The following is a guest post from Ashley Spade. Ashley, in addition to being Sir Winston Pugsalot the First’s favorite human, is a blogger and law student. She volunteers at her local pug rescue in between studying and training for triathlons (sometimes at the same time).
When the summer arrives, there’s nothing better than getting together outdoors with friends. If you have pets, you don’t want your furry friends to miss out on the beautiful weather either. One of the traditions Sir Winston Pugsalot the First and I have taken to is throwing a pet soiree for all of our friends to kick off summer. Sir WP loves playing with all of his doggie friends, and of course, it’s a ton of fun for the people guests as well! These tips will help you plan your own pet party for this summer, and maybe start some traditions of your own.
A comfortable, outdoor location will ensure that all of your guests, humans and pets alike, have a good time. Sir WP loves the back yard, and it’s got all his favorite play spots and tons of space, so that’s where we have our party. If you decide to hold the party in your back yard, set up patio furniture for your people guests. If you don’t have outdoor space, gather in a park and bring blankets to sit on. If possible, choose a park where the dogs can be off leashes, at least in one of the areas, so they don’t feel confined during the party.
Plan food for both your people and pet guests to enjoy, but please everyone by making the foods look as similar as possible. Sir WP never likes to feel like he’s missing out on something. Dogs and people can both enjoy all-beef hot dogs for lunch. For dessert, make a doggie cake and a people cake. In the dog cake, adjust your favorite recipe by substituting carob for chocolate and reducing the amount of added sugar. The best frostings for dogs are peanut butter or cream cheese-based ones, not the usual sugary frostings. Make sure you have a paper plate or bowl for each dog, and serve just a small slice to keep them from getting sick.
Make the dogs the center of attention at your party by setting up at least one game for them to play. Typical dog games, like fetch and frisbee, can be fun for active dogs. You can also set up an agility course and challenge owners to lead their dogs through in the fastest time. Opt for a parade if you’re expecting a crowd of less active dogs, or dogs of differing sizes and ages. Just don’t forget to let the owners know to bring their dog’s best outfit to the party. You can even provide a chew toy prize for the dog with the winning costume!
Send each pet owner home with one of Sir WP’s favorite homemade treats, a bag of double carob cookies with peanut butter. Just warm 1 cup of peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, mix in 1 cup of milk, and stir that combination into 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup of oats, 1 tablespoon of carob powder and 1/4 cup of carob chips. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
With a location, food and fun, you’re all set to send out invitations to your summer pet soiree. But remember, some dogs don’t do well when they meet others, and you don’t want to invite a dog that will ruin the party. Try to stick to dogs that already know each other, so they’ll have fun too. If you all enjoy the party, you may even find that a friend who came will throw the next one later in the summer.