There are thousands of dog owners who scoff at the idea of dogs in clothes. These are after all dogs, not toys to be dressed up and paraded around. Around Halloween, a shift in thinking occurs among some of these people. A costume for the dog may not be such a bad idea, especially if it is a really fun costume. These owners would love to show off their pooches in their cute outfits, but can’t make any of the pet friendly events going on. Why not throw a “Howl-ween” party for friends with dogs who are in the same boat? Invite friends who own dogs, offer canine appropriate food, and line up some fun games for the loveable fur-babies.
Although most dogs aren’t picky about what they eat, most owners are vigilant about their dog’s diet. When throwing a dog friendly party it’s best to have dog friendly food available. Treats and cake to appeal to the pickiest of palettes.
Start with some homemade fro-yo. 2c plain yogurt, 1c low sodium chicken broth. Toss into a blender, pour into decorative candy molds and freeze until set. These tasty treats will cool down an over active pooch.
Don’t forget the cake! Cakes made for human consumption, may not be healthy for humans but could be downright deadly for some dogs. Why not make a cake specifically for canine eating? One made with peanut butter and bananas, for instance? Maybe whip up some decadent pumpkin pupcakes? Or try some oatmeal cookies? There are dozens of recipe books and hundreds of websites dedicated to dog friendly sweets. They may not be for everyday eating but every dog deserves a special treat every now and again.
A tired puppy is a happy puppy. What a better way to wear a dog out than playing a few fun games? Line up two or three fun, quick games for dogs and their humans to participate in.
The treat toss game is simple and effective. An owner tosses a treat to their dog. Dog catches it. The dog that doesn’t catch theirs is out. Vary it up a little by distance, having the owner take a step back every round. By trajectory, have the owner toss from the side instead of in front. Through obstacles, like another party goer making a hoop with their arms, or a cup with the bottom cut out.
Musical chairs are almost exactly that, with a bit of a canine twist. Owners leash up their dogs, walk in a circle as the music plays. When the music stops, the human cues their dog to sit. Last butt to hit the floor is out.
In addition to the game prizes, a couple of other friendly competition awards to be handed out could be for costumes and for showing up. Costume prizes are one way to get guests to think outside of the box. Most original, best coordinated, scariest, etc… Door prizes are to get guests in the fun party atmosphere. Edible prizes are always a safe bet to give out. Most pet stores have a mix and match “cookie” table so that there is a good variety to choose from.
Some dogs may get overwhelmed with so much noise and activity. Others may just need a place to crash, recharge their batteries before beginning the next round. A considerate host would ensure adequate seating for their guests; the host should also ensure adequate resting areas for their four legged visitors.
Having a dog attend a party is an excellent form of exercise. Not just for the games, but it allows for social exchange and experiencing different stimuli, all of which is important mental exercise. Dogs need mental stimulation everyday to happy, well adjusted canines. What better way to do that than with a party?
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