How to throw a pur-fect pet paw-ty

Erin Thorburn, Tribune News Service on

Published in Entertaining

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, over 48 million households in the U.S. own dogs; almost 32 million own cats and over 3.5 million own birds. Pets can be therapeutic, entertaining and treasured members of the family.

Whether you have a furry, feathered, scaled or shelled pet as part of your pack, you can celebrate their many characteristics with a pet party. Here are some ideas.

Dog days of spring

Did you know, courtesy of the American Kennel Club, that like a human fingerprint, a dog’s nose print is unique? And that research shows that the sound of a human yawn can trigger one from your dog? To honor the fun, quirky and lovable sides of your Fido, Clifford or Beethoven, throw them a bone by hosting a doggone fantastic party. Invite some of their favorite furry friends, from shepherds and retrievers to lapdogs and diggers.

Serve up favorite dog delicacies like homemade Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Dog Treats (see strawberryblondiekitchen.com for the full recipe) or store-bought Ziwi Good Dog Rewards Air-Dried Beef Dog Treats, rated among The Strategist’s top 10 dog treats of 2022. And don’t forget a bacon-topped layer cake or pup-cakes (see hepper.com for recipes and more vet-approved dessert ideas).

Provide plenty of activities for pups, such as a ball pit or supersized bucket for bobbing for tennis balls. Use retired shoes to construct the ultimate scavenger hunt. The hound who finds the most hidden paw covers gets a prize!


Cat’s meow of a paw-ty

Cats are some of the most agile, amazing creatures, able to rotate their ears 180 degrees and run up to 30 miles per hour. But it’s not necessarily their dexterity that cat owners appreciate most about their fantastic felines; it’s their cuddly, loving purr-fection. Unlike their canine counterparts, kitties can be rather finicky about who they frolic with. So unless you know for certain your whiskered one is a fan of a fellow feline, it’s best to keep the guest list limited.

Be sure to have plenty of catnip on tap. Sneak it into clever morsels, such as Carrot and Catnip Kitty Cat Treats (see full recipe epicuricloud.com) or toys like CiyvoLyeen’s six-pack of plush Sushi Cat Toys with Catnip ($15.99 on Amazon). Create a scratching post palace fit with plenty of claw-digging surfaces, a catwalk and other obstacles suited to paws and playfulness.

If you want to get fancy, consider constructing an outdoor kittytopia, taking inspiration from diycuteness.com — with multilevel cat (literal) trees or a bi-level shelf enclosure. Invite your cat’s human guests to wear their cat pajamas and treat them, in turn, with cake pop “yarn balls,” and “hairball cookies” (round-ball cookies covered in coconut).


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