So, you’re adopting a brand new puppy and you’re totally over the moon excited.
First of all, congratulations and second of all, don’t worry. You’re not being overly dramatic. Adopting a puppy is a super big deal and, as anyone who has raised a puppy may tell you, a puppy isn’t just a pet. It’s a member of the family.
No wonder you are as smitten as you are. You’ve called your friends, prepared your family, and visited your puppy at the breeder or in the shelter countless times.
Perhaps you have your puppy’s space all set, with his dog bed and toys and a toybox and food and treats. Are you crazy to be this worked up? I mean, it’s not like you’re having a baby or anything, right?
Actually, for many pet parents, puppies and dogs can be the equivalent of having a child. In fact, some studies have even proven that humans love their pups as much as their children. Best of all, our pups love us back with the same fierce loyalty.
So while not everyone will understand or even agree with your enthusiasm when it comes to welcoming your new puppy into your home and family, we do.
And we’re not alone.
The internet is loaded with heartwarming stories and articles on couples and families that have gone all out when adopting a new dog or puppy.
Whether they have thrown puppy showers, sent out dog announcements, or even spent a good wad of cash on a full-blown puppy photo shoot, these pet parents get what a monumental milestone it is to bring a new furry family member into the home.
So if you have just jumped onto the puppy parenthood bandwagon, welcome aboard. Why not throw a puppy shower and include everyone in the excitement? If the idea sounds intriguing but you have no idea where to begin, don’t worry. I’m here to help.
Below are ten fun ways to throw an adorable puppy shower!
Table of Contents
1. Come Up With Your Puppy Shower Date, Time, and Theme
The first thing you’ll want and need to do when planning a puppy shower is to schedule it accordingly.
The great news about throwing a puppy shower is that it is going to be really similar to a baby shower, except that you’re celebrating a puppy…not a baby. You know?
Ahem. I think you get it.
Anyway, schedule for times when the people you want to invite are most likely to be free. Saturday or Sunday afternoons are typically best.
Many people consider getting a new puppy to be just as exciting as welcoming a new baby!
Once you have your date and time down, you may want to decide on a theme. Your puppy shower theme will set the standard for the following activities, invitations, food choices, and decor for the overall puppy shower.
Your theme possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative. This is a puppy shower, after all, and it should be fun!
You can base your theme off of anything from the time of year, (for example, if you are getting your puppy during the holiday season), to the breed of puppy you are getting, to the gender of your puppy and so on.
2. Location, Location, Location!
Where you choose to host your puppy’s puppy shower may depend on who you plan to invite.
Is this a small get together with mainly humans, or are you planning on having a few of your best buddies and their four-legged friends join in the celebrations?
If you are hosting a puppy shower for humans and dogs, consider hosting it outdoors.
While we often consider our pups and dogs our children, it’s very important to remember that, while our dogs are our babies, they are not human babies. With that being said you should keep in mind that the puppy shower is probably more for you than for your dog.
If you do plan on having your puppy and your friends’ dogs attend the festivities, try and incorporate activities that will be fun for them and not overwhelming or scary.
Hosting a puppy shower for both humans and dogs should probably be done outside. A backyard party would be wonderful, but make sure the area is secure and safe for everyone involved, and make sure the dogs who are invited are friendly and sociable, so that everyone can get along and have fun.
I also want to note that if you do plan on having your puppy attend his puppy shower, make sure he is old enough to be socialized and is up to date on all of his puppy vaccines.
If you plan on hosting a puppy shower pre-puppy arrival, then you may choose to go about it in the same manner you would if you were expecting a human baby.
Invite your friends, gather around your fireplace or rent out your local clubhouse, and go wild!
3. Incorporate Fun Puppy-Themed Games and Activities!
Because this is a puppy shower, you’ll want to come up with some fun games and activities that incorporate the puppy theme.
With baby showers, we often play games like Guess the Baby Food, and other fun, festive baby-themed activities.
Puppy shower games that are puppy themed are easy and fun to come up with!
You can do the same with a puppy shower. Here are a few of my favorite puppy shower games.
Guess The Dog Toys
Some fun games to play include guessing games. Put a bunch of puppy toys in a bag and have your guests wear a blindfold. Have your guests reach into the bag and feel around, and then list on a piece of paper what they think is in the bag just based what they have touched.
Whoever has listed the most toys correctly wins!
Who’s That Puppy Belong To?
Invite your guests to bring photos of their dogs when they were puppies, and have other guests guess which puppy belongs to which owner.
Dog Hide and Seek
For puppy showers that involve dog guests, hide treats around the party and let the pups seek them out!
Guess The Pup’s Weight!
At the beginning of the party, let your guests privately write down what they think your new puppy weighs. Offer a prize to the person who gets closest!
4. Puppy Chow – What’s On The Menu?
All good parties offer good food and drinks, right? And since this is a puppy shower, you may want to get really festive by offering dog shaped treats to both your human and dog guests!
For the humans at the party, you can offer bone-shaped cookies and fill a very large (and very clean) dog bowl with punch.
For your furry guests, there are many dog-friendly bakeries which offer pup-safe treats.
Make sure you have goodies that are safe for both your human and four-legged guests.
Of course, if you are not in the market for going all out and buying pet-safe cakes, remember that there are human foods that are safe and tasty for both dogs and people.
Some human foods you can offer to guests of both species include:
Cooked and unseasoned Meats
Apples (Without the core)
Remember, even though the human foods on the above list are safe for dogs, they should only be given in moderation.
Remind your guests not to let their fur-babies eat too much of these human delights or you may end up with some pups who leave the party not feeling very good.
