Pet parties are a thing! So, Let’s Plan A Pet Party!
Our Pet Party Store is one of most popular departments We thought it would be fun to challenge our team to share their favorite tips, ideas and insights into planning a party for pets and people.
In this blog post we will share ideas, our favorite party products and party planning skills that will help you pull off the perfect pet party. While planning a pet party is very similar to planning any party, there are some distinct differences to be considered. We encourage you to take note of the tips that fit your party needs, but also to keep an open mind when it comes to the theme, the location and occasion.
“Any time is a good time to have a party!“
Anytime is a good time to have a party, so before we plan a party, let’s define three distinct types of pet parties.
Guest of Honor Pet Party – this is a party that is held to honor a single pet and attended by that pet and a group of humans. All the focus is on that pet and everyone knows it. This style party can generally be held anywhere, you can focus on fewer guest needs and the theme choice is unlimited.
Pet & Human Parties – this party welcomes humans and their pets. Not every guest has to bring a pet, but the focus is hosting an event that is equally entertaining to the pets and humans that attend. The location of pet & human parties might be a bit more challenging depending on the breeds, size and personalities of the pets, oops yes we meant humans of course. Any theme goes when planning a pet & human party and you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to host one, consider a movie premier, Mardi Gras or to celebrate a new job.
Pet Themed Parties – this party may be for humans or attended by pets & humans. What makes this party unique is the theme is “pet themed” and not a general party theme. Pet themed plates, banners and a dog bone cake shape. This is often a theme chosen by pet-lovers
We realized there are many other types of parties, but for the purpose of this post, let’s go with these three.
Party Check List
Choose a Theme
Day & Time
Plan the Menu
Choose a Party Theme
You don’t have to overcomplicate this, but having a theme makes everything else on your list so much easier. It is really important if you are going to request guests wear costumes, host games or plan on elaborate decorations. Some trendy pet party themes are Spa Day, Farm Animals, Murder Mystery, Choose a Breed, celebrate a milestone or celebrate your favorite movie or TV show. If the party is for adults, you can have a bit fun with the theme options and with kiddos, you might want to be a little bit more conservative. For more party theme ideas check out these Pet Party Theme Departments. If you go with a traditional theme they generally come with their own color palette. If you choose a more general theme, now is a good time to choose a color palette.
Tip: Choose a theme that is popular, an upcoming movie release or trending to ensure you can find plenty of party supplies to choose from.
Tip: Consider adding costumes to your party theme, no need to wait for Halloween. Costumes are great for photo opportunities, party games and just for fun.
Here are a few of our favorite theme ideas. Click the image to check out our party shops.
Determine Your Guest List
Is your party for a pet of honor and they will be the only furry pal attending or are you thinking about a party for pets and humans? Make a guest count, think about all your 4-legged guests needs and the space requirements to house them all. Most events have a larger guest list than actual attendees, but it is good to have a starting point. So often pet parties are all about the pups, but we have been to quite a few parties where a kitty was the guest of honor or a many kitties attended.
Tip: You want to make sure your 4-legged guests will all get along, so a dry run may be in order or only inviting pups that are used to being around each other to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Finalize the Day & Time
This is more important if you are considering hosting your party outdoors, at a park or at a unique location. Light, temperature and open times all become factors.
Tip: Double check with park on open and close times, many parks have a hard close time and you don’t want that to be in the middle of your party.
Choose a Location
The guest list will truly be a factor in your party location decision, but it may also open up some unique opportunities. You might need a backup plan for rain. Consider hosting at a local dog park, pet-friendly neighborhood park or your backyard.
Tip: Set up a pet potty station for your party that encourages everyone to clean up after themselves.
Your party theme will often help you to determine the color scheme, design ideas and you may even find kits with a range of party decorations. When decorating for pet an human parties, you can combine pet supplies and party decor to create a one of a kind look. Hang decorations from the ceiling or put them on the table to keep them away from playful paws. You can also include prizes or party favors into your decorations and give them away as your guests leave. A great example is to buy new dog bowls to hold pet and people food and then give each guest their own dog bowl.
