How to throw a pur-fect pet paw-ty

Erin Thorburn, Tribune News Service on

Published in Entertaining

Birds of a feather party together

Before gathering a flock of feathered friends, it’s important to remember that birds can be picky about with whom they choose to socialize; a wrong pairing can result in more than a loss of a few feathers. With that in mind, should your winged companion have a trusted friend or two, why not allow them the opportunity to spread their wings in celebration?

Most all exotic birds love fresh fruits and vegetables (just make sure you pick those that are safe — some produce like avocado can be deadly); make a spread of chopped delights for beaks to bury into. As an extra treat, parrots and parrotlets go bonkers for parrot cookies (Oven Fresh Bites has a number of flavor options available on Amazon.com).

Set up perches of varying shapes and sizes, with engaging toys, ropes and interactive features. Play a variety of fun songs, as many a bird has been known to “get down with the get down” when hearing a favorite tune. If your flock happens to have clipped wings, delight them with an ultimate outdoor birdbath and fountain.

Mouse warming party

Want to deliver your mouse, rat, hamster, gerbil or guinea pig a squeaky good time? If so, your first order of business should be the acquisition of exercise running wheels. Make sure each hamster has a mini-party hat and all guinea pigs have a seat at the tiny table. Provide an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables (based on the dietary needs and safety guidelines of your particular rodent).


Set up a rodent fun run where rats and friends can play hide and seek. Place bare paper towel and toilet paper rolls, plastic balls and small, safe toys inside a locked-in perimeter (Wikihow.com has a DIY schematic for rats that’s fairly easy to make). Just remember to keep same species together and maintain a careful eye on all partygoers. Not all tiny furballs will get along, and others may get along too much (in which case, see the next party idea!).

New littering!

Is your cat, bird, hamster, horse or hound expecting? Delight family and friends when new litters make their way into the world. Once new mothers have had time to rest and adjust, invite a small group for a quiet viewing of the new arrivals. Prior to the emergence of your pet’s offspring, send out baby shower invitations and don’t forget to “register” on Amazon.com or at your favorite pet store. After all, the new mother will appreciate toys, snacks and grooming essentials for her new brood.

Find your fur-ever companion

Don’t have a pet yet? Consider hosting a pet-adoption party. Partner with a local animal rescue, especially one that has a surplus of adoptees. Print pictures of adoptable pets, write a little bio about each (e.g. This is Barkley, a 5-year-old beagle who loves evening walks and scratches behind his ears) and hang them on a line with clothespins. Provide adoption application sheets on clipboards with any fees and other important details. While guests ponder which pet to offer a permanent or foster home to, serve them animal-themed foods and drinks — puppuccinos (cappuccinos), meow mix (Chex mix), Goldfish crackers (in a real glass fishbowl) and cheesecake triangles (made to look like mice).



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