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As the weather heats up and more of our friends are starting to throw awesome barbeques and pool parties, we often find ourselves leaving our beloved four-legged friends at home so we can go out and enjoy some fun in the sun. While our pets are typically used to not being invited (for shame!) and patiently stay home awaiting our return, maybe it’s time to pay it forward and throw a special gathering just for them. If you have a pool, or a back yard large enough to throw down a kiddie pool or some sprinklers, why not let your favorite pets have their own summer celebration and invite some of their friends, too? Here are tips for throwing a fabulous (and disaster-free) doggie pool party that will be fun for canines and humans, alike.

Photo credit: veezle.com
1. Survey the scene.

The first thing you need to do is set up the perfect party area. Make sure all fences are closed off and there are no exits for your guests to run off. Also, clear the area of anything that could be dangerous for them, like lighter fluid next to the grill or sharp gardening tools.

2. Start the party with a goody bag.

A great way to break the ice for your guests and their owners is to hand out goody bags before, instead of after the party starts. Include some treats and toys so the owners can take a moment to show their dogs the goodies while guests arrive.

3. Don’t skimp on treats.
This is a party, so best place to add a “wow” factor is with the food. Try decorating doggie cupcakes or giving out the biggest dog bones you can find.

4. Provide plenty of fresh water.

The healthiest and most hydrating thing for your guests to drink is plain, old water. Set up dishes around the yard, spaced far enough away to avoid squabbles.

5. Steer clear of food that will create disaster.

Even though you may want to start out the party with a bang, avoid serving foods that dogs go nuts for, like steak. This will cause a huge commotion and someone could get hurt.

6. Design dog-friendly water games.

If you have a deep pool, try planning some water games for all the dogs to play. With the owners’ help, try creating a relay game. Break up the dogs into two teams. Then, line up each team and throw two toys into the pool for the dogs to fetch and bring back. As soon as a dog brings back a toy, send out the next dog in line. The first team to finish wins.

7. Add a kiddie pool for the young’uns.

Not everyone is old enough to play in the deep end, so make sure to make accommodations for puppies and provide shallow water to play in.
Photo credit: supercoolpets.com

8. Have enough shade for pets and people.

A summer party is always a drag if there is no relaxing shade provided, and both humans and dogs need a chance to cool off once in a while. Set up some comfortable human seating in a shaded area so owners can relax and converse.

9. Let your guests know this is not doggy daycare. 

Just like a kid’s party, it’s a bit taboo to simply ring the doorbell and drop them off. Most of your guests will know that they need to accompany their pets to the party, but make sure it’s clear by inviting both the dog and human explicitly.

10. Don’t invite the bullies.

If you know there is a dog that doesn’t play well with others, is a bit too old to handle a pool party, or is just simply out of control, try not to invite him or her. You may want to spare their owner’s feelings, but remember that you have to keep the safety of your other guests in mind first.

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses.  She welcomes your comments at her email angelita.williams7@gmail.com

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