Summertime is the perfect time to throw a bash (and a frisbee or tennis ball) for Barkley. It can be the highlight of the warmer season if you follow some common-sense rules and dip into your imagination. (If you’re not that imaginative, check out Pinterest or Instagram for ideas.)
Basically, if you’ve ever thrown a birthday party for kids, you already know how to make things fun. Your dog’s birthday is an ideal occasion, but if you don’t know when he was born, the date you first met is a great alternative. (Besides, isn’t it anytime a good time for a party?)
Here are the simple steps and cautions.
- Choose a date. As mentioned above, a birthday or adoption anniversary works well. Keep in mind that most people work and may not be available during the day.
- Think about your guest list. Will the party include Barkley’s best four-footed friends? Or will he be the center of attention of humans who are all dog-lovers but leave their own at home? If you’re planning to have doggy-guests, make sure that Barkley has met them before and gets along. An obedience group, a doggy-daycare group, or the pups in the dog park are good invitees. How many you want to invite and the size of the dogs will help you determine the next goal—
- Choose a venue. If the dogs attending Barkley’s Bash are small like he is, an indoor party at your house might just work fine. A fenced backyard is ideal, as long as it’s a dog-proofed environment that can’t be escaped from. Other options are a park (you may have to get permission), a dog park, a doggy-daycare facility, or even a swimming pool. All of these offer their own advantages.
- What refreshments should you serve? There are numerous dog-friendly recipes online if you want to bake a birthday cake or make pupsicles. Most Petland locations also sell puppy cake mixes, birthday cookies and ice cream mixes. Dogs also love people-food as treats, especially carrots and apples. Your veggie platter for humans will have a lot of options as well but steer the canines away from processed meats (and cheese, in case any are lactose intolerant). There’s too much sodium in lunch meat and tiny sausages to be good for Barkley and company. Lots of bowls filled with cool, freshwater is a must.
- Activities to share with poochy friends necessarily include things to fetch, like tennis balls and frisbees. Put out tug-toys that the pups can play with as well. But keep Barkley’s favorite toys put away because he might not want to share them with his friends. If you have a pool in your backyard, you can have a splash party! Even if you don’t have a pool, a kiddie pool filled with water can be almost as much fun and some dogs totally love the sprinkler. Make sure you have a lot of old towels on hand for guests to dry off with after the water fun.
- Decorations are fun but not absolutely necessary. The decorations are for Barkley’s human friends, actually, so have fun with a themed party or leave them out entirely. Dog-themed partyware is available at many retailers or online.
A backyard barbeque can be an ideal time to gather with friends and neighbors while celebrating the special relationship you have with Barkley, too!