Did Someone Say DOG PARTY!?

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, for you summer means warm vacations, ditching the down vests and getting together with friends and family for some fun times. In other words — a party! And why should humans have all the fun? June 21 marks yet another celebration of National Dog Party Day (NDPD) that the organizers describe as “Date night with your dog!” Sounds like fun to me!

It’s all an affair to raise funds for a worthy cause — pet-related charities. Last year, NDPD raised $20k for organizations like Dogs 4 Disabled Veterans and Second Chance Dog Rescue. Charities are always hurting and pet-related charities have been left out in the cold since the economy went all whoopsy a few years back, so I am all for anything that funnels some money to organizations that help man and beast.

NDPD features fun events and canine socialization along with reinforcing proper dog social behavior for both people and other dogs. They have had events in four cities thus far, but you can always get all grass-roots-y and start the ball rolling in your own community. I’m certain that pet charities and humane organizations in your town would thank you with sloppy dog kisses.

But you don’t need to sign on to a national event to host your own dog party. Gathering your pet loving friends for an afternoon’s romp at the dog park or your very own yard is great way to meet others, strengthen your community and get your pooch some much-needed fun and exercise.

You’ll just have to lay a few ground rules first, since not every dog feels like Will Rogers did when he said he never met a man he didn’t like. Not all dogs like all other dogs, so keep in mind a few tips to make sure your own dog party stays fun and safe for everyone.

Dog Party Tips:

  • Make sure you know all the dogs and their temperaments. If new dogs are invited, supervise them very closely and keep a leash on them until you are sure it is safe to leave them with your dog.
  • Don’t head off to your own party while the dogs are romping — stick around and make sure all goes smoothly.
  • Never leave strange dogs alone with your kids.
  • If you want to be the ring leader, organize some play with the ZOINK! Fetch and Fling Ball Thrower. The dogs will love it and I promise they’ll think you’re cool.
  • Be especially careful with dogs of different sizes i.e. the so-called Big-Dog-Little-Dog phenomenon where little dogs get picked on by big dogs.
  • Make sure your yard is dog safe and no one can make a run for it.
  • Have plenty of water and shade available and give everyone a rest period after extended roughhousing. Bonus points if you have a pool!
  • Be very cautious with snub-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs. They can’t do heat and humidity and are very prone to heat stroke. Best for them to view from the cool sidelines and take it easy when the weather is warm.

With a little planning and little supervision, your own dogs can have a great time this summer and you can deepen the bond that exists between you and your pets. And if you want to organize your own National Dog Party Day event, I just know there’s a wet nose in a shelter somewhere that will thank you.

 

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