by Melody Keilig
Are you adopting a puppy and need a reason to celebrate? Of course, you do! We at Porch Potty highly encourage adopting a pup. So, why not take the baby shower approach and have a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the adoption?
Even if you have an older dog, throwing a puppy shower is perfect for you to do! The idea is to celebrate adopting a dog who needs a loving home, so the dog's age doesn't matter as much as the love. The party can also bring awareness of "Adopt, Don't Shop" to your guests.
Before you jump into the fun part of planning a party with brainstorming themes and games, some ground rules should be implemented for the puppy's (or dog's) safety.
Checking the Puppy's Vaccinations
Suppose you intend on inviting guests who would like to bring their dogs. In that case, you must ensure that your puppy has had all of the necessary vaccinations beforehand. When puppies haven't had their proper shots, you risk them getting sick with various diseases.
Usually, puppies are adopted between 7 to 9 weeks of age and typically get vaccinated between 12 to 18 weeks. So, depending on when you adopted your pup, you may have to hold off a few weeks until they're old enough for vaccinations.
Although your pup can be around other dogs that you know are vaccinated and not currently sick, it's still a good idea to not risk the puppy's health. So, double-check with your veterinarian that your puppy has their shots and would be safe to hang out with other dogs.
Socialization for Your Puppy
Before dreaming up the perfect puppy shower theme, make sure that your puppy has been socialized with other dogs in a controlled environment. You don't want a larger dog to accidentally spook your puppy and make them nervous.
If your family or friends have older dogs, get them similarly acquainted with your puppy. When it comes to older dogs being around puppies, you want to watch them safely interact together. Sometimes, older dogs may not be prepared for the higher energy levels of the puppy and might get irritated with the extra commotion.
However, if the dog is playful with the puppy, monitor them for a while to ensure that the older dog doesn't accidentally injure your puppy. The older dog probably doesn't realize their own strength, so you want to make sure they play gently.
If the older dog lashes out aggressively, it's important to not scold them for the bad behavior. It's easy to blame the adult dog for losing their cool, but sometimes puppies can get under their skin with their own form of aggressive behavior.
Puppies may not have the strength to harm an older dog, but sometimes puppies taunt dogs when playing together. This causes the dog to snap at the puppy, not the puppy itself.
Don't forget that older dogs have learned social cues and other behavior from growing up. So, when a puppy comes along and tries to establish themself as the pack leader, the older dog can become agitated.
If the older dog snaps, the best course of action is to immediately separate them. Then, let both dogs cool off for a few hours and only try again later if you feel like it's a safe move.
Planning the Puppy Shower
We're finally to the fun part! Now that you've taken care of the essentials, it's time to plan the perfect puppy shower to introduce your pup to everyone. You probably have tons of ideas for party themes, decorations, a dog-friendly cake, and the list goes on and on!
But, you might be wondering about the best course of action for planning the entire party. And how do you tell people that you're throwing a puppy shower? So, let's dig into the best way to prepare for your puppy's big debut!
If you're going to throw this party for your pup, the best thing to do is feel confident. You might have family members thinking it's a strange idea, so be prepared for unwanted comments.
On the other hand, keep in mind that many fellow dog lovers are doing the same thing for their pups, so don't feel alone.
Once you're ready to plan this party for good, the following steps are thinking about the impact you want to have on your pup and guests. For example, do you want a super tight-knit gathering with minimal decorations? Or, do you want to go all out and throw the puppy shower of the year?
While you ponder about that, let's check out the rest of the puppy shower checklist!
Picking the Theme
The most fun part of the whole party-planning process! After all, the theme sets the mood for the party, so you want to pick something creative and inviting so everyone can have a good time. Of course, you don't need to get approval from anyone on your guest list, but make sure to create a comfortable atmosphere.
To get inspiration, look into baby shower themes and check out how parents-to-be thought up their perfect party. The most popular baby shower trends as of late include themes like boho, safari, space, woodland, summer, and fall. Think of popular trends like 80s Night, classy tea parties, disco, or going full-on retro with poodle skirts and Elvis music to get more specific with the theme.
The most popular holiday themes include New Year's Eve and Christmas, but don't forget smaller events to celebrate like Graduation Day. After all, your pup may be "graduating" from the shelter, so it would be super cute to hold a doggy graduation party.
Even if your favorite holiday is far off, who says you can't have Christmas in July or Halloween in January? Do what makes your doggy-loving heart happy!
Or, if you're someone who counts down the clock until the first day of fall, why not deck out your pup's party with all things pumpkin-themed? And, because pumpkin is a safe treat for dogs, imagine the food possibilities at the party!
Puppy-Safe Party Food
Once your theme is set, planning on what types of food you'll offer your guests is the next step! If your guests are bringing their puppies or dogs, you'll want to make sure you're serving dog-safe food. If you can, ensure that the people's food at the party is suitable for dogs.
If a puppy or dog gets a hold of the food for the human guests, no one will have to worry about the dog getting sick. It's better to be safe than sorry, so practice caution when thinking about what kind of food you want at the puppy shower.
Need some party food inspiration? We’ve got the perfect dog-safe party food list for you, full of easy homemade treats!
Also, make sure the party food is high enough so dogs can't jump up and eat more than they need. Then, if you get caught up in conversation, you won't have to worry about the dogs getting sick because of accidental overeating.
Location, Location, Location
Do you know where you would like to host your puppy shower? Location is just as important as anything else on your list, so ensure that your puppy and guests will be comfortable at your chosen location.
If you'd prefer to have the party at your home or apartment, keep in mind that you may have less open space if your guests bring their furbabies. You'll have to clear a particular area so your guests, human and canine, can comfortably gather for the party.
But, if you'd rather rent a larger space with more room to roam, check out your local amenities for dog-friendly venues. Be upfront with how many dogs will be in the area for the gathering and see what you can find.
Whether you host the puppy shower at your place or a venue, you can bring Porch Potty for your guests' dogs to use during the party. Grass to Go is the perfect small solution for fun-sized pups like your puppy or smaller toy breeds.
That way, if the venue doesn't have a yard you can use for the dog's needs, they have their potty spot without their pawrents having to take them outside!
Decorating for the Puppy Shower
Depending on your theme and location, it's time to pick decorations for the puppy shower. If you're stuck on ideas, look up photos of baby showers for inspiration. Think announcement signs, seasonal decor (carved pumpkins for fall, hello!), a custom banner with your pup's name, and other fun additions to the party.
Your decor can extend to your invitations, whether physical cards or digital images. Feel free to use the pink and blue colors from baby showers and reuse them for your invitations. Or, use whichever other colors you like based on your main theme.
Remember to put an RSVP on the card so you know how many guests to expect 𑁋 and how many other pups will be in attendance.
There's the to-do list to throw a puppy shower of your very own for your pup or an older dog you've adopted into your family. So, follow the tips and tricks above to have a fun and safe puppy shower 𑁋 and encourage your guests to throw a puppy shower the next time they adopt.
After all, there are never too many puppy parties!
Want to share your puppy shower pictures with fellow dog lovers? Join our growing Porch Potty community in our new Facebook group!