Who doesn’t love a great party? If your pet has a birthday coming up or your mama dog or cat is expecting, why not throw a special event that’s fun for your pet, household, and friends and their pets?! Whether you want to commemorate your cat or dog’s ‘gotcha day’ or their official birthday, you can create a memorable and enjoyable experience for your human, canine, or feline friends alike. Here, we’ll explore how to throw a pet party that promises to be loads of fun for all your guests. 

Pets Are Family

The practice of keeping pets predates recorded history. Humans have lived in close proximity to pets since before the development of the first civilizations. When we adopt them and bring them into our homes, of course they become part of our family. People’s love for their pets is genuine and rewarding, so why not plan an event to celebrate your pet? The entire household is sure to enjoy planning and experiencing your special celebration. 

Organize a Pet Party

When people host a party, they often celebrate their pet’s adoption date or birthday. Still, you could just as easily throw a pet party to celebrate a pending birth or a pet’s recovery after an injury or illness. Whatever the reason, there’s nothing like a party to add some excitement to your pet’s day and provide an excellent excuse for gathering with friends and family.

Plan Your Pet Party Guest List

When planning your event, you’ll need to consider your guest list. Before you invite other pets, consider your pet’s personality. Some cats and dogs are more social than others. If your pet hides under the bed the moment guests enter your home, you may want to plan a more intimate gathering. Also, some pets are aggressive to other animals. You certainly don’t want your dog party to turn into a backyard brawl. 

However, many pets enjoy playing with other pets. If this is the case, be sure to invite family and friends who have social pets too. Socializing is an important aspect of a pet’s life. A party offers animals and humans alike the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company. Also, humans enjoy pet parties too. Be sure to invite fellow animal lovers to your event. Kids, in particular, are sure to enjoy this type of celebration.

Party in the Backyard

While some people might choose to host their pet party at a dog park, you’ll find it convenient to host it at home if you have a pet-friendly garden. Here are some ideas to transform your yard into the perfect pet party setting:

Cover the Basics

Before the day of your ‘pawty,’ you’ll want to make sure that your backyard is ready to host your guests. Be sure that your fencing and gates are in good condition so that you don’t have to contend with any escaped party poopers. Walk around your yard and remove any items that could pose a threat to your canine and feline guests, like mushrooms that might be growing near trees, for instance. 

If you don’t want the pets to access certain areas of your yard, like your vegetable garden, be sure that you section it off with temporary fencing so it can’t be accessed. Of course, you’ll also want to ensure that your yard looks its best, so plan to mow the day before and pick up any debris like sticks and fallen branches.


Once you have your guest list, send out invitations and be sure to request that guests RSVP so you have a headcount. You should also mention your plans for the day so that guests know what they’re in for. For instance, if you’re hosting a doggie pool party, pet owners should bring along a towel to dry off their dogs. You can tie your invitations to your party theme. It’s up to you whether you send mailed invites or online invites. 

Backyard Decorations

As you might decorate for any party, you can decorate for your pet party using streamers and balloons. It may even help to tie your party decor together if you have a theme in mind. Just like kids might fancy Star Wars, pirates, or princesses, your pet might have a thing for a particular interest too. You might have a dog that loves the beach or a cat obsessed with bird watching. You can incorporate your pet’s favorite things into their party decor. 

Party Favors

Of course, you’ll want to have special party favors on hand for all of your guests, pets and people. Send each pet home with a snack bag or a new toy. You can also coordinate your party favors with your theme to tie the event together. Other party favors you might offer are:

  • Pet bandanas
  • Hand-painted food/water bowls
  • Pet frames 
  • Homemade pet treats

Food and Snack Area

When designing your backyard pet party, be sure to designate areas for pets and humans to enjoy food and snacks. The pets will need fresh water, of course, as they’re sure to get thirsty while playing. You’ll also want to offer them food and treats. This can be a bit tricky as some pets may have dietary concerns. Be sure to find out from pet owners on your guest list if their pets have any special dietary restrictions. Also, don’t be offended if invited pets decline to eat during the party. There’s a high chance that they’ll be far more interested in playing than eating. In such cases, you can always send their meal home in a ‘doggy bag.’

Area for Human Guests

When you set up your area for people to relax, be sure it has a view to the pet activity area so everyone can enjoy watching the pets play—or get to them quickly if a ruckus breaks out. Set up chairs and tables where your human guests can enjoy food and drinks. If you’ve invited young children to your event, you might want to section off a particular area for them so that they don’t accidentally get knocked down by an enthusiastic pet. 

Dog or Cat Play Area

Set up a fun play area for your pet guests. You might feature an elaborate climbing apparatus for cats or an obstacle course for dogs. If you have the space, you can set up a sprinkler for the dogs or even a wading pool. Many of your human guests will enjoy interacting with the pets. You can feature some toys on hand like balls so that all of your guests can enjoy a game of fetch.

Pet Potty

Typically, pets will not be especially squeamish about where or when they relieve themselves, but it’s definitely helpful to feature a special area designated for walking dogs and cats. If you have one potty area in mind, it’ll be easier to clean up afterward. Be sure that you make poop bags and cleaning supplies available for guests. 

Homemade Pet-Friendly Foods

There are many pet treats you can make yourself using healthy ingredients that are safe for dogs or cats. Be sure that you do your research to ensure that you don’t serve anything unsafe for them. For instance, grapes are a common party food for humans to snack on, but they’re dangerous for dogs. Let your pet owner guests know about the ingredients you used to make the treats just in case there’s something in them that their pet shouldn’t have. 

Pet-Friendly Activities

The key to a great party is the entertainment. To ensure that everyone has a great time at your pet’s party, plan some fun activities such as a pet beauty contest, a pet trick contest, or a fun obstacle course. Games, toys, and activities will ensure that no pet is bored, and many of the activities may be suitable for your human guests to take part in as well. Be sure to have some fun prizes on hand for game and contest winners.

Food and Drink for Humans

You can have lots of fun creating dog or cat-inspired food, treats, and beverages for your human guests. You can keep meals simple and opt to grill hot dogs and hamburgers. You can also have your party catered or order pizzas. When it comes to dessert, consider serving dog or cat face cookies. You can also serve animal-themed snacks like Goldfish or Teddy Grahams. 

A pet celebration gives pets and people a great excuse for enjoying the outdoors and having fun together. Depending on your preferences, you can plan an elaborate event or simply an informal gathering. Remember to take lots of photos so you can commemorate your event and share it on social media so friends who couldn’t attend can enjoy witnessing your dog or cat’s big day too!