You’ve probably heard the phrase “a tired dog is a good dog,” but have you ever heard that a socialized dog is also a good dog? Research shows that dogs who regularly socialize with canine pals behave better at the vet and groomer and tend to be healthier. So it’s time to get all your furry friends together for a few hours with these 64 dog party ideas.
Redbubble is all about self-expression, and we believe your canine pals should have the same opportunity as you to express themselves. We’ve pulled together our favorite dog party ideas so you can throw a party that’s as awesome as your dog.
In this post, you’ll find:
- Reasons to Celebrate
- Dog Party Location Ideas
- Dog Birthday Party Theme Ideas
- Dog Birthday Party Invitation Ideas
- Dog Party Decoration Ideas
- Dog Party Food Ideas
- Dog Party Games and Activities
- Dog Party Favor Ideas
Reasons to Celebrate
Every dog owner knows there’s no shortage of opportunities to celebrate their four-legged companion. If you want a good time to spoil your pup, here are a few great occasions to consider inviting all their furry friends over.
1. Graduating From Obedience School
Every spring, your social media feed is filled with photos of your friends’ kids graduating from everything from preschool to driver’s ed to high school and beyond. So we think it’s perfectly acceptable to throw a party for the young pup who just earned their training certificate from obedience school.
This one’s an obvious one. Who doesn’t love to do a little something special on their dog’s birthday? Instead of settling for a pup cup, go a few steps further and set up a formal playdate with all your furbaby’s besties.
3. Gotcha Day
If you don’t know your dog’s birthday, celebrate another monumental moment in your pet’s (and your) life: their gotcha day. Get a pupcake, stick a candle on it, and celebrate the day you brought your furball to their forever home.
Get your dog in on the Halloween festivities by dressing them up in a costume (bonus points if their outfit coordinates with yours!) and holding a costume contest with their neighborhood friends. Send the humans home with some spooky season party favors so they can celebrate, too.
5. National Dog Day
National Dog Day is August 26, and it’s the perfect time to gather your dog friends and their humans to celebrate how amazing they are.
6. Just Because
Like humans, dogs are social creatures — after all, your lap dog is descended from a wild pack. But unlike humans, they don’t have a calendar, so throw one whenever the mood strikes.
Dog Party Location Ideas
When choosing a location for your dog party, make sure you have enough room for the dogs to run around without knocking over their owners. Remember that dogs tend to get a little hyper when they’re around their friends, so it’s better to have more space than you think you’ll need. And don’t forget you’ll need access to shade and plenty of clean water!
7. Your House
If you have a lot of space in your home and aren’t too worried about priceless heirlooms or antique furniture getting damaged by a few zoomies, your home is a great option for a dog party. Close doors or put up baby gates to keep the dogs out of any off-limit rooms, and prepare for fun!
8. Your Yard
Since dog parties can get a little crazy with all the excitement, backyards make the best location for your party. With the party outdoors, you don’t have to worry about any accidents inside, and it won’t matter if they get dirty while they play. Before all your guests arrive, ensure any holes in the fence are blocked so no one escapes during the party!
9. Dog Park
A local dog park is the perfect place for a dog party. There’s plenty to do there, and you know it’s already safe for dogs. The only downside may be that you’ll have a few unexpected guests that came to the park not expecting a party, so you may want to bring a few extra treats.
10. Dog-Friendly Beach
If you’ve got a water dog, take them and a few friends to a dog-friendly beach for their special day. Keep in mind that other people and pets will be on the beach, too, so the party won’t be private.
11. Dog Water Park
Do a quick Google search to find your local dog water park (yes, these exist!). If you don’t have one nearby, you can also see if your local pool offers a pet day before they close for the season.
12. Local Doggy Daycare Center
Many local doggy daycare centers have spaces you can rent out that are already dog-approved! Be sure to check how many dogs can comfortably fit in the space and what special requirements they may have, like the number of humans that need to be present.
13. Local Dog-Friendly Bar or Restaurant
Check out your local bars and restaurants. Odds are, there’s one or two in your neighborhood that are dog-friendly and would be glad to host a meet-up for you and all your furry friends. Make a reservation for the human guests, and let them know how many dogs will also be attending.
Dog Birthday Party Theme Ideas
When choosing a dog birthday party theme, start with whatever is important to your dog (which can be tricky since they can’t always tell you). Maybe they have a favorite toy, or you named them after someone that could be turned into a theme.
If you’re stuck on ideas, here are a few of our favorite themes.
14. A Rover Rave
For an evening dog party, get glow-in-the-dark toys and give the human guests glow-stick necklaces (but keep them far away from the four-legged guests!). Splurge on LED dog collars, or have owners decorate bandanas with glow-in-the-dark puffy paint.
Encourage owners to bring their pets in colorful clown costumes and have them learn circus tricks like jumping through a hula hoop or balancing a ball on their nose.
16. Pampered Pet
Make it a spa party! Bring in a canine masseuse, and provide dog-safe hair dye and nail polish stations so all the guests leave feeling pampered. Little doggy robes make the perfect party favor for a pampered pooch party.
17. Costume Party
Let your guests know to come dressed in their favorite costumes and hold a contest for the best one. You can set a specific theme for the costumes, like superheroes, or let people be creative.
18. Breed Theme
Celebrate your dog’s heritage with a breed-specific theme. Invite all their canine friends regardless of breed, but use fun decor to build the theme.
Let guests know that this party is black- or white-tie only and roll out a red carpet. Have paparazzi line the party’s entrance to take pictures of all the best-dressed pups as they arrive, and send them home with a swag bag.
Are you celebrating close to a holiday? Use that as an inspiration for your party theme! Have a red-white-and-blue theme for the Fourth of July, or a turkey theme near Thanksgiving. This is a great way to save on decor, as you can keep up whatever decor you had for the holiday.
Give every guest, whether they are canine or human, a lei and a pair of sunglasses as they arrive. Encourage Hawaiian shirts for everyone, and get ready to do the limbo!
22. Puppy Love
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with a “puppy love” dog party is the perfect way to break up a long winter. Decorate with hearts and give every pup the chance to make wall art with nose or paw print hearts.
Trendy Plant Art, House Plants Pattern 2 Pet Blanket designed and sold by Gush Art Studio Image Credit: kuzcosnewgroove_
Dog Birthday Party Invitation Ideas
Make sure every pup on your invite list is one your dog has already met, or you may end up with some personality clashes during the party — and no one wants that. Other than that, there are a few more details you’ll need to consider before sending out your invites.
23. Invite the Pup and Their Owners
To keep numbers down, keep the invite list just to pups and their owners. This means only the pup parents are invited to the party, which is helpful if you have a dog who isn’t great with little kids (which is totally fine).
Make sure you specify that the invite includes the owner as well; otherwise, you’ll end up being the only human with 15 dogs, and while that has the potential to be really awesome, it can also be stressful.
24. Pups and Their Families
For a bigger party, invite the pup and their entire family, kids and all! If there’s a potential for young children to attend, make sure you note that on the invite so any dogs who aren’t comfortable around little kids can decline the invite.
25. Include Behavior Expectations
It’s a good idea to let guests know the behavior you expect during the dog party, especially if you’ve never hosted one before. If the party is going to be in your home, it’s a good idea to require every dog to be housebroken to attend. If you’re going to a dog-friendly beach, you might want to request they be good off-leash and enjoy water.
Dog Party Decoration Ideas
Don’t get overwhelmed by all the fancy decor on Pinterest — your dog party can be as understated as you’d like, or you can go all out.
26. Party Banner
Welcome everyone to the party with a party banner. Keep it simple with a message to your pup, a pertinent dog pun, or get one custom-printed with a picture of your furbaby. Either way, be sure to get a photo for Instagram.
Nothing says “party” more than balloons! Hang up a few for a festive vibe, but keep them out of the reach of pets, who can easily pop them with sharp teeth and claws. At the end of the party, send a balloon home with any kids that came.
28. Party Hats
There is nothing cuter than a dog wearing a party hat. Just get a pic fast, because it probably won’t stay on for long once the fun starts.
29. Party Outfits
Every pet deserves to be stylish at their party! A dog bandana is an easy way to add a bit of style and flair, and most dogs tolerate them better than full-fledged costumes. You can also wet them to keep your pup cool if the party is outside during the summer.
Dog Party Food Ideas
Any party is only as good as the food that’s served, and with a dog party, you have two groups to please: your canine friends and their humans. Have plenty of party food options available for both, and don’t forget to put down a few pet mats under dog bowls to protect your floors.
30. Natural Foods
Have a few natural options available, like raw carrots, apple chunks, peanut butter, and boiled chicken. Just remember to steer clear of anything with caffeine, chocolate, grapes, onions, and xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol.
31. Dog Donuts
Homemade dog treats shaped like donuts are a great way to treat your pet. You can order them from a dog bakery or make them from scratch if baking is in your wheelhouse. Most recipes consist of apples, peanut butter, or bananas.
Note that dog donuts are not the same as human donuts, which have so much sugar that they are dangerous for dogs to consume.
