Caitlin UltimoPet Lovers / Pet Parenting

How to Throw a Puppy Party

What better way to celebrate National Puppy Day than with a pile of puppies at a puppy party? The benefits are endless—you get the photo op of a lifetime with tons of cute puppy party pics to share online, and the furry party-goers get to make new friends and play all day until they wear themselves out.

If you’re going to throw a puppy party for Puppy Day, you’ve got to go all out and make it pretty epic—a puppy party that the neighbors will be talking about for months to come. Don’t worry; we’re kind of the experts on this sort of thing, so we’ll be here every step of the way—from planning and gathering the right pet supplies to choosing fun activities for pups and their chaperones.

Calling All Tiny Canines: For your big Puppy Day party, you’ll need to make a guest list that includes all the pet parents on the block. Your attendees don’t even need to have a puppy—they could be owners of adult dogs, or just fellow dog lovers. Make your own puppy party invitations with pre-printed cards or with card stock and a template that you can find online. Social media is a great tool to use too, you can spread the word by creating an event and inviting your friends.

It’s Not a Party Without Hats: So, this one might be more for cute photos than for your dog’s enjoyment, but you still have to have party hats. There are tons of templates online that you can trace, cut out and decorate, or you can order some online. Traditional kids’ party hats will work, too. You can go a step further and set up a photo booth area that’s stocked with party hats and other props for commemorating National Puppy Day.

Potty Pads, as Far as the Eye Can See: Now, this step is important. Cover your floor in wall-to-wall pee pads in preparation for your puppy party. Okay, maybe not the whole floor, but at least have an area with enough potty pads to avoid an accident. Chances are, some of these puppies aren’t quite fully potty trained, and you don’t want to find this out after the fact. Even if they don’t know yet to go outside, they’ll probably be able to find the pee pads. And for those who are already potty trained, keep some dog waste bags on hand near the door.

Make Your House Puppy-Proof: Take a look around your home and make sure there’s nothing dangerous lying around that could end your puppy party on a really bad note. Try to think like a small pooch. Is there any people food at puppy level? Do you see any strings, cords or small objects near the ground that a pup might chew or choke on? And, when picking out your puppy party décor, try to keep your pup’s safety in mind, and pass on any potentially hazardous items.

Kiddie Pool, aka Toy Bin Heaven: Just like any kid’s party, you’re going to need a kiddie pool. Or you could use a Chewy box—or several. But this time, we’re not going to fill it up with water, because we’re pretty sure you don’t want to spend half your time at the puppy party cleaning up muddy paw prints and hosing down dirty puppies. Instead, you can use it as a giant puppy toy bin so your four-legged guests can pick out their favorites to toss, chew and carry around.

Snoozing Corner: Babies spend a lot of time sleeping, and so do baby pups. In fact, don’t be too disappointed if your puppy party guests make their way over to the snoozing corner and pass out for the rest of the day. Either way, make it as cozy as possible with old blankets and dog beds. You can even ask your guests to bring their own dog beds along for naptime.

Puppy Playtime Area: If they do wake up, you might be able to get these cute pups to play together at your puppy party. Tug-of-war toys like USA Bones & Chews Cotton Rope with Bones Dog Toy or tough ball toys like the JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Dog Toy are great for interactive play at puppy playtime. Several KONG AirDog Squeakair Balls Dog Toys will keep the pupsters pretty busy, too.

The Ultimate Doggie Bag: Remember when you were a kid, and one of the highlights of any party was leaving with one of those cellophane party favor bags? They were always full of tiny toys and candy, and you kind of wanted the party to end just so you could get your goodies. Dogs are no different. You can take advantage of the waste bags you already have on hand and fill them up with toys or dog treats, or a mix of both to send them on their way. Here are some top treat and toy options to choose from:

Treats: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe Dog TreatsNylabone Healthy Edibles Longer Lasting Puppy Bone TreatsKONG Stuff’N Puppy Snacks Dog Treats

Toys: KONG Puppy Goodie Bone Dog ToyKONG Puppy Dog ToyNylabone Puppy Chew Starter Kit Triple Pack Dog Bone Toys

Checklist for Pet Supplies: Here’s your final list of pet supplies for your Puppy Day party:

1. Invitations: Either pre-packaged or card stock plus a downloaded template (or Evite)

2. Party hats: Store-bought or card stock, plus downloaded template, along with markers for decorating

3. Photo booth props: Gather fun hats, bandanas, sunglasses, etc., or make handheld props with craft sticks or straws and card stock (mustache, speech bubble, crown, glasses, tie, lips, halo, picture frame)

4. Potty pads: Frisco Training & Potty Pads

5. Waste bags: Frisco Pantry Pack Dog Poop Bags

6. Toy bins: Kiddie pool or Chewy boxes

7. Dog beds: Blankets, pillows, dog beds or crate mats

8. Play toys: Chew toys, small squeak toys, small ball toys or tug toys

9. Doggie bag stuffers: (see above suggestions)

Well, now you’ve got your plans and shopping list set for National Puppy Day. Be sure to send your puppy party invites out to all your puppy’s best pals, and order all your pet supplies in time. Enlist the help of your friends to set up the different puppy-friendly areas on the day of the puppy party. And most importantly, have fun as you immerse yourself in pure puppy bliss!

Nikki Naser
Nikki Naser, Pet Central Senior Editor
Instead of owning 30 cats, Nikki has an impressive collection of 30 cat-themed T-shirts, and just 4 pets—a ginger-haired senior cat, a senior Maine Coon, a middle-aged Choodle, and a young kitty who showed up one day on the back steps. A former Orlando resident, Nikki worked on several tourism publications before moving to South Beach. When she’s not stopping to take pics of community cats to post on Instagram, Nikki spends her time with the office pets at Chewy, writing for their Pet Central blog.