Looking for the "purr-fect" way to celebrate your favorite pet? By hosting a pet event, you can not only socialize with friends and family, but also show off your favorite canine or feline companions.
The variety of pet events you can host is endless. For example, you can plan a casual outdoor get together, or pull out all the stops to host an extravagant shindig full of "paw-zazz." What's more, besides making it an occasion to hang out with other pets and their humans, you can turn your party into a fundraising event to benefit an animal welfare organization.
Explore our list of fun ideas, starting on the next page.
At an adoption "paw-ty" for your pet, you can celebrate the arrival of your four-legged family member with his or her "furever" family. If you've gotten a dog, choose a pooch-friendly location such as a fenced in backyard or a local dog park. If you've recently welcomed a cat to your family, host the adoption paw-ty indoors at your home. Bake a pet-friendly cake, and invite your family and friends. You also can provide your human attendees with information about adopting a pet from a local shelter to spread the word about the importance of supporting animal advocacy organizations.
If you know the day of your pet's birth, you can make it a birthday shindig; however, if you don't know it, you could opt for March 17, the day that Purina honors all pets with an unknown birthday.
If you're looking to create a more upscale and formal pet event, consider throwing a yappy hour, a canine cocktail party for your friends and their pets. Get decked out in chic cocktail attire, or keep it casual while sipping on yummy beverages and tasting delicious treats. You can host a yappy hour at your home, a local dog park, or a social venue with pet-friendly policies. You may want to limit this one to dogs your pet already knows or to dogs that you know are well socialized.
Canine companions can socialize while their humans enjoy pet-themed cocktails such as meowtinis, vodka greyhounds, bark-a-ritas, poodle coladas, barky alexanders and meowhattans. Serve pet-themed snack such as cocktail wieners and bone-shaped cookies. Both humans and pets will lap up all of the energy and excitement of this pet-friendly event.
Why not organize a group of friends and their canine counterparts to take a walk around the neighborhood? Not only will you and your pooch get some exercise, but you both will have a chance to socialize and mingle with other pets and their owners.
If you plan your dog walk well in advance and have lots of people who are interested in participating, you could also challenge them to raise money for a pet-friendly cause such as your local humane society or rescue shelter. For example, you could charge an entry fee for the walk or ask local businesses to sponsor your event.
Host a spooktacular party for pets and their humans by throwing a "Howl-o-ween" bash. Invite guests and their pets to dress in their favorite Halloween costumes. You can give out prizes for best overall costume, scariest or cutest outfit, and best human and pet pair.
At your event venue, set up trick-or-treating stations, with treats for the pets and pumpkin bread, caramel apples and candy corn for the humans. You also could set up a photo booth so that your decked-out "fur-togenic" pets and their human companions can have their "paw-traits" taken. Be sure to send guests home with doggie bags full of "Howl-o-ween" treats.
This pet-themed party is a play on the traditional coming-of-age ceremony celebrated in the Jewish faith. A Bar or Bat Mitzvah traditionally marks a young man or woman's 13th birthday. If you want to recognize the coming of age of your four-legged kid, you can hold a Bark/Meow Mitzvah to acknowledge his or her 13th month birthday or whenever you think your puppy or kitten has grown into a sophisticated and mature dog or cat.
You don't necessarily have to be Jewish to throw a Bark/Meow Mitzvah. Some pet owners celebrate this event to recognize a spiritual connection to their dog or cat. Or, you could host a Bark or Meow Mitzvah simply to throw a party that will be fun for pets and people alike. Some pet stores even offer Bark/Meow Mitzvah packages that include pet-sized yarmulkes and Star of David puppy and kitty treats, all kosher, of course, to celebrate this rite of "paw-sage." Everyone will be sure to say "Muzzle tov!"
Throwing a red carpet event gives you and your friends the chance to dress up like a celebrity. See 10 ideas for a red carpet event to get started.
- Alaska Retrievers: Purina Pet Lovers. "Fur-real Birthday Paw-ty." (March 14, 2012.) http://www.alaskasretrievers.com/Purina-Pet-Adoption-Birthday-Kit.pdf
- Dog Lover Gift Baskets. "Meow Mitzvah for Cat." (March 14, 2012). http://www.doglovergiftbaskets.com/product/DBH-MeowMitzvah
- Animal Shelter Tips. "Fundraisers." (March 15, 2012). http://www.animalsheltertips.com/fundraising_events.html
- Ruff Ideas. "Events for Humans and Dogs." (March 14, 2012). http://happytailsspa-blog.com/2008/04/30/events-for-humans-dogs/