Pupcakes, dog-friendly cupcakes, are sure to delight even the most spoiled of pups. Just like dog donuts, you can make them yourself or order them from a dog bakery. Either way, stick an unlit candle in them and get a super cute photo before they dig in!
33. Gourmet Treats
Since your pup is the center of attention, it’s only fitting to spoil them a little. Instead of the standard, boring boxed treats you give your dog regularly, spoil them with gourmet versions. These are just like the regular treats but with high-end ingredients that have more nutritional value.
34. Homemade Dog Biscuits
If you’re a baker, try making homemade dog biscuits. Like gourmet treats, they lack a lot of the preservatives that are in store-bought treats. They’re also often cheaper than anything you can get in the store.
35. Pup Cups
You’ve probably seen videos on social media of dogs trying their first pup cup, and there’s a reason: Dogs love these whipped cream treats! You can make them at home with any whipped cream, as long as it doesn’t contain any xylitol. Keep the servings small, though, since too much dairy can cause an upset tummy.
36. Dog-Friendly Ice Cream
Dogs love ice-cold treats on hot summer days just like their humans. At a dog party, you can serve small portions of vanilla ice cream to canine guests, but make sure it doesn’t have any xylitol. You can also purchase dog-friendly ice cream at local pet stores.
If your dog likes to eat ice cubes that fall out of your fridge’s dispenser, they’ll love pupsicles! Pupsicles are frozen treats made from nonfat, unsweetened yogurt and fresh fruit. Quickly whip up a batch and toss them in the freezer a few hours before the dog party.
38. Barkuterie Board
Who doesn’t love a good charcuterie board? Create a snack board of all your dog’s favorite treats, dog-friendly fruits and veggies, delicious toppings like peanut butter or bone broth, and a frozen treat or two. Have fun with it, and don’t forget to consider texture, color, and size just like you would with a charcuterie board for wine night.
39. Water Station
No matter how many snacks you offer, you absolutely have to include a water station. In general, the average dog needs one ounce of water per pound per day, but when they’re running around slobbering up the place in excitement, they’re going to need more to keep dehydration at bay. Place water bowls with fresh water in multiple places around the party and refill them as needed.
40. Don’t Forget to Feed the Humans!
Make sure you have plenty of food options available for your human guests, too! Have a few sweet and salty snack options on hand, and make sure to mark everything as human-only. Some dog-friendly treats look like real human food, and you don’t want anyone (dog or human!) to get sick.
Dog Party Games and Activities
Every party needs a game or two to get people mingling, and a dog party is no exception! Keep dogs out of trouble and get the humans in on the action with these fun games and activities. Have a few treats on hand to offer the winner!
41. Scooby Says
Get all the dogs in one area, and give them basic commands (stay, sit, shake, roll, etc.). Any dog who doesn’t complete the command is eliminated until there’s only one dog left.
42. Ball Pit
If you want your dog party to be one for the ages, invest in a few bags of crush-proof balls and a dog pool or an old plastic kiddie pool (avoid the inflatable ones unless you want the party to end early). Throw all the balls into the pool, and watch your dog and their friends have a blast for hours.
43. Photo Booth
Set aside an area of the party for photos. It can be a rental photo booth with props or a picturesque spot with costumes and props for dogs and their owners to create a memory of the event. Keep it dog-themed, or branch out to seasonal themes like a Halloween photo booth.
44. Bubble Machines
While throwing the ball is fun, it can be a workout. Keep dogs entertained for hours with a bubble machine. Make sure only to use non-toxic bubble liquids, or make your own with a combination of Dawn soap and water. Turn the machine on, and watch the adorableness that ensues.
45. Trick Contest
Let all your pup’s friends show off with a trick contest! Give everyone time to practice their trick, and then have a talent show so everyone has a chance to shine. Then vote for the winning trick!
46. Obstacle/Agility Course
Set up a backyard obstacle or agility course that includes weave poles, tunnels, and jumps, although you’ll want to be careful that what you set up is safe for all dog sizes. If you want to be competitive, time each dog’s run and give a prize for the best time, or keep it low-key with a treat for all.
47. Water Activities
If your dog loves water, there are plenty of backyard opportunities for water activities. Set up a dog pool or turn on a sprinkler and watch your dog and their friends frolic in the water. You can even rent or buy splash pads for your guests, or set up your kids’ old slip-and-slide (just know that it’s probably going to get destroyed).
Keep some towels on hand, and be prepared for your backyard to get muddy!
48. Temporary Tattoos
You can create temporary “tattoos” for your furbabies using pet hair chalk and powder, which you can order online. The chalk can last up to a full day depending on where you put it and what else your dog is doing. It can take some time, especially if your dog has longer hair, but this is a great activity for a dog who may need a break from all the party festivities.
