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There are parties — and then there are paw-ties.
I should know. As the creator of National Dog Party Day, I've staged doggie get-togethers for groups as large as 800 from Maine to Kauai.
When done right, dog parties harness the power of play in canines — and can save owners from having to make awkward small talk. After all, it's the pups who take center stage at these parties.
The second annual National Dog Party Day takes place on June 22 in Miami, San Diego and New York City. All net proceeds from the events will benefit three pet charities: Paws 4 You Rescue, Spay Neuter Action Project and Bideawee.
Come if you can, but if you can't make the festivities, here are seven ways to stage a successful pup party of your own:
Before you announce your party, size up site options, factoring in your budget, time availability, theme and number of guests. Cozy affairs with fewer than five dogs can usually take place in your home or in a fenced-in backyard. Parties of 10 or more pets require additional supervision, so a dog-training center or a dog park might be a good fit. Just be sure to inquire ahead of time about any necessary permits or advance reservations.
It's OK to be picky about the pooches you invite. Dog parties are intended to be fun and safe, and you don’t need to worry about breaking up fights. If your best friend has a dog who loves people but not other dogs, save her pup from unwanted stress and kindly ask that she leave her pet at home.
At National Dog Party Day events, all canine attendees must be up to date on their vaccinations, well-socialized and leashed, unless otherwise instructed. Do not confuse well-run dog parties with yappy hours where people enjoy libations while their canines race around uncontrollably. The purpose of a dog party is to bring people and their pets together.
Dogs possess powerful noses, so ensure that the people food served at your party is safe for dogs in case there are spills. That means substituting carob for chocolate, ousting any dish with onions and avoiding grapes and raisins. Ask guests in advance if their dogs have food allergies, and avoid those ingredients in any canine snacks or cakes.
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