Have you been to your first “puppy party” yet? If you think a party featuring six 9-week old party puppies is just for a little girl’s 8th birthday, think again. Last year the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team held a puppy party while filming their video campaign to increase votes for Dodger players for the 2014 All-Star game. Puppies have also become popular at bachelorette parties. So what is a puppy party?
A puppy party is a joyous occasion where a group of puppies is the center of attention for the festivities. Dog breeders or other organizations with access to puppies bring puppies to your party location for everybody to pet, cuddle, and choochie-coo. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, puppy parties are an exploding business opportunity for those with a supply of adorable puppies. One dog breeder in the Los Angeles area has more than 800 puppy parties scheduled for this year alone.
Why puppies? Well everybody loves puppies. A mother said of her daughter’s eighth birthday puppy party, “the great thing is when you have puppies, you don’t have to do anything else… well, except ice cream cake.”
For adults, cuddling a puppy is a great stress reliever, so puppy parties have become very popular with technology, financial, and other firms where stress levels are high. A human resources manager who arranged a puppy farewell party for an employee of her tech firm said, “This wasn’t like one of those parties where people take a slice of cake and disappear. Everyone stayed for the whole hour. You can’t leave a puppy.”
An attendee at a bachelorette party shared these comments. “It’s a classy alternative to a stripper. We put Julie in a chair, blindfolded her, played the music that always comes on when strippers dance and told her to reach out and touch something.” The group then filled her arms with puppies. “Her reaction was the best ever” said the attendee.
Not everybody that books a puppy party has sweet or noble intentions. One provider of puppy parties was approached by a fraternity house that wanted a puppy party so they could invite a neighboring sorority house in hopes of “getting the girls.”
How Does a Puppy Party Work?
The puppy handlers bring between 5 - 10 puppies and set up a playpen. Younger party goers are instructed on how to handle and pet the puppies properly. Party goers then sit in the playpen with the puppies and play. The puppies are generally 2 - 6 months old, with an occasional small adult dog included.
Prices for puppy parties vary. For instance, the average price in Brooklyn, New York, is $175 per hour and $250 per hour in Manhattan. Typically, there are extra charges for additional puppies over the standard number offered by the puppy party company.
Puppy parties have also turned out to be a great way to place puppies needing homes. Adoption groups offer puppy parties so prospective pet parents can “rent puppies” to see if owning a puppy is right for them.
Have you been to your first puppy party? Was it an experience that you would recommend to others?
Dr. Ken Tudor
Image: Annette Shaff / Shutterstock