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It’s Happy Howlidays With This Ultimate Guide to Christmas Parties for Dogs

At A Glance

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And as you get ready to ring in the celebrations with family and friends, how about unleashing some paw-sitive kind of cheer by throwing a dog Christmas party?

But before you go Merry Christmutt, here are some points to keep in mind:

  • If you are short on yard space, opt for a pet-friendly venue like a pet hotel, park, or pet cafe.
  • Don’t forget the party favors - toys, treats, grooming kits, and walk supplies are options worth considering.

Last Updated on: Dec 23, 2022

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Don’t want your pet missing out on the celebrations this holiday season? Why not throw a dog Christmas party? No, I don’t mean a pet-friendly party. Rather one filled with snorts, woofs, wags, and all the dogs in the house!

Thinking, “How can I make my dog’s Christmas special?”

Keep reading! This guide is packed with nifty dog Christmas party ideas and tips on how to throw a pet party.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

For The Love Of All That’s Howly, How Do You Throw A Pet Pawty

If you’re keen on decking the paws and the halls and going Fur-liz Navi-dog, there’s plenty you can do to make it a woofing happy party. From creating DIY decorations to delicious treats, read on for some smart dog party ideas to make the celebrations paw-sitively merry and bright.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Here’s what you need to do to sleigh the day:

dog christmas - tweet 1

Choose a Pet-Safe Location for the Pawty

If you’re hosting your pet party indoors, choose a room large enough for everyone – your canine’s friends and their humans too. If you’re having the celebrations at a pet-friendly cafe or hotel, ensure you secure a reservation or an event permit if needed. Also, let the venue know you’ll be bringing your dogs.

Other great indoor options worth considering are local community centers and pet-friendly venues like doggy daycares or boarding facilities.

If you decide to move the celebrations outdoors, choose a park or space with plenty of room for your pets to run around and have fun. No place better than your own backyard, and if it’s large enough for the bark pack, that’s even better.

Go DIY And Make It Festive

There are plenty of cute and festive ways to decorate the party space for your pets. Some great options include hanging Christmas ornaments from the ceiling, creating a centerpiece using dog toys, or placing holiday-themed doormats at each pet guest’s place setting.

You can also consider giving each dog its own personal stocking filled with treats and toys to take home as party favors.

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No Two Ways About Safety

While you would want to keep your pet party all fun and games, it is important to take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the humans and the canines.

Keep a close eye on all pets or rope in pet parents to help you with it. Also, establish ground rules in advance for everyone’s safety. For example, you may request that sick pets be kept at home. You can also ask pet parents to keep their dogs on leash at all times.

Also, double-check with pet parents if their pets are fully vaccinated with the basic shots, and are free from contagious diseases or skin conditions. Have extra treats and calming aids handy just in case a pup needs some extra attention.

Strut That Stuff And Sniff (Dog Version of Meet-and-Greet)

As the host, it’s up to you to ensure that every dog is comfortable. So get the party started with a meet-and-greet session for all dogs.

You may want to set up an area in your party space where each dog can move about and sniff to its heart’s content. This will help them become familiar with each other’s scent and get comfortable in the new environment. But keep a close eye on them and intervene if necessary.

dog lying on the ground

Play Dress Up

Another fun way to add some festivities to your dog party is by encouraging pet parents to dress their pets in holiday-themed outfits or accessories. And while this can be anything from Santa costumes and reindeer antlers to elf ears and dog sweaters, it is important to keep your pet’s comfort in mind.

You can also set a specific theme for your party (e.g., a dog Christmas pajama party, winter-themed dog costume contest, etc.) to give everyone some inspiration.

To reward the cutest and most festive dogs, you can consider holding an award ceremony or hosting a raffle with prizes like Christmas-themed dog toys or gift cards to pet stores.

Turn Up The Festive Music (At a Safe Volume)

Play some fun and festive music in the background to set the mood for your dog party. No, I didn’t mean “Who Let The Dogs Out”, though that’s not a bad idea.

Think holiday classics or pet-themed movies in the background to add to the vibe. Some great options include The Grinch, Santa Paws, The Lady and the Tramp, and Elf!

Remember that dogs have a sharper sense of hearing than humans, so keep the volume down to avoid startling or overwhelming your four-legged guests.

Sweet Treats And More

What do you serve at a dog party?

Treats, of course!

They are the key to many a dog’s hearts. From dog-friendly cakes to delectable treats, there are plenty of recipes on the net. Or hit up your local dog bakery if there’s one in your area.

From popsicles and peanut butter to cakes, cookies, or healthy frozen treats, there’s a world of dog-friendly options to choose from.

Food’s The Way To Go

What’s a party without food, right? And especially when it’s a Christmas party for your dog! You can make your pet feel extra special by preparing some of their favorite meals. In your pet’s ideal world, all food would be dog food; unfortunately for your pet, that’s not true.

And while there are an array of food options to choose from, including fruits, veggies, meat, or fish, you need to ensure it’s safe for your pet. If you’re in doubt about the menu for the pawty, check out some dog-safe Christmas food options your mutt and its pals will enjoy.

Provide Plenty Of Water

With all the dog Christmas activities going on, it’s important to ensure your furry guests stay well-hydrated throughout the party.

You can do this by setting up a water dispenser and having portable dog bowls handy, so pet parents can give their dogs a drink as needed. Automatic dog water bowls or water fountains are a great idea if you plan to go all out.

dog christmas - tweet 2

Food For The Humans

Let’s not forget the humans at the party – the pet parents. You want to ensure they have a good time too. So, laying out a good spread of food and drinks is a great way of doing that.

Finger foods, Christmas cookies, or holiday-themed cupcakes will have your human guests grinning from ear to ear too. You can also offer non-alcoholic drinks like eggnog or hot chocolate in keeping with the holiday spirit.

To avoid cross-contamination, set up the food and drink areas at a safe distance from where the dogs are playing or resting. And remember to keep the food, drinks, and even the garbage out of reach of your pets.

Pet Party Games

How do you celebrate Christmas with your pet? By going all-out on a game of fetch, of course! Other great dog party activities that can help facilitate interactions between dogs include playing tug-of-war or free-for-all hunts, where dogs are given a specific number of treats to sniff out and gobble up.

If you have more time on your hands, consider dog Christmas activities like a pet photoshoot, DIY dog toy-making session, paw painting, or even a holiday-themed fashion show for pets!

Keep The Decorations Pet-Safe

As a general rule, you’ll want to avoid using decorations that can potentially harm dogs such as tinsel, or other small, shiny ornaments that can be choking hazards. Steer clear of plants and flowers that are toxic to pets, such as poinsettias, snake plants, and most types of cacti.

For a festive-yet-safe dog Christmas party theme, consider using decorative touches like holiday ribbons and bows in place of tinsel and opting for pet-safe decorations and furniture.

Keep The Baubles And Breakables Away

If you’re planning on hosting a furry pawty indoors, keep baubles and breakables out of reach of your canine guests. This means moving decorative pieces like vases, ornaments, and other small items to a high cabinet or shelf where pets can’t reach them.

You may also want to consider putting up baby gates so dogs can be restricted to certain areas or even a dog crate to safely contain them if desired. These can easily be found online or at your local pet supply store.

Provide Poop Bags and Pet Pads

Whether you’re hosting your party indoors or outdoors, it’s smart to have a fresh supply of poop bags and pet wipes on hand.

Additionally, designate a spot near where the dogs are playing or resting specifically for potty breaks. This can mean placing pet pads or even a plain tarp on the ground.

dog christmas - tweet 3

Let’s Not Skip The Photo Op With Santa

If you’re up for it, you may want to consider setting up a special photo area for Santa Paws to visit with Santa Claws! You can easily do this by investing in a basic Christmas tree to use as the backdrop for photos.

You may also want to consider providing festive props like dog-sized Santa hats or reindeer antlers. Whether you hire a Santa or dress up as one yourself, this can be a fun and memorable way to capture the festive spirit of your dog Christmas party.

Paw-fessional Photos

There’s nothing like a photo to capture the special memories of your dog party, but for a more professional look, consider hiring a pet photographer for some candid paw-traits.

This will ensure that all your guests are captured looking their best. Plus, pet photographers know how to work with pets to get some great shots.

Grooming Demo For Pet Parents

If you have pet grooming experts among your friends, consider having them demonstrate how to brush and trim dog fur.

Not only can this be helpful for pet parents new to caring for pets, but it’s also an opportunity to get everyone engaged with one another as they watch the demo and ask questions.

Christmas Paw-ty Favors

Consider winding up the pawty by giving out dog-themed party favors. This could be your way of saying thank you to all your canine guests.

Dog Christmas gifts or paw-ty favors can include dog treats or toys, grooming products (brushes, tear stain removers, wipes, etc.), or walk essentials like collars, leashes, and water bottles.

dog with the Christmas tree and gifts

Whether you’re hosting a holiday party for your dog and their friends or simply looking for some festive gift ideas, there are plenty of ways to unleash the holiday cheer and make the Christmas season memorable for your pet and you. So get set to ring in the celebrations with your mutt. Yappy Howlidays!


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.