We have plenty of ideas for al fresco fun!
dog sneaking a homemade dog biscuit from treat table
Credit: Adam Albright

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

woman with two dogs
Credit: Adam Albright

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

donation station for dogs
Credit: Adam Albright

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

dog in pool that is resting on a rug with words that read "Wipe Your Paws"
Credit: Adam Albright

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!

black lab in small inflatable blue pool
Credit: Adam Albright

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

woman posing with her dog in a photo booth
Credit: Adam Albright

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

dog bandanas hung on strings on the side of the house
Credit: Adam Albright

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

man and dog playing tug of war with a dog toy
Credit: Andy Harris / Getty

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!

peanut butter blackberry dog popsicles with milkbone treats
chicken bacon dog biscuits
Pumpkin Carrot Dog Cupcakes
Left: Credit: Daily Paws / Jason Donnelly
Center: Credit: Jason Donnelly
Right: Credit: Jason Donnelly

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: 

And if your picnic outing is also for a special occasion, such as "Gotcha!" day or a birthday (just how old is your pup in human years, anyway?), whip up this special peanut butter banana cake.