You've made the important decision to welcome a new family member into your life - this is cause for a celebration! A puppy or kitten shower is the perfect way to welcome your new family member and introduce them to your friends. Unlike a baby shower, the guest of honor actually gets to join in the festivities. It may seem like a silly thing only for the most intense pet parents, but furbaby showers can help acclimate your furry family member to an array of sights, sounds, people, and other pets.
When to Celebrate
The best time to throw a party for your new baby is after they've received their first vaccinations; this usually occurs when your pet is 12-18 weeks old. If you've adopted an older pet, wait a few weeks so they have time to adjust to their new surroundings. Your furbaby needs to be comfortable with you before you introduce them to new people and experiences.
The Guest List
In order to help socialize your new pup or kitty, invite a combination of adults, children, and possibly other pets. If possible, try to time when guests and their pets will be arriving, limiting pet guests to no more than two at a time. Make sure your pet is not overwhelmed. If you choose to have an open house party, remember that your furbaby might need to take a break away from all the celebrations. It's tiring being the guest of honor!
Send a cute pet-themed invitation via online or through the post. Use blue or pink ribbons for your pet's gender. Add fun text like "We're having a paw-ty!" or "Join us for a paw-some celebration!". The sky is the limit. Specify party rules, requiring guests that are bringing other pets to RSVP and that all pets arrive on a leash or in a carrier. Request that aggressive pets or pets who aren't house trained or not socialized stay home. You want to ensure the safety of you, your new baby, and all of your guests.
Just like your invitations, the sky is the limit! Be as extravagant or minimalist as you like. Remember to keep decorations out of reach of your furry friend and their guests as they can pose as choking hazards. If you can't have your party at home, find a location where you can have a pet party. They usually come pre-decorated and they provide a pet-friendly party experience.
Treats and Games
Offer pet-themed food for humans, with goodies like "pupcorn" or bone/fish shaped cookies. Provide a non-alcoholic "puppy punch" or an alcoholic "Salty Dog". Fruits and veggies are a healthy option that owners can share
with their pets. For furry guests, make sure there are plenty of water bowls available, and have pet treats on a separate table away from human treats. No party is complete without a cake - just be sure it's pet-friendly! While everyone takes turns playing with the new baby, other guests can enjoy pet bingo, pin the tail on the pup, face painting, or even a piñata. Just remember to take potty breaks if you're playing indoors.
Gifts and Goody Bags
Gifts don't have to be a necessity, but stick to pet-friendly gifts. Kongs, nylabones, and tennis balls are good for pups, while string toys, laser pointers, and treat puzzles are good for cats. Coupons for a pet sitter, poop bags, or car restraints are good practical gifts. If you don't know what to bring, a gift card to a local pet store is always helpful. Remember to make your guests feel welcome with or without a gift. Don't let your guests leave empty-handed. Give them "doggy bags" filled with pet-friendly treats and toys or even a personalized item.
Always remember that your first priority is the safety of you, your furbaby, and your guests. Pet parties can be lots of fun, but humans and pets have limits. It's easy for new pets, or any pet, to get overwhelmed. Provide a quiet space where pooped out pets can relax away from the hustle and bustle. Always supervise play, and keep food, decorations, and trash out of reach of pets. A safe and fun celebration is the perfect way to welcome your new furbaby!