The paw-ty invitations have been mailed, the paw print balloons are hanging, the paw print party hats are ready to be donned by 2-leggers and 4-leggers alike, the dog birthday cake has been baked and decorated, and the guests will be arriving any minute.
Now the fun can really begin, as you and your guests play games and enjoy the day together.
Tic-Tac-Toe. Using rope, spray paint, chalk, tape, etc, make a large tic-tac-toe board on the grass or pavement or even the living room floor. Guests are separated into two teams, one team is X, and one team is O. (Use your imagination to determine which team goes first....) The X team is the SITS team; the O team is the DOWN team.
To play the game, rotating between teams just as if playing on paper, the first team selects a spot on the "board" and the player and his dog must go to that spot, and either SIT or DOWN, depending on whether he is an X or an O. Each team then takes a turn until the first team has gotten 3 Xs or 3 Os in a row. (If neither team wins, it's a CAT!)
Alternate directions: Instead of SIT and DOWN, give each team player either an X or an O written on a piece of paper to designate his/her team.
Pin the Tail on the Cat. Draw a cat (or find an image online and print it) without a tail. Attach the picture securely to a wall at a low level where the dog guests can reach it with their noses (and/or you can also attach one at human shoulder level).
Using a piece of string or ribbon with double-sided tape attached to one end, each guest must try to attempt to get his/her dog to attach the tail to the cat. Whichever "tail" ends up in the spot closest to where the tail belongs on a cat, is the winner. (If playing a human version, the humans must be blindfolded, and turned in circles before attempting to attach the cat's tail.)
(This game makes for some really fun video!!!)
Water Relay. Obviously a game for an outdoor dog party, this is great fun on a hot summer day.
To play, each "team" (dog + human/owner) has a small drinking cup, and a large bowl or container of water.
Line up the teams at one end of the yard, and place empty bowls or containers(smaller than the bowl that starts out filled with water) at the other end of the yard.
Using the small cup, each dog/human team scoops up water out of the large bowl, then races together to the other end of the yard and pours the water into the smaller bowl or container. The first team to fill up the smaller bowl or container wins!
Paw Painting. This is a fun activity, and the dog gets to keep his artwork as a souvenir! (Caution: Outside activity!)
Tape large sheets of paper on the patio or deck. Mix a bit of cornstarch, water, and food coloring to a smooth, runny consistency. Using a sponge, each guest applies the "paint" to his/ her dog's paws (you can do one paw at a time, or more) then let the dog walk/play/sit/lie/rollover on the paper until he determines that his artwork is complete.
The paint is safe for the dog, and can be rinsed off with a hose outside, or a quick dip in a kiddie pool (which is a great thing to have on hand for an outside paw-ty!).
Box - Watermelon - Alphabet - Ceiling fan. This fun game can also be called the "Shake That Thang" game, and makes for lots of laughs at a dog party.
Prepare a list of random vowels (like "Box, Watermelon, Alphabet, Ceiling Fan) and give a list to each team. To play, one at a time, a human guest must read/say the random words (using voice inflection and body language) to his/her dog companion in an attempt to get the dog to wag his tail (or, if he doesn't have a tail, then wag his hind end).
The dog that "shakes that thang" the wildest (based on the opinion of everyone), wins.
Doggie Dress-Up. Get your camera ready for this fun dog party game that can be played either inside or outside.
Using old clothing purchased at garage sales or Goodwill, in the center of the floor or yard, place a pile of clothing consisting of socks, shirts, and hats.
Guests are divided into two teams. Running like a relay race, when the starting judge says 'go' , one human/dog combination from each team races to the pile of clothing and quickly dresses his/her dog, using socks, a shirt, and a hat. Once dressed, the dog and human run back to their team, and the next set goes (if any clothing falls off the dog on the way back to the team, the couple must stop and the dog's garments reapplied before continuing).
The first team to get all of its players dressed and across the finish line, wins.