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Party Animals!

Do you and your furry friend have something to celebrate? Perhaps an upcoming birthday or graduation from puppy training class? Maybe you've even been toying with the idea of a dog wedding for your little one and their sweetheart? Whatever the special occasion might be, a dog party can be a fun-filled, memorable event that could turn into the talk of the dog park!

As with any sort of shindig, planning is the key to success, but there are some special considerations when throwing a bow-wow bash. Animal behavior consultant and book author Arden Moore, who penned Dog Parties: How To Party With Your Pup (www.ardenmoore.com), says that one of the first things to think about would be the guests: how many, depending on the location of the party (your backyard, or a dog day-care resort, for instance), and of course, whom.

"Be picky about the canine guests you invite," Arden says. "Parties are for well-socialized dogs, not canine bullies. Know the dogs you are inviting. Some dogs are very friendly, but only when no food is around. At the party, make sure you supervise the doling out of treats so that each dog has plenty of elbow room to devour their snacks without pestering from another canine guest."

Remember to provide a sufficient amount of treats for people, too. Although plenty of your human guests would love chocolate, omit it from the party menu completely; a canine guest would love it just as much, and a determined dog could possibly steal a piece from their parent's plate. Chopped up vegetables with dip and fruit and cheese are perfect "people treats" since they're safe (and healthy) for all.

Additionally, it's important to point out to the pet parents — right from the beginning — that there isn't a "drop off" option. To avoid becoming a dog-sitter instead of a party-thrower, Arden says you must let people know that they need to be there with their dogs at all times. "Besides," she adds, "dog parties bring out plenty of fun for two-leggers, too. It's a great opportunity to revel in the moment and enjoy the canine antics."

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and plan a bash for your best friend. If they could, they'd do the same for you!

- Written by Sharon Athanasiou. Sharon is a dog clothing and accessory designer, in addition to running her own dog-walking/pet-sitting service, she's mom to two poodles, Fluffernutter and Bettie Page, and a Maltese, Vanillabean.


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