Baby showers are nothing new, but you may not be as familiar with the concept of puppy showers. These are, however, becoming quite the thing with new pet parents now, and they are not just for puppies either.
The idea behind puppy showers is to celebrate a new canine's arrival into the family, whether it's a tiny puppy or an older dog rescued from a harder old life and embarking on an exciting new one.
Every dog is special and deserves to be celebrated when they arrive 'home', and a puppy shower is a great way to do that.
However, if you are new to the idea, you might be stuck for ideas on just how to host a great puppy shower. You may not even know where to start. Don't let that stop you from celebrating a new pup in style, though. Here we are going to offer lots of easy puppy shower ideas to help, as well as a closer look at just what a successful puppy shower should entail.
Puppy Shower Venues
Most people choose their home or backyard as a location for a puppy shower. However if you don't want to throw a party in your own home or apartment consider a dog park or renting space in a doggie daycare center.
Puppy Shower Invitations
Dogs can't read, so you'll need to contact their human pet parents to invite them to your puppy shower, and while an email is fine, formal invitations add a wonderfully celebratory touch to any party. For a personalized feature, add a paw print of your pupper on the announcement.
These brightly colored, kennel-shaped, fill in the blanks, puppy shower invitations are a great choice, and they come complete with brightly colored matching envelopes, so your invitation to join the fun won't get overlooked in a pile of mail!
If you would prefer to print your puppy shower invitations at home, this editable puppy shower invitation printable set is great, and you can hold onto all the files and reuse them when it's time to throw a birthday party for pup later (they deserve those too you know.)
Puppy Shower Yard Sign
To ensure your quests know where the pawty is by using a yard sign and a outdoor lawn decorations that are weather-resistant and full-colored.
Puppy Shower Decorations
Every party should have at least some party decor, to set the tone for the event, and add to the sense of celebration. These can be as simple or as extravagant as you wish. Here are some puppy shower decor ideas we love:
Puppy Shower Banner
Whether you are hosting an indoor puppy shower, or one held outdoors - which is often a better idea if lots of pups will be attending - welcoming your guests with a celebratory banner is a must.
This one, from Amazon, is very much in keeping with the baby shower idea, but obviously geared towards canines instead, and is very much a 'gender-neutral' offering that's fun without being too cutesy.
If you want a personalized, but very stylish banner for your puppy shower, Etsy is a great place to shop. This simple but very stylish choice can be personalized with the pup of honor's name, and the cutout for you pup icons are adorable for a boy or a girl.
Staying on Etsy, if you want to go the DIY route, there are some wonderful printable puppy shower banners to choose from. These allow you to make as many banners as you like (or have room for)and a more affordable choice. We particularly liked this very colorful choice, as there are lots of options!
Puppy Shower Dinnerware
Most puppy showers include food for both canine and human guests, but if you can keep all the dinnerware used to the same theme, then things will simply look more pulled together.
This set includes everything you'll need to feed dogs and humans in style - while also being disposable to make clean up faster - and is fun and colorful while sticking to the canine theme. It even includes paw print embossed balloons!
We also love this simpler puppy shower dinnerware set, as it is very bright and colorful - it's available in lots of color combinations for you to choose from - and is not puppy specific, so great for welcoming an older pup.
Here'a few more dog-themed tableware sets that are universal.
Corgi Doggy Love
Cute and clever brightly-colored 144-piece party supplies set of paper plates, cups, napkins and cutlery suitable for 24 guests suitable for any "girl-dog" or "boy-dog".
Continue this festive dog-themed set with this matching festive tablecloth.
Doggy Ears Decorative Pawty Supplies
A very fun and charming black and white puppy dog partyware featuring a doggie face with a cheeky stuck out tongue and adorable floppy ears. This set includes 12 plates, 8 cups and 20 luncheon napkins.
Pink Girl-Dog Pawtyware
A brightly-pink girl-puppy dog themed set for 16 guests and includes 16 paper plates, 16 paper cups and 16 napkins.
Puppy Shower Table Centerpiece
Every festive table should have a fun centerpiece. Get a bone-shaped toy basket or fire hydrant shaped doggie toy box and place in the center. At the end of the puppy shower, the owner can bring it home with all the presents and use it as toy box to store toys.
Puppy Shower Balloons
What's a party without party balloons?
This 'Lets Pawty' set includes 9 latex balloons, a triangle flag banner, a happy birthday banner, pet hats and an air pump. More than enough to decorate the space and all of the balloons are elegant and gender-neutral, great for a more sophisticated canine party vibe.
If you prefer something more colorful, and a little more playful, these dog shaped foil balloons are an unusual choice that is sure to delight your human guests and fascinate your canine ones (just don't let them get too close, or they won't last long!)
Puppy Shower Food
Something else every good puppy shower needs is food for the guests. If you will be hosting a mix of canine and human guests, this will involve a little bit of menu planning magic, to make sure everyone gets something good to eat, but it won't be as hard as you think if you make use of some of these great puppy shower food and drink ideas.
Puppy Shower Menu Sample
Prepare food for puppers and guests based on the time of the day they arrive. If it's early morning or mid-afternoon - light snacks and treats would be sufficient. There are tons of dog food and dog treat recipes on the internet. Here are some ideas for a sample menu.
- Dogbone shaped or fire hydrant shaped cookie cutter sandwiches
- For doggy desert ideas: dairy free ice cream, doggy donuts, woof-cream.
- For entreees: grilled burger patties cut into doggie sized pieces, grilled and sliced chicken breast pieces, cocktail hot dogs, meatballs.
- For treats: doggie-friendly scoop of ice-cream topped with whipped cream and a milk bone biscuit, chicken jerky made from chicken breast, pupcakes, pupsicles etc.
