New This Month

Throwing a Puppy ''Pawty''

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2011

Approximately 1 in 4 pet owners celebrate their animal companion's birthday. This year, show your furry friend just how much you care by throwing them a puppy "pawty," a fun gathering that is similar to a puppy play date or socialization class, complete with canine guests.

Here, "Petkeeping" host Marc Morrone shares some practical tips to consider when planning a party for your pooch and his pals.

The Guest List

Only invite socialized dogs that already get along with one another, and try to invite dogs that are around the same age and thus have the same energy level. Dogs can be more defensive when they are on a leash, so decide in advance whether your puppy guests will be on- or off-leash and make that the universal party policy. Always inform guests if any animal attendees are not spayed or neutered.

The Venue

Choose an outdoor location with a secure area for the puppies to play in, like a fenced-in yard or local dog run.

The Refreshments

Keep furry friends hydrated with a watering hole just for them: Freeze a large block of ice, place it within reach of all dogs, and allow the ice block to melt during the party.

The Cake

If you make your own cake, avoid using chocolate, milk and dairy products, macadamia nuts, anything sweetened with xylitol, and excessive amounts of sugar and raisins. Always research each ingredient thoroughly before giving it to your pets to eat. Alternatively, order a cake from shops that specialize in animal-friendly foods, such as Me & My Dog Pet Bakery.

The Games

While many puppies are perfectly content playing with the other animals or a large plastic ball, organized games can be a fun way to get your human guests involved in the festivities too.

Find the Outlaw

Hide a treat under a grouping of party hats in the yard: The first puppy to find the treat wins.

Puppy Cavalry

Start by securing puppies on one end of your outdoor area, with their owners standing 10 to 15 feet away. When the dogs are let loose, each owner calls to their dog: The first dog to reach his owner wins.

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