By Melissa Wiley
All pet parents know that even the laziest phlegmatic feline or passé pooch has a party animal hidden inside, just waiting to be let loose. So when it’s time to break out the champagne, don’t leave Muffin behind. The furry set is in. Whether you’re attending a well-heeled wedding where pets can catch the bouquet or throwing a first-time pet parent a shower to welcome the new arrival, any party can become pet-centric in a flash.
The anticipation of welcoming a new pet into the home can rival that of a newborn child. So it’s no wonder that expecting pet parents are increasingly hosting pet showers, the four-footed takeoff on baby showers. Unlike welcoming festivities for human babies, though, parties for new pets don’t exclude the guest of honor.
In addition to allowing friends and family to coo over your furry bundle of joy, these parties act as a prime opportunity to kick-start your pet’s socialization. This means that you have to plan the guest list carefully and tailor the number of invitees to your pet’s excitability level: less guests for more introverted animals and vice versa. If you want to limit the limelight exclusively to the star pet, you can kindly advise your guests not to bring along any four-legged party crashers.
Invitations, decorations, and treats for guests should reflect your pet’s personality. This is the moment to usher Chewy into his new life. So don’t be shy. You can create or buy invitations that feature your pet’s beautiful smile or personal paw print.
Showers traditionally imply some showering—of presents, that is. So if you’re not averse to gathering some loot to console Fifi once the party’s over (and help you become a more prepared guardian in the process), you can register at your favorite pet supply store or create a wish list to send out with the invitations. If you are already blessed with enough toys and treats to keep Mittens happy for two lifetimes, then spread the love around by asking your guests to make a donation to a local shelter in your pet’s honor.
Move over Tupperware. Pupperware parties are on the scene. These canine versions of traditional Tupperware parties allow Rover to experience the rush of a shopping spree in the comfort of your own—or your animal-loving friend’s—home. And your pet won’t be alone. These pet-product fiestas are social occasions for both you and your tail-wagging date. The party animals can also have their cake and eat it too. “Do not lick” does not apply. After all, the idea behind pupperware parties is for your hyperactive pet to give the herbal calming collar a test drive before you pony up the cash.
Are you the hostess with the mostest with more than a penchant for pet paraphernalia? Hosting your own pupperware party through companies such as Shure Pets, Posh Pet Parties, or Petlane, to name a few, comes with sizable perks that will leave your doggie with swag to spare. Pet product companies reward you for selling their products couchside with discounts on their merchandise in proportion to the sales revenue you generate.
For those with a philanthropic bent, birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries spent unwrapping presents for themselves are overrated. So if your near and dear ones love their animals as their second selves, then the ideal present for them on their special day may well be one for their four-legged family—or if not for their personal pooch or kitty, then a donation made to an animal-welfare organization in their honor.
When it’s your turn to bask in the celebratory spotlight, consider foregoing the usual candle holders and picture frames and asking all your well wishers to donate an amount of their choosing to your animal rescue or charity of choice. You might also selflessly seize the occasion to dress up the cause of adopting homeless animals. Personalize your invitations or place settings with pictures, descriptions, and contact information of local adoptable animals. And multiply the number of happy feet on your dance floor in a hurry by opening your celebration to the four-footed companions of your human guests. Just be sure to have some puppy cake and water dishes in plentiful supply to keep Fido’s mojo up into the wee hours.