Puppy- or dog-themed birthday parties are a big hit with both boys and girls, especially those who are preschool or toddler age. Start the party out right by handing or mailing out cute themed invitations. A good idea is to make the invitation bone-shaped or to use a paw print in the design.
Hang a sign outside the front door calling the home, "Joseph's Dog Kennel," or "Kelly's Doghouse." Inside, place balloons decorated with paw prints, and use squeak toys as the balloon weights. Stuffed puppies strewn through the party area are easy accessories for the theme.
Make birthday cupcakes with paw prints by placing mint patty with a few brown M&Ms; in a paw print pattern. Make a cake in a dog or bone shape. Or go dalmatian and have spots on the cake. Serve hot dogs, sugar cookies cut into the shape of a bone, puppy chow (Chex cereal with peanut butter, chocolate and powdered sugar), or put trail mix or pretzel snacks that resemble kibble into clean doggy bowls.
Games can be simple, such as pin the tail on the puppy, or cat, cat dog instead of duck, duck, goose. Or you can be more creative and play a relay race with water and dog bowls, or send the puppies on a trail for the bone. Have them get on hands and knees and sniff out the trail of bones hidden around the party area. Number the bones so kