by Fran McCaskill
Doggie Birthday Parties are becoming the latest trend among pet owners. You, as a business owner, can capitalize on this trend as a way to engage your customers, build community, and oh yeah, to increase your sales!
Encourage your Customers to pamper their faithful companions by throwing a birthday pawty at your facility. Here are some profitable considerations and suggestions for a fabulous doggie party.
LOCATION: Although a backyard party at a home is an ideal location, many people don’t have this option. A boutique or doggie day care are ideal places to have a party. Consider making some space available primarily for social events. You could put together a ‘pawty pack’ with your facility available to rent for blocks of time, along with all of the other pawty accoutrement.
INVITATIONS: Sell doggie invites in your store. The invites could be breed specific to the birthday dog of honor. Check out Barktalk.com for some cute invites. You can also offer doggie "evites" with your store logo. But don’t get carried away! The Client should be advised to keep the attendee list to a reasonable number. Too many dogs canbe a recipe for a chaotic disaster!
DÉCOR: Keep an abundance of dog themed balloons, banners, tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins in stock, these add to the ambience and spirit of the occasion. Some fun items can be found at: www.funstufffordogs.com and GoodDogexpress.com
FOOD: Doggie Bakeries are key to a happy Birthday dog’s heart. No pawty would be complete without Treat Platter’s and Birthday Cakes. Three Dog Bakery creates scrumptious treats and cakes for such an occasion. Promote these items with sample "tastings". Dogs can choose what cake they are partial to prior to the event. Dogs are loyal customers, they never forget their first experience eating a slice of Birthday cake and will be drooling at the thought of one for years to come. Owners should be prepared for dogs enthusiastically diving head first into their cake. Keep wet wipes on hand, they come in useful to remove frosting smeared all over the face.
REFRESHMENTS: Make sure there are plenty of water bowls scattered around the location for the dogs and keep an eye on them that they are replenished. You can offer your client the option of having distilled water. Alcohol for people should be limited, no need for unruly adults setting a bad example at a dog party! Wait a minute, what am I thinking? With 50 dogs running around, alcohol will come in very handy for the human set
HAVE ON HAND:
- A potty station- check out petapotty
- poop bags (for those who miss the potty station)
- A bath replacement spray like Dry Dog Instant Clean . Dogs get very stinky when frolicking and you don’t want to send them home smelly!
- first aid kit
- If outdoors, a sunscreen & flea repellent such as Flea the Scene ” that will repel those pesky fleas & provide sunscreen.
- In addition you might find Dog Smog Remedy valuable (for bad breath and gas)for the odd dog that cannot contain his excitement for the occasion and comes down with a bad case of anti-social gas.
Etiquette: Invited dogs and their owners should possess good manners, have compatible personalities and be well socialized. A badly behaved aggressive dog is not worth the invite, nothing like a back yard brawl to bring the worst out in everybody and put an abrupt end to a good time. To avoid any misunderstanding the invites should point out that doggie drop off’s are not optional, each dog is to be accompanied and supervised by a responsible parent.
ENTERTAINMENT: Depending on your Client’s budget you can keep it simple or go all out and have a pawty that will be talked about in the dog park for years to come. Provide a games-coordinator to entertain the dogs, there are plenty of team-building activities to choose from that can get all participants interacting. Here are some suggestions:
Fancy Dress – Pick a theme or leave it open the imagination. Doggie guests should arrive in their attire.
Agility – Set up a small agility course to include a tunnel, a few jumps, weave poles and a low table.
Paddling Pool – For those dogs who just can’t resist splish splashing around!
Activity Corner – Set up a box of fun to include Frisbees, balls, stuffed kongs, tug of war ropes.
Contest – A judge to nominate the best candidate for the dogs performance in the following categories:
- Best Outfit
- Friendliest Dog
- Best Kisser
- Most Obedient
- Best Trick
- Most Vocal
- Don’t forget to provide prizes!
Organized Games – These can be a lot of fun:
- Hide & seek: The owner hides while the dog is being held with his back turned, once let off his leash he is rewarded upon locating his owner.
- Musical Mats – Owners walk their pets around in a circle to music, when the music is turned off both owner and pet need to locate the nearest mat & sit on it. The last dog to sit on a mat is eliminated. The last dog standing gets a prize!
- Simon Says – Dogs are given commands such as “Sit”, “Lie Down”, “Roll Over”, “Shake”, “Stay”. Last dog to obey is out.
TRAINER: Provide a trainer for the day to teach the doggie guests tricks.
SPA DAY: A day of relaxation. Provide a doggie masseuse, the dogs will think they’ve gone to doggie heaven and will thank you for it! To add to the relaxation process combine the massage with lavender-infused Calming Aromatherapy Spritzer . Followed the massage with a pawdicure using bowWOW Butter Balm – a treatment for dry cracked noses and paws!
GROUP PHOTO: Have a photographer on hand. Picture this, the Birthday hound surrounded by his buddies, always a crowd pleaser, don’t forget the party hats!
GOODIE BAGS: Every good dog deserves to be sent home with a goodie bag, in addition to some jaw-licking good treats you can include non-food items such as a bandanna to mark the occasion or some grooming products such as gift packs “Travel Dog Collection” or “Spa on the Go” . You can find some cute “It’s my Birthday” bandanna’s at: www.good-doggie.com
THANK YOU NOTES: A well mannered pooch knows the importance of social etiquette, thank you cards should be sent out for all those lovely gifs, stamped with a paw of approval of course. Suggest that the group photo is turned into a thank you card, not only does is provide a nice memory for the guest but it is another service your business can profit from.
Why not put together a "Pawty in a Box" to sell to your customers incorporating the items in this article-everything they’ll need to throw a canine birthday party. For wholesale items check out one of the online pet wholesale ordering sites like: PetManufacturers.com , WholesalePet.com and GoToRovers.com .
For other ideas for events to throw in your store click here.