You should also steer clear of giving out sugary human sweets if you are having doggy guests attend your puppy shower, as some human candies can be very toxic to dogs.
In fact, a very common artificial sweetener called Xylitol is in many human goodies and is very dangerous to our pets.
Of course, if you aren’t sure what a dog can or can’t eat, steer clear and play it safe.
If you don’t plan on having dogs attend the party, however, then there really doesn’t need to be a limit on what you can offer your human guests.
5. Do You Want Puppy Gifts Or Donations?
What’s a party without presents? If you are throwing a puppy shower, you may be in the market for a few fun gifts from your friends and loved ones.
You can create your own little registry by sending out a list of needs and wants to those you have invited.
Remember, having a puppy is not all chew toys, collars, puppy leashes, and food. You’ll also need training treats, puppy pads, a crate, poop bags, pet cleaning supplies, puppy grooming supplies, and more.
You will also want to make sure you are prepared for all the puppy stages you are about to encounter.
Puppy shower gifts can come in the form of actual presents or even donations!
Do your research so you are prepared for all the things you’ll need to get when expecting a puppy and invite your guests to help you out.
Of course, if you have prepared and already have everything you need for your new puppy, another fun thing to do is invite your guests to donate to a rescue shelter or pet charity of their choice in your puppy’s name.
6. Make Sure Your Puppy Shower Is Dog-Friendly If You Plan To Invite Your Friends and Their Four-Legged Kids
As I mentioned above, throwing a puppy shower may mean you’ll want to invite both human and canine guests.
And since dogs make everything better, I totally concur with this idea.
However, as I also mentioned, if you do plan on inviting both your people friends and your pupper friends, make sure that the party is both dog and human-friendly.
Make sure the party is fun for everyone.
Make sure your house has been dog-proofed and keep in mind that not all dogs enjoy being dressed up. Also keep in mind that many dogs have noise phobias, are fearful of large crowds, and may have a fear of water and even other dogs.
Remind your guests that they should only bring their fur child if their fur child is comfortable in social settings and has been well socialized.
It would be a shame to force a dog into a situation that is fearful and stressful for him, especially since the point of the puppy shower is to celebrate our furry family members, not stress them out.
7. Use Baby Shower Decorations And Make Them Puppy-Themed!
Throwing a puppy shower may be somewhat of a new concept, which means it isn’t always going to be easy to find puppy shower decorations.
It’s super simple to modify any kind of decoration and make it fit your particular theme, especially when you consider how many decorations are available for baby showers!
For a super simple, inexpensive puppy shower, I suggest making a stop at both your local party supply store and your local pet supply store for inspiration.
It’s easy to modify decorations for your puppy shower.
At your party supply store, you should be able to find baby shower supplies to modify such as
Pink and blue balloons
Gender reveal signs
Party plates, cups, cutlery, and more
At your local pet supply store, you should be able to find puppy supplies to incorporate in your puppy shower such as
Dog clothing items and more
8. Create and Send Puppy Themed Invitations And Puppy Announcements!
Once you know what kind of party you’re going to have, who you’d like to invite, and where and when you want to host your puppy shower, the next step is to send out the invitations!
You can find themed invitations almost anywhere, so you can choose to buy them at a local store, order them online, or even make your own.
It’s easy to find cute puppy themed invitations, or you could even make your own!
But what should your invitation say? Well, a simple puppy shower invitation should have some basic important information.
List the address of the event, the date and time, and what is expected of the guests.
Should your guests bring a gift? Should they make a donation? Will there be food and beverages offered at the party? And should they bring their own dogs?
I also recommend that you include an RSVP so you can keep track of how many guests both two-legged and four plan on attending.
You should also try and give your guests a week or so notice before your puppy shower event is taking place.
9. Invite Your Guests to Guess The Gender, Age, and Weight of Your Puppy!
While this may go along with one of the puppy-themed game ideas for your puppy shower, this can also be a fun bonding experience for your guests and your pooch.
Before they meet the puppy, and perhaps even when you send out your invitations, keep your pup’s gender, name, and size under wraps.
Perhaps you will only include a photo of the puppy and then ask that your guests reply with a guess to his or her name, age, and weight.
Have your guests guess the gender of your puppy and surprise them on the day of the shower!
You may be surprised at how well your friends and family know you, or how off the wall some of the guesses turn out to be!
You can also keep the guesses for later giggles at the party once you have announced the puppy’s gender, weight, and name.
10. A Puppy Photo Opp? Why Not!
Along with throwing an incredible puppy shower for your newest furry family member, you may want to include some fun puppy photo ops at your home.
These days, you don’t really need professional dog cameras and photographers in the wake of smartphones that capture incredible images of your pup.
All you really need is a cute backdrop and some props.
Photo ops are a fun way to celebrate and make memories at your puppy shower.
Invite your guests to partake in a photo opp with your new puppy or even your puppy and their dog.
Your backdrop can be as simple as a plain white wall, a brick wall, a fence, or even a hanging sheet. Your props can be something sweet like teddy bears and dog toys or even a basket that your puppy is small enough to fit into.
Just remember, the point of the celebration is to welcome your puppy into your home, so if your puppy is a part of his puppy shower, remind your guests to treat him gently and with love.
You want this to be a fun experience for him and not something fearful.
The great thing about a puppy shower is that it is a wonderful chance for your puppy to socialize and meet new people and dogs. However, socializing your puppy too early can put his health at risk.
I always suggest speaking with your veterinarian about the right age for your puppy to socialized with both people and other dogs.
So, do you love the idea of throwing a puppy shower or is the concept still a bit wonky to you? We would love to hear your opinion. Drop us a comment in the comments section below!