Two paws yes, four paws no.
We all know how raucous children can be. You may have been to one or two yourself. You may also have a pet in your family who also understands how loud and fun your children can be and perhaps loves to join in. However, pets at children’s parties ought to have a little consideration to the animal concerned, before all the kids hoard through the front door.
A party can have a very different feel and vibe from the daily life of a lively family. When your child becomes excited for the new tv programme about to start, or finding out that you’ve arranged a trip to Legoland for the weekend, it’s very different than having lots of children over on mass that your pet doesn’t recognise.
Some pets will steer clear completely. A cat may slope off to some dark corner, or go to find somewhere cosy outside to rest until all the shenanigans have calmed down.
Other pets will find it harder to avoid. A smaller animal, such as a caged hamster or a bird can be removed from the room and taken to somewhere quieter.
A dog however, can get terribly confused by the mixed signals it’s receiving. There will be sounds and smells it is not used to. Even the most placid of dogs, if it’s not used to strangers coming to it’s family home, it may be more alert than normal to the noises it’s hearing. Children’s voices have much higher pitch and this can be wearing on a dogs ears. Some children who are unused to dogs may react in a way that can make a dog feel less confident. A dog, any dog that is not comfortable, can behave in an unusual manner. And any dogs bite is as sharp as another’s, irrespective of size.
Children who don’t have a pet will find yours very entertaining. They will want to stroke and to cuddle. They will also want to poke and cause trouble. Kids do. They don’t mean to harm, usually, they most likely just want to see ‘what happens if… ‘. I have also known children who have a dog of their own, who think that a different dog will react in the same way as theirs. Not all dogs are the same, some can tolerate certain things from it’s owner, but not from a small stranger.
Children holding a meat paste sandwich above their head whimpering may not induce immediate sympathy from a dog with a bottomless pit stomach. A nip can happen in the blink of an eye, and there’s not a human that has ever lived that can concentrate on any single thing at a kids party. Kid’s parties are essentially noise, laughter, music and… questions! Omg the questions!! ….Can I have a drink? When are we playing Pass the Parcel? Can I go outside? I need a wee, show me the bathroom? Can I open my presents now? Can I burst this balloon? Can I take your dog for a walk? The list will be endless. You think you’ve heard them all, but there will be a question or two that will surprise you. Most of all, they will distract you.
However proud you are of your dog’s lovely nature, be kind to them, and be safe, shut them safely away. Better still, arrange for someone they are familiar with to take them for the duration of the party.
Kid’s parties are hard enough work without the stress of worrying about your pet. I personally couldn’t think of anything worse than telling another parent that their child has been harmed by your beloved dog. Avoid it, it’s just not worth the risk. Even at a relatively calm party like one of our birthday games.
Another little pointer, many children are allergic to pet hair. It’s worth checking if a family has a pet so if your child has such an allergy you’ll know before they head off to the party.