Dog Day Afternoon Party

For most places, August and September promise to be the dog days of summer. You know, the kind of day when it's so hot your sweat has sweat. The kind of day when you get out of the shower and go right from wet to sweat. I thought you'd remember. Well, misery loves company, so if you don't want to suffer alone, invite some pals and their pets over for a Dog Day Afternoon party, and for goodness sake, stay cool.

Puppy Dog Theme Party Invitation
Send a fun invitation to you dog party. A personalized dog theme invitation will get everyone's attention. Include on the invite that your guests should bring their 4-legged friend. BYOB (bring your own bone) should be prevalent since I'm sure your dog, like mine, will absolutely not share! You can add some yummy fun to the invite by including a small bag of dog treats in the envelope (fyi - the postage will be a little higher and you should mail it in a padded envelope).

You can make your own invitation if you are feeling creative. Cut out three bone shapes from brown or off-white cardstock. Write a personalized line of greeting, replacing Fido with the name of your friend's dog -

You and Fido are invited...


On the second bone write the party information -

To a Dog Day Afternoon!
Come and Pawty at Sally and Max's home
at 2 pm on August 15


BYOB (bring your own bone)
And on the third bone you can write the RSVP information -

Don't Make Us Beg! - RSVP 123-555-1234


Now layer the bones on top of one another and pin them together with a brad or a piece of ribbon tied through a hole that you punched in the end. Perfect!

If you really want a "WOW" invitation have a caricature drawn of you and your dog! You're wearing a t-shirt with your dog's name and picture emblazoned across the front. And your dog is wearing a shirt as well, that says... "will work for food!" What ever you want!

Dog Theme Party Decorations and Party Supplies
As people enter, welcome them with a personalized banner that says... "It's a DOG DAY AFTERNOON at Max's house...WIPE YER PAWS!!" with both you and the puppy waving a warm welcome standing behind a wipe your paws welcome mat. Or choose a puppy sign in board, where your guests can leave you a fun message!

If you are fortunate to have air conditioning, and the heat is ungodly, let people inside by all means. You may not want the pups inside though, so do your best to keep everyone cool outside in the backyard. Of course, if you have a pool what better way to cool off than sit poolside with your favorite beverage and take an occasional dip. Set up several hard plastic kiddie pools full of cold water for the pups and lawn chairs and beach umbrellas (unless you have a large shade tree) for the humans to sit and relax in.

The best party decorations for a dog party are tennis balls, Frisbees, and squeaky toys! Hand them out and let the fun begin!

You can also add some importance to your party by inviting all of your guests to bring pet supplies for local animal shelters. Set out large dog bowls, baskets and pet beds and let people fill them as they arrive. Everyone will love having the opportunity to help some furry friends. And, all of the supplies you collect will make for a fun decoration during the party.

Dog Party Table Decorations and Menu
Fill plastic dog bowls with dog bone shaped cookies. Then tie dog themed balloons to them to make great centerpieces. Buy the "paper" bowls you find in the supermarket and put each guest's name on the outside with magic marker--giving each guest a personalized dish, just like most puppies have. I wouldn't go as far as a large water bowl for everyone, but it's a thought!

If you plan to assign seating, I suggest you give each guest her/his own ball with name and table number attached. What's a party without having your own ball, I ask you?

Don't cook inside. Hot dogs on the grill, what else? Plus finger-sandwiches cut with a dog-bone shaped cookie cutter (just give the crust to the birds). A Jello mold with fruit in the shape of a dog bone plus salmon mousse (using that bone mold again) for dipping veggies and such.

Keep everyone cool with water served in bottles with personalized labels. We have a dog theme label perfect for this party!

For dessert, you will need cake to celebrate the dog days in the shape of a bone, of course, a VERY LARGE one. And dog treats (use those cookie cutters again), both for your guests (chocolate bark; bone shaped cookies) and their pets--be sure they are clearly marked.

Don't forget to have plenty of cool beverages for the doggies and their human parents!

Dog Party Games and Activities
Well, if you can swim, do it. It's hot, after all. Don't do anything that will make you sweat more than you already are. Be sure to give all your guests sunglasses to shade them from the sun. Voila! You've made it through a dog day afternoon.

If you have puppies, you might have kids running around, too. Keep them, and yourself, amused with a few party games. You can have them play a game of Red Rover -

Red Rover

  • Divide players into two teams and line them up into rows facing each other about 25 to 50 feet a part. Just make sure there is enough space for the kids to run back and forth.
  • Have each team securely hold hands.
  • Each side calls, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Johnny (name) over.”
  • The person that is called runs over to the other side and tries to break through the other teams joined hands.
  • If the player breaks through then he/she can take an opponent back to his/her team.
  • The team with the most players at the end of the game wins.

Or check out more Summer Party Games and Kids Birthday Party Games for more great ideas!

Dog Day Afternoon Party Favors
Our personalized dog day afternoon candy bar wrappers make great handouts! Or a fun dog theme picture frame is great so your guests can display a picture of their pooch from the party. And, of course, don't give chocolate to the dogs! Send them home with a few treats of their own.


  • Treat bag filled with gourmet dog treats
  • Rawhide bone
  • Squeak toys from the party decorations
  • Tennis balls
  • Frisbees

If you have any kids attending send them home with a treat too.

Have a great time at your Dog Day Afternoon Party!