49. Puzzle Games
Make your own treat puzzle with old tennis balls, or purchase a puzzle game toy for each canine guest as a party favor. Then have each owner give their pet the puzzle toy with a treat inside at the same time, and the first dog to successfully extract their treat wins!
50. Commemorative Paw Prints
Get your pet’s autograph with commemorative paw print activities. Depending on the result you’re hoping for, you can do this with paint or plaster.
Paint is easier for your pet, but it can get a bit messy depending on how you do it. The easiest way involves water-soluble, non-toxic paint on paper plates, dipping your dog’s paws in the paint, and then having them walk over paper to leave their prints.
To make plaster paw prints, have non-toxic modeling clay handy for humans to press gently into their pet’s paws. Then, pour plaster of paris into the mold and let it set for at least two hours. By the time they leave, they can peel away the clay to take home their commemorative paw print!
51. Fetch Competition
This is a great way to burn off extra energy at the start of the party! Have a ball available for every dog and ask their owners to throw it. If a dog doesn’t return with a ball, they are eliminated from the game. The last dog fetching wins!
52. Treat Toss
Line up all the four-legged guests with their humans in front of them. Then ask the humans to toss a treat to their dog. If the dog misses their treat, they leave the line. Repeat until you find your winner, and give them a toy (since they’ve already had a good helping of treats).
53. Cup Contest
Play three-cup monte with your canine guests! Get three cups, hide a treat under one of them, and then move them around. Let each dog choose which cup the treat is under, and they can eat any treats they find!
54. Spoon and Treat Race
Challenge both your two- and four-legged guests with this game! Give each guest a plastic spoon with a treat on it. The human should hold the spoon and their dog’s leash in the same hand. They need to run to the finish line together without losing the dog treat.
55. Bobbing for Bones
Just like bobbing for apples, fill a bucket with water and put the bones or hot dogs into the water. Then let your canine guests take turns trying to catch one in their mouth.
Make sure you do this activity where it’s OK to get wet because spills are pretty much guaranteed with this game.
56. Costume Contest
Whether your dog party has a theme or not, challenge your guests to show up in their best costumes. Use an instant camera to take photos of each guest as they arrive (since most outfits won’t last long!) and let an impartial judge determine the winner.
57. Musical Sit
This game is exactly like musical chairs, but with a canine spin. Have all the humans leash up their dogs and walk in a circle. When the music stops playing, humans should tell their dog to sit, and the last dog to successfully sit is eliminated.
You can also play this game with mats instead, with the mats replacing the chairs from the original game. When the music stops, the last dog on a mat is out of the game.
58. Collar Decorating
Who doesn’t love a blinged-out collar? Buy plain collars in various sizes and decorating supplies like markets, puffy paint, glitter, glow-in-the-dark paint, etc., and let your human guests get to work. Everyone gets a new collar, so it also makes a great party favor!
Dog Party Favor Ideas
A good host never lets their guests leave empty-handed! Put together a small goody bag for all your guests, whether they are canine or human, as a thanks for attending.
Give your guests the gift of style with a new bandana. You can link the bandana design to the party theme or let guests decorate their own. Either way, try to get a group picture of everyone sporting their new swag before everyone heads home for a nap.
If you look at a dog owner’s photo library, you’ll probably see many candid photos of their dog doing cute things, but nothing beats a fun photo op. Have a photo booth where dogs can ham it up with their humans or have a professional available to take portraits.
Make some homemade treats and send them home in doggy bags. Just note any possible allergens on the packaging to keep everyone healthy.
62. Something for the Humans
Don’t leave out your two-legged guests! Give owners something to make their lives easier, like a roll of waste bags for walks, or something they can enjoy, like a festive dog-themed cookie. You can also help them share their love of dogs with canine stickers, coffee mugs, coasters, phone cases, or magnets.
Every dog loves a new toy, so send your canine friends home with a new one. When dividing them up for gift bags, consider each dog’s size, as larger dogs may choke on smaller toys.
64. Pet Blankets
Dogs love to snuggle, so send them home with the perfect pet blanket they can nest in. This favor is a twofer since their humans will appreciate the chance to finally steal back the throw blanket their dog stole!
65. Pet food bowl
Who says a pet food bowl needs to be boring? Give each furry guest a pet bowl with a unique pattern that fits their personality or the theme of the party to make mealtime more fun.
Redbubble wants to help your pet express themselves at their dog party, no matter the occasion. Check out our best pet mats, pet bandanas, and pet blankets to find the perfect accessory for your canine pal.