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Dog birthday party
Photograph: Sam Lion

How to host a puppy party in Melbourne

You wouldn't miss your best mate's birthday, would you?

Written by
Time Out editors

We throw parties for our friends and for ourselves, so why not plan one for man's best friend as well? Invite all of his friends over and use our guide to plan the ultimate four-legged fiesta that all the neighbourhood dogs won't be able to stop yapping about.

Tip #1: Look the part

If you've never investigated the world of fur colouring, then you're in for a hilarious treat. Out in Mulgrave, the Divine Dog Grooming team uses semi-permanent colours that last up to ten washes. Imagine the possibilities: your poodle could have pink ears at her party, or your golden retriever could impress his buddies with a green mohawk. Closer to the west of Melbourne, try Uncanny Animals in Yarraville. 

Tip #2: Get the snacks ready

How can you hold a puppy party without dog-friendly snacks? Thankfully, Dog House in Collingwood has it all worked out for you. Sweet-toothed pups will love the dog-friendly ice cream, while savoury fans can tuck into turkey, chicken, beef and roo muffins. There are plenty of treats for sale, so you could even make some lolly bags for four-legged guests. Some humans might call you ridiculous, but to dogs, you’ll be the best thing in the world. If you have a pup with dietary requirements or a sensitive stomach, try the 100 per cent natural treats and chews from J&A Natural Pet Treats.  

Tip #3: Leave it to the professionals

If you’re worried that your puppy party is going to turn into a particularly hectic version of a Hairy Maclary story, then why not hire a function room? Diggiddy Doggy in South Melbourne has a dedicated space for puppy parties that includes an indoor playground for dogs and catering packages. If you're not in South Melbourne, we've compiled a list of the best doggie daycares in Melbourne.

Tip #4: Bake the cake

Can it really be a party without cake? Try this recipe that makes a wholesome, dog-friendly carrot cake with a mashed potato frosting that will wow all your guests. You can even try to work out your own recipe using ingredients like pumpkin or zucchini. 

Tip #5: Plan the activities

Keep all your guests and the guest of honour happy with some fun activities like agility games or your own version of a dog Olympics. Take a vote on which pup is the gold medalist at chasing his tail, speaking, and jumping over obstacles and be sure to have plenty of treats at the ready. 

Tip #6: If you can't have a party at home, plan a getaway

Try one of these dog-friendly weekend trips in or near Melbourne. Pack your bags and get your furry friend hyped up for a sandy romp around the beach or for a staycation in a CBD hotel. Your dog will be thrilled about the change in environment and all the new sights and smells. 

Tip #7: Take a chauffeured bus tour together

No canine friends? No need! Gourmet Pawprints offer winery tours, where you can take in the sights and tastes of Victoria’s great wine regions with other like-minded people and their fur children. The day includes wine tasting, lunch and some off-leash doggy time.

Melbourne for dog lovers

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