Tip: hang up a backdrop and host photo booth with props for pets and people. You can send photos to each guest as a party favor.
Create a menu for the humans and one for the furry guest. There are great recipes for pet cakes, cookies and other treats. You may even find a bakery in your local area that specializes in pet-friendly baked goods. You might offer dog bowls to each guest or a disposable pet bowl option.
Tip: Keep in mind that your guest will have their pet to manage if your party includes 4-legged friends so a sturdy plate for human food is always a plus.
Tip: Create a pet watering station to ensure all furry guests have access to all the water they need.
Outline what will happen at your party. If this is your first pet party, you definitely don’t want to wing it. Start with a welcome, get to know each others, games or activities, food, gifts (if applicable) and goodbyes. If your party is in honor of a pet or pet themed, your outline does not need to be rigid, but when furry friends are involved, consider a timeline to keep things moving in the right direction.
Tip: Add potty breaks to your party plan, your guests will appreciate you if furry friends are on the guest list.
Tip: You might put the agenda on a board so everyone knows that to expect and what is coming up next. You can do this on a cute chalkboard.
Tip: Plan an activity or two for your guests. A costume contest, scavenger hunt or best tricks. Let your guests know the plan so they can come in costume, practice a trick or bring the right leash for an outing.
Once you know the general party outline, you can prepare your invitations. It is important, especially when pets and people are invited to let your guests know this, outline the details and expectations. You don’t want to surprise anyone. If you want them to bring certain items, if you are providing things or if costumes are going to be worn, this should be clear in the invitation.
Tip: If your party has a furry guest of honer, consider designing invitations with their photo and a little big about the celebration. People love to know the story and while you may think everyone knows, that is not always the case. Maybe you rescued your pup while hiking or at a local shelter. This is a great way to educate people about facilities in the area as well.
Tip: Request RSVP’s and give those who do not respond a call, this is critical when pets will be in attendance, you don’t want surprise guests when it comes to mixing pets and people.
A parting gift to say thank you is always a nice touch for baby showers, birthday parties or gotcha celebrations. Choose a gift or bag of goodies that coordinates with your theme. You can use the items as part of your decorations or display them to be given on the way out. Another fun idea is to send a photo of each guest or guest with their pet after the event with your thank you note. Thank you notes are not necessary unless your guests bring gifts.
Tip: Make homemade pet treats that can be eaten later.
While most parties welcome pups, sometimes you have to have a kitty party. Here are a few tips from our cat-loving team members:
Planning a party where cats are involved can be a little tricky, you know the old saying, “it is like herding cats” cats do what they are going to do. The nice part about cats is that as a general rule they get along with each other. When there are pups involved, a little chase might be involved. Here are a few things to think about when planning a cat party:
Cat of Honor – If you are hosting party for one cat, the guest of honor, you can pretty much handle things as usual if at home and if at a different location, you will want to ensure you kitty is safe and does not have a way to sneak off too far.
Space for Cats and People – If hosting at home or offsite and you are inviting other cats, you will will want to make sure the party space will accommodate pets and people well. Most cats adapt fairly well traveling with their owners. Most owners know their cats and can decide if they are up for a party.
Potty Station – Offering the right potty option becomes of the biggest concern when planning a cat party. It is a good idea to have a separate space to house the options. We recommend buying a few disposable or inexpensive little boxes and filling them with a multi-cat litter. Each guest can introduce their cat to the potty station and let’s hope this goes over well.
Kitty and People Food – unlike dogs, most cats are a little more picky about what they eat. Your guests know if their cat has to have a special diet and they can handle the details, but having cat food and treats that are bought or homemade is a fun idea for your party. You can also wrap up homemade cat treats for the ride home. Make sure to keep pet and people food separate, but you can make fun recipes for both that are fun such as serving goldfish, making fish shaped cat treats, baking cat friendly cupcakes or add cat cupcake toppers to people food.
Cats that will stray – you might want to have a few harnesses and leashes on hand incase a guest kitty has a bit of an issue staying with the crowd for safety issues.