to help them get their energy out. Equally, some dogs can take toys off on their own if they feel like they need some personal space.
Leave everyone with a parting gift
Leave the dogs in attendance with something to remember. While you can send them off with doggy bags full of uneaten treats from the party, you can even consider supplying them with a pre-made bag. These can include some dental biscuits, training treats, and bully sticks.
Whatever party you plan on hosting, make it the best you can. That involves keeping your furry guests in mind by arranging and organizing your party in a way that is safe and fun for them.