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Stage a Pet Show

You don’t need to attend the yearly “best in show” dog show to stage the ultimate party for pets and pet lovers. No matter what breed of pet the neighborhood kids own, you can create a fun pet event, with creative costumes, a walk (or a slither, or a hop) for the crowd, and trophies and a winners’ circle party – where everyone wins for something. Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Try for an outdoor location

    Plan your event for good weather, so you can hold your pet show in a park, on a church lawn, or even your backyard (get permission from city or church authorities). If you live in an area with hot weather, limit your show to a short period of time and set up a tent; better yet, wait until the end of the day when the weather cools off and there’s still light outside.

  2. Choose the events

    Mixing up the show for kids and different pet breeds will make it fun. Consider a talent portion, where singing dogs and hoop-jumping cats can be recognized. Or a fashion portion, where less demonstrative pets – like lizards – can still win a prize for their fun costumes.

  3. Plan party games

    If you choose to make the pet show completely noncompetitive, you might still plan some party games for humans and pets alike. Try an agility course with tunnels and jumps, a good game of fetch, or just a group fun run.

  4. Don’t forget “yappy hour”

    Enlist all attendees to contribute to a treat break for adults, kids and pets. Ask pet owners to bring their own pet treats that they know their animals can tolerate; and ask other attendees to bring iced tea and lemonade, and/or an edible treat that everyone can enjoy during a break in the action.

  5. Make safety a priority

    Let participants know exactly what kinds of pets will be in attendance, both for those who have anxieties and also those who have allergies. Make sure your outdoor venue has faucets so you can fill bowls to keep animals hydrated and ask human attendees to bring extra water. Make sure that animals in the show are separated, and accompanied by their owners at all times, so no chases or fights break out.

Stage a Pet Show

On the day of your pet show, have a backstage tour where attendees can get an up-close-and-personal look at the pet contestants. But also make sure there’s a “safety zone” for allergy sufferers, where pets aren’t allowed to roam, and attendees wash their hands before entering.