By: PuppyGirl Kate Whitney – March, 2011
Boy am I glad to be home!
I’ve been in Europe for a week on busi-ness and I sure did miss Dash and Honey! I even requested that my mom bring them to pick me up at the airport. I just couldn’t wait to wrap my arms around them and get slobbered by their kisses. Speaking of how much we all love our dogs and love getting kisses from them, how many of you have ever thrown a doggie party? I tried to throw a birthday party for Dash in August, but unfortunately it was rained out.
I spent hours in the kitchen baking home made treats and putting together goodie bags. As you can imagine, I was quite disappointed when the special day arrived and it was torrential downpours! The guest list of attendees was most of the foster dogs I have had over the past two years; as well as some friends and fam-ily and their dogs. It was going to be a day for all of us to get together and talk about how each of the dogs has touched our lives. Hopefully next year the party won’t get rained out and it will be a day to remember….for both the dogs and their human friends.
I know many of my readers are dog crazy like me, and will do anything to celebrate our furry friends! I thought I would write the next few articles about throwing dog par-ties. Each article will focus on a different aspect of throwing a party. There are many types of parties you can throw. Some in-clude birthday parties (if you don’t know your dog’s birthday, that’s ok, just pick your favorite month and then your favorite day, it’s better to make up a date than not have one at all), an “adoption party,” or simply a “thank you” for being my best friend party. You can choose to have the party at your house out in the fenced yard, at a dog park, or you can rent a room at a local dog boarding/day care facility.
Throwing a dog party can be exciting, but also very stressful. First you have to decide on a guest list. Try to only invite dogs that your dog already knows. This party isn’t the best time to introduce lots of new dogs. It’s important to remember how to introduce dogs to each other. If your dog acts inappropriately in any way (for example being aggressive), it’s impor-tant to leash your dog immediately and separate him from the group. Give him a time out and after he calms down, then let him play again, keeping a close watch on his behavior.
The more dogs at the party, the more attention and supervision is needed throughout the day. Invite a friend over that didn’t bring a dog, but is experienced being around dogs, and designate that person as the “doggy security” person. It’s important that someone has an eye over every-thing that’s going on, at all times. Not only should the person be watching out for dog safety, but they should also be watching out for pottying accidents. New environments and lots of excitement can often cause dogs to have accidents. Remember not to get angry at your dog if she has an accident, remain calm, clean up the mess, and continue having a good time. If there are children at the party, make sure they know how to act around dogs. Remind them that pulling ears and tails is not a good idea. It’s important to make sure that the children, adults, and dogs all feel safe at the party.
Safety comes first! Make sure any “exit” from the yard is securely blocked. Look for holes under the fence, or gaps by fence doors. If you have dog crates at your house, clean them and have them in a spot where a dog can take a rest or go for a time out if things get a little too out of control. I don’t believe in using a crate as a place of “punishment” but I do believe in safety, and it’s always better to be pre-pared. So if you need a quick place to put a dog while he calms down, it’s better to do in a crate than in someone’s bedroom!
I would suggest having a doggy first aid kit present. Some things that should be in the first aid kit include but are not limited to: gauze sponges, gauze tape, cotton balls, triple antibiotic ointment, rubbing alcohol, eye wash, hydrogen peroxide, blankets, tweezers, zip lock bags, latex gloves and an ice pack. Make sure that
Kate Whitney is a Boxford resident and owner of the Swingrite Corporation. If you are interested in adopting a puppy or becoming a foster parent to a puppy waiting for a home you can email Kate at Kwswingrite@aol.com