Cupcakes for Everyone
When it comes to parties, cupcakes are always a favorite. They are usually easy to decorate, and you can make pupcakes as easily as you can cupcakes for humans.
When it comes to making pupcakes, the right recipe is a must, as you don't want to feed your canine guests any human ingredients that might be bad for them.
These pupcakes are dog safe and fancy! Not only are they full of ingredients that are Ok for most dogs to eat, but they also feature a healthy 'frosting' created using banana and peanut butter that are two good for them ingredients that most dogs love!
Find full recipe here.
These pumpkin carrot pupcakes are simpler to make, and just as healthy for puppy guests. And while they lack the sugar that most human guests will prefer in their cupcakes, those who like more savory cakes might enjoy them as well. Full recipe here.
Of course, both your human and pup cupcakes can be made even more celebratory with some great puppy shower cupcake toppers. As puppy showers become more popular, you can find more and more of these, but we've found some that we are particularly fond of, and would make a great addition to any party pupcakes (and cupcakes):
These pupcake toppers, which are made from cardboard and feature a wide variety of dog breeds and are easy to add to a cupcake with the attached toothpick (just make sure to keep those away from puppies and human kids) and are fun and colorful for any pet party.
For a fancier decorating touch, you could try out these edible (OK for dogs) pupcake toppers in the form of brightly colored sprinkles, or even special dog safe food dye pens that you can make use of to 'write' personal messages on everyone's cakes!
Rice paper is dog safe too, and these affordable cupcake toppers are great for any puppy shower and very easy to make use of if you are in a rush.
Puppy Shower Beverages
When it comes to beverages for your puppy shower for human guests, you have lots of choices, but how about for your canine guests? Can you offer them anything fancier than water?
Well, did you know that Busch - the folks who brew Budweiser - now offer beer for dogs?! Dog Brew by Busch is actually based on bone broth - something that's very good for dogs - and what could be more festive than being able to offer your canine guests a beer (and as there's no alcohol you won't have to worry about ID'ing anyone.)
Not sure if your pup is a beer drinker? You can also buy dog wine (organic and non-alcoholic) to add some sophistication to your puppy shower - perhaps if you are welcoming an older pup to the family - and Pet Winery even offers champagne as well!
Puppy Shower Games and Activity Ideas
Something else any puppy shower should feature is a selection of activities that all of your guests enjoy, both human and dog.
Simple games - guess the puppy's weight, fetch and catch (for the pups) and even obedience based games are all lots of fun.
This one is fun, as it involves trivia questions and guessing games, so human guests can engage in some friendly competition and discover just who knows the most about dogs!
Here are other fun games to play at a puppy themed shower.
1. Who's dat pupper? Other guests can bring in photos of their dog of when they were puppies. The winner with the most guesses, get a prize.
2. Guess the pup's weight.
3. Draw or enlarge a picture of a doggo or a pupper, and pin the nose (or the tail) on the puppy.
4. Puppy name competition - if you haven't chose a name for your puppy ask guests to come up with 5 suggestions. For fun ask them to incorporate your name and get guests to vote on their favorites.
5. Hide and seek the doggie treat for the puppers. Hide dog treats around the room and get the puppy and owner to search for them.
For more games ideas draw on the traditional baby shower games and just tweak them to make them suitable for a puppy shower.
Puppy Shower Gift Ideas
Gift certificates for either Amazon, Chewy or other Pet stores for the new puppy parents are a great idea since they can be used to buy necessities for their furry arrival - bedding, collars, playpens, crates, bedding, food bowls, and puppy food.
Aside from gift certificates, party-goers can choose to buy toys as gifts:
- toys that are interactive,
- toys that reduce separation anxiety,
- puzzle toys or
- plush toys to cuddle next to.
Other gift suggestions:
- easy-to-digest puppy treats or training puppy treats.
- puppy blankets and throws for a crate or to cover a sofa.
- puppy shirts
- travel carrier or totes
- dog strollers.
Extra Puppy Shower Advice for New Pet Parents
When it comes to puppy showers, there are no rules, so you have a lot of leeway.
For example, throwing a puppy shower to welcome an adult dog home is totally acceptable. You won't violate any pet-iquette limits if you hold your own shower; unlike baby showers, you won't have to rely on caring people to set things up.
There are no rules here, either, when it comes to activities. You can make them as structured or disorganized as you like. There are several puppy shower activities to choose from, or you can simply let visitors mingle in their own way. It's all your decision!
Puppy Shower Safety is Key
The safety of you, your guests, and your dog should be your primary concern while planning a puppy shower.
Puppy showers can be a great deal of fun for both humans and dogs, but both have their limits. Keep in mind that a puppy can easily get overloaded, and a scare at this sensitive age can quickly evolve into a deep-seated phobia. Make the occasion festive, but not to the point that your dog hides under the sofa.
For the invited puppers, make sure they're all in good health and are all up to date on their vaccinations. A puppy is easily susceptible at catching viruses at this early age and picking up dog diseases even by just sniffing.
Ensure all adult puppers are socialized and are of a calm and well behaved nature.
Designating a resting zone where pooped puppies can take a nap in peace and quiet may be a good idea. A separate room, or a carrier/kennel if you're outside, would be a suitable cool-down zone.
Be sure to have plenty of dog treats, poop bags and water bowls.
Even among trained and socialized dogs, always oversee play. Having a first-aid kit on hand is a smart option, and having the emergency veterinarian's phone number in your phone is also a wise idea.
Keep trash secure and out of reach of pets, and keep people foods and beverages away from them. And most of all, have fun. Puppies are very sensitive to their human's emotions, so if you are not having a good time, they won't either!
Did you throw a puppy party to welcome a puppy or an adopted adult dog? We'd love to hear your tips for planning the perfect puppy shower in the comments!