JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Pet Parties – The Latest Craze

As the baby-boomers are taking the lead, in ever-growing numbers, as pet owners, so is pet spoiling and the ‘special pet events’ phenomenon. Baby-boomers, who are primarily empty-nesters are replacing their grown children with pets and spoiling those pets as they used to spoil their children.

Pet parties are one of the newest crazes; birthday and holiday parties with and for pets. They include activities and goodies for both the pets and their humans. Pet ‘birthday’ parties top the list, especially for dogs and then cat parties rank as a distant second. They vary from a group of pet owners and their pets going to lunch or dinner at a pet friendly restaurant to parties at the park or backyard house events. Pet-care facilities (doggy daycare sites and pet hotels) are another option to consider if you don’t have room for a home party.

As with Halloween… with pet ‘dress-up events’ or just having your pet at a conventional gathering or party, there are lots of factors to consider. Will the pets on the guest list get along? Are your human guests pet focused enough and willing to keep an eye on their pet as well as maintain a pet positive environment at the party for everyone, while still having a good time themselves? And is your pet the type who likes being around other animals and groups of people, or is this party really for you?

There are many restaurants that are pet friendly these days so will cordon off an area, as they do for kiddy parties, for your pet event; some even supply decorations and goodies.

But if you prefer to do it yourself and go all out, here are a few suggestions:

Indoor Party Activities:

• Pick a fun theme. Party favors and decorations are now available for most types of pet parties.

• Have each doggy (kitty, bird, monkey, pot bellied pig, etc) guest come in costume and have a mini-fashion show or have your guests and their humans come in matching costumes! Give prizes for best costume(s), funniest, most original, etc.

• Bring Kong type toys, one for each doggy guest, filled with cheese or peanut butter; catnip or tuna for the kitties.

• Have plenty of training treats, snacks and biscuits on hand and hold contests for best sit, stay, shake, roll over… (perhaps for most finicky for the felines?).

• Bring a good supply of rope toys for a doggy tug of war! You’ll find that sometimes the humans will participate as well.

• Paw mural painting can be done inside or out as long as you cover the floor well.

Outdoor Party Activities:

• A silly pet trick contest is a great event, indoors and out, but outside parties lend themselves to a greater variety of tricks. Give a prize for 1st, 2nd and 3rd or just for first prize and then give a treat to the others for participation.

• If you have mostly the same types (or breeds) of pets or groups that are the same sizes, dog (or piggy and kitty… if you can motivate them) races can be fun. (Dachshund or Chihuahua races are always funny.)

• Bring enough balls so there is at least one ball or Frisbee per doggy guest and play free-for-all fetch or wands with fake birds, small balls or catnip toys tied at the end for the cats.

• Agility equipment events like a tunnel for the dogs to race through is a good addition; make sure you have lots of training bits or other treats to offer them when they run through successfully!

• Water activities like swimming events in the pool for certain dog breeds during the warm season are possible activities to consider, or bobbing for biscuits using a small tub or kiddie pool with water and then tossing in some biscuits. Whoever gets them out the quickest wins!

• Also, if at the park, make sure you consider safety issues like portable fencing or stakes to attach leashes, so the dogs and their humans can relax for awhile.

Food:

• Make sure there is plenty of water – Provide separate bowls for each pet guest (possibly personalized for them to take home) filled with mineral, filtered or even Smart™ water.

• Order goodies from the local or online doggy (pet) bakeries and party suppliers, or better yet bake them yourself.

• Have an outdoor bar-b-que and fix a special dinner for both the pet guests and their humans with their own grilled boneless steaks or chicken for the doggies or tuna and salmon for the kitties!

• And of course, you must have a birthday cake! You can make it yourself or order one from a local or online pet bakery. A small slice of carrot cake or really any other cake as long as it doesn’t contain chocolate could be served to most pets as well their humans at a special occasion, but in most cases you will probably want a special one for the pets and one for their humans.

• There are also many human goodies (candy and baked goods) shaped like pets, bones, or pet articles that can add fun to the party.

• A goodie bag to take home filled with unique biscuits, doggy ice cream, dehydrated meats (dehydrated fish, a catnip toy, cat grass or grass seeds and gourmet cat desserts for the kitties), and a small pet safe toy, along with their personalized water bowl is a nice touch.

Make sure you label the food appropriately, especially at a buffet-style meal, to ensure that no people accidentally bite into a dog or cat treat or that the pets don’t get too many human treats!

Regardless of the style of the party or the range of food served, you will need to consider both the fun of all the party guests as well as the safety of the food you choose for the people and the dogs (cats or birds, etc) at the event. You might want to skip serving chocolate and onions completely, keep alcohol to a minimum and have a special (pet free) smoking area to keep the guest of honor and friends from eating the butts. Discussing allergies and safety matters of the pets, children and adults at the party in advance will prevent any surprises for the day of the party, as well, perhaps as part of the invitation RSVP request.

Kids have will have fun participating in the games and giving out treats to the winners, so include them if you have any children on your guest list. But be sure to consider supervision, and I would recommend limiting the number of children present. If you do have children or grandchildren at home, include them in the preparation and give them jobs and responsibilities at the party.

And finally, make sure you have a way of capturing all this fun on film! A volunteer photographer or videographer is great for memories and someone taking Polaroid’s for the costume contest, to send home with guests, is always a great touch!

Future articles will include throwing a ‘fancy’ doggy party and ‘pet’ party recipes. But for now, for those of you baking and making the party food on your own, here is a fun recipe for your human guests (and a small sliver, minus the Tootsie Rolls, won’t hurt the pets either):

FAMOUS KITTY LITTER CAKE

(Several variations of this recipe can be found online)

INGREDIENTS:

1 spice or German chocolate cake mix 
1 white cake mix 
2 large packages vanilla instant pudding mix, prepared 
1 large package vanilla sandwich cookies 
green food coloring 
12 small Tootsie Rolls

1 new kitty litter pan 
1 new plastic kitty litter pan liner 
1 new pooper scooper

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare cake mixes (or scratch cake) and bake according to directions (any size pans). 
Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble. 
Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix until completely colored.

When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. Important: mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don’t want it too soggy. Combine gently.

Line a new, clean kitty litter box. Put the cake/pudding/cookie mixture into the litter box. 
Put three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls bury them in the mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly on top of everything — this is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.

Heat 3 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top; take one and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!

Have a great party!

By:  Marion Algier/Ask MarionJust One More Pet

Related Articles:

Advertisements

September 25, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments