How to Throw a Puppy Picnic for Your Four-Legged Pals
Show your furry friends some love with a chipper puppy picnic, complete with homemade treats and plenty of playtime! With just a little preparation, you can host an outing for your favorite pooch and their buddies that not only provides entertaining exercise but also keeps their minds sharp and ready for action.
From the invitations and activities to an array of treats, here's our go-to list of ideas that guarantee repeat RSPVs.
Pup Patrol: Send the Invites
Invite your friends, neighbors, and dog park pals—just make sure all pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations. Keep the event small: A gathering of six pups or fewer ensures it won't be too overwhelming. Also remind doggie owners they're to keep an eye out for any potential pup squabbles. Looking for adorable paw-ty invites? Etsy has oodles of creative options, or just go digital!
Donate for Dogs
Picnic for a cause! Have all the guests bring donations for a local animal shelter or rescue and drop them in a collection box when they arrive. Most animal shelter websites list helpful donation items, but unopened pet food, towels and blankets, paper towels, and dog toys are always welcome.
Create a "Wipe Your Paws" Rug
To make a puppy-ready splash pad, here's what to do: Lay out letter stencils on an outdoor rug. Tape the first letter to the rug with painters' tape, then use a stipple brush to dab paint onto the rug. Repeat with remaining letters, then remove stencils and let the paint dry according to manufacturer's instructions. Touch up any letters as needed and let dry.
Splash Pad? That Means a Pool!
Yes, no puppy picnic would be complete without a pool! A shallow watering hole gives them cooling comfort and a place to frolic at will—just make sure to have plenty of towels on hand for drying. Chewy offers an inexpensive outdoor pool perfect for this event and all the ones to follow. And whether you're in the backyard or a local dog-friendly public spot, make sure picnic activities are in the shade.
Build a Bestie Photo Booth
Seriously, how much fun is this? Whether you're snapping and posting or making mementos with a snazzy instant print camera, this will be a popular spot throughout the event. Inexpensive burlap makes a neutral photo booth backdrop, perfect for showcasing furry friends. Create a simple showcase box with decorative molding cut and glued into a 3-foot square. Then sit, stay, and smile! A basket of photo-ready props are perfect for pet-and-owner glamour shots—try handwritten notes attached to wooden paint sticks, bandanas, caps, and sunglasses.
Craft Doggone Cute Bandanas
Pup parents will be delighted to create adorable bandanas as picnic party favors. Simply cut triangles from cotton jersey fabric or an old T-shirt—you'll need a variety of sizes to accommodate each doggie guest. Then, use fabric paint markers to decorate each bandanna with names, bone silhouettes, and dog doodles—maybe even trace a paw!
Offer Plenty of Toys
Surely your pooch won't mind sharing some of their favorite outdoor toys. From tether tugs and Frisbees to an endless supply of tennis balls, there will be plenty of scampering about as your pup and their pals work up an appetite.
Time for Treats!
No puppy picnic is complete without mouthwatering treats. Taking center stage on the pooch buffet are healthy, tongue-wagging goodies made from all the best ingredients. Many of these you can easily make ahead, then pack in a picnic basket and cooler the day of the event. As you would for any outdoor outing, bring a lot of water, too.
The experts in the Daily Paws Test Kitchen present these homemade smackerals:
- Frozen dog treats, featuring nummies such as peanut butter blackberry pupsicles, watermelon mint pupsicles, and an assortment of crunchy frozen veggies, such as green beans and carrots.
- Chicken bacon dog biscuits, which are good enough for people to eat, too, but you should probably have snacks of your own.
- Pumpkin carrot dog cupcakes, topped with a special yogurt frosting they'll lap right up.