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Pawty Planning 101 – Getting Started

Misfit Manor Shop

It’s always Pawty time at Misfit Manor! Having a dog birthday party is about celebrating the love and joy our pets bring to our lives. Nothing is more fun than watching a bunch of dogs running and playing with party hats on. Even the grumpiest curmudgeon can’t help but have a good time at a dog birthday party. Pawty planning doesn’t have to be limited to dog birthday party ideas. Here are some of the days we plan pawties for at Misfit Manor; Derby Pawty, Gotcha Day, Adoption Pawty, May Day Pawty, Halloween Pawty, Winter Solstice Pawty, Ugle Sweater Pawty and more! Planning the pawfect day for your pet’s celebration is super easy…here are a few of our favorite tips!

Where to have your pawty:

This is the Pawty yard at Misfit Manor!

Getting a group of dogs together for a dog birthday party first and foremost has to be done somewhere safe and dog friendly. Ideally if you are planning an outdoor pawty you want to have your event in a securely fenced location. If you are hosting it at a public park be sure to check with park officials to make sure you don’t need a permit first or if you are required to reserve specific spaces in advance. Some dog daycare businesses and boarding facilities have party rooms you can rent. Other ideas are dog friendly wineries or breweries…many of which have lovely outdoor patio spaces that make pawfect pawty venues. I personally am not a fan of public dog parks and would not recommend dog parks as a clean and safe place to have a pawty.

Who to invite to your pawty:

This is the most important part of pawty planning! Make sure you are inviting a group of dogs who have a history of playing well with other dogs. Nothing could ruin a pawfect day faster than a dog fight. Keep it small and manageable. Manageable can mean different things to different people. I generally recommend keeping it to 5-10 dogs. Be mindful of inviting dogs whose parents are responsible about vaccinations, worm and flea control as well as picking up after their pets. Ideally you want pet parents attending your pawty with their dogs rather than dropping them off. Managing a large group of dogs can get difficult pretty quickly.

What to do at your pawty:

This is the really fun part of pawty planning! Any great pawty has fun pawty games and activities. The ideas are endless…but here are a few of my favorites!

Misfit Manor Shop Pawty Planning
Some of our play tunnels for Pawty time!
  • Bobbing for Hot Dogs! This is so easy…all you need is a large bowl. You can buy large plastic punch/candy bowls at party stores that work perfect for this. Large breed dogs love this game. Make sure you keep it organized and give each dog their turn individually. I would freshen the water up regularly too.
  • Paw print art/craft table. There are so many simple ways to make keepsakes with your pet’s paw prints. Check out our post on making pawty keepsakes. Other ideas are making inexpensive handmade dog toys, bandannas, christmas ornaments and bow ties. We have an entire Pinterest Board devoted to Pet Craft ideas for pawties!
  • Contests with prizes. The possibilities here are endless; costume contest, best trick contest, who looks most like their dog, etc. The prizes don’t have to be fancy…even a few treats for the winning dog. Pawty Bingo is a great game! Setting up a coloring table is fun too.
  • Photo Booth. Having even just a few photo props; super large sunglasses, some funny hats, a boa…will be a source of laughter and fun for your guests. You can find photo props affordably at Dollar Stores and Party City. Misfit Manor offers a really cute set of Pawty Themed Photo Booth Props and we can make customized photo props too!
  • Tunnels and Toys. Dogs love tunnels…we order the kids play tunnels off Amazon. They are inexpensive and portable. If you are having an outdoor party consider putting out some small kiddie pools so the puppers can take a dip! Really large tug toys are some of our favorite items to have around for dogs to enjoy group play. Walmart carries some really large rope tugs that are a favorite around here.

Check out my blog post on Planning the Best Pawty Games and Activities for more ideas!

Pawty theme and tablescaping:

Every well planned party has a theme and tablescape…this definitely applies to pawties too! Start by choosing your color palette and work from there. Next choose your theme. While paw prints and dog bones tend to dominate pawty planning themes….anything works…rainbows, unicorns, even a Harry Potter theme would be a blast. Getting your theme and tablescape to tie together requires a few key elements:

Pupperccino Cups!
Dog Party Hat, Set of Six, Gotcha Day, Dog Adoption Party, Misfit Manor Shop
  • A large Centerpiece (statement piece) for the main table. For pawties I recommend using items such as a fire hydrant, a large cupcake stand or a large sign as the statement piece. Check out the Misfit Manor Pawty Tablescaping Pinterest Board for more ideas!
  • A decorated water source for both dogs and hoomans. Ideally at a dog birthday party you don’t want shared water to be the only water available for dogs. I recommend using a large water dispenser and individual bowls (they can be disposable) for each dog to have its own water.
  • A treat spread for both dogs and hoomans. No party is complete without treats! You are going to want to keep it simple so you can focus on fun with dogs rather than managing a food spread. Also be sure to make certain that the human foods you are serving do not contain anything toxic to dogs because it is inevitable that dogs will find a way into the hooman food.
  • Cake and Coffee/Pupperccinos. There are a lot of dog barkeries you can order special dog birthday cakes from. You can also bake your own. Our Misfit Manor Pinterest Page has an entire board devoted to dog party recipes. Our Shop offers an adorable collection of pupperccino cups!
  • Matching dog party favors laid out in a beautiful format. Every great pawty needs to have a pawty station set up for guests to pick up their hats and favors.
  • Embellishing decorations; balloons, streamers, banners, etc. The Misfit Manor Shop has a great variety of both handmade and carefully procured dog pawty decorating items.

Check out my blog post on Pawty Planning Themes and Tablescaping for more ideas. Our Misfit Manor Pinterest Page is loaded with ideas for dog party recipes, decorations, tablescapes and more!

Thank your guests:

Puppy Party Bone Boxes, MIsfit Manor Shop
Adorable bone boxes available in the Misfit Manor Shop

Everyone needs to leave your party feeling appreciated for taking time out of their busy lives to celebrate with you and your dog. Take home goodie bags or prizes are a great way to say thank you and are a must for any successful dog pawty! There are a lot of really cute affordable way to thank your guests; goodie bags are always a hit! Goodie bags can be filled with dog treats, a tennis ball/toy, a small token gift for the pet parent and more. Our Shop has a great selection of different types of goodie/favor items for thanking your guests.

Check out my post on Pawty Planning Goodie Bags and Prizes for more great ideas!

Responsible clean up:

Be a model pet parent and citizen. If you are hosting your party offsite…make sure that you do a thorough clean up. Prepare ahead and bring plenty of poop bags, garbage bags, paper towels and a bottle of disinfectant. Make sure all of your pawty supplies and decorations are cleaned up and disposed of properly. We want our dogs to be welcome guests in as many places as possible. The way we encourage the welcoming of dogs in public places is by being super responsible about cleaning up after them.

Misfit Manor Shop, Pawty

Good luck with your pawty planning! Don’t forget to check out our Misfit Manor Pinterest Page for tons of pawty ideas and items! In our Misfit Manor Shop we offer an amazing variety of affordable and personalized party hats, favors and banners. We would love to be a small part of planning your pet’s special day and follow us on Instagram at @misfitmanorshop for all of our new product updates!

Pawty on!

Nancy & The Misfits

  • Pink Paw Print Bone Boxes
  • Dog Party Table Decorations
  • Pupperccino Cups, The Misfit Manor Shop
  • Rainbow Paw Print Cupcake Toppers
  • Dog Bone Cup Cake Toppers - Misfit Manor Shop
  • Pink Sparkly Dog Bone Cup Cake Topper - Misfit Manor Shop
  • _Paw Print Cup Cake Toppers - Misfit Manor Shop
  • The Golden Divine Dog Crown, The Misfit Manor Shop
  • Sparkly Pink Paw Print Party Place Cards
  • Paw Print Dog Party Place Cards
  • The Divine Canine Dog Crown, The Misfit Manor Shop
  • Dog Adoption Party Hat, Misfit Manor Shop
  • Dog Birthday Crown
  • Dog Party Hat, Set of Six, Gotcha Day, Dog Adoption Party, Misfit Manor Shop
  • Dachshund Place Card
  • Puppy Party Favors, Misfit Manor Shop
  • Dog Birthday Party Banner, The Misfit Manor Shop
  • Dog Birthday Hat, Puppy Birthday, Paw Print Party Favors, Misfit Manor Shop
  • Custom Dog Birthday Hat, Personalized Dog Birthday Hat, Misfit Manor Shop
  • Dog Birthday Hats, Dog Party Hats, Misfit Manor Shop, Gotcha Day, Dog Adoption Party
  • Pupperccino Cups, Dog Party Favors, Paw Print Party Favors, Dog Birthday Hat, Paw Print Party Favors
  • Pupperccino Cups, Dog Party Favors, Dog Birthday Party, MIsfit Manor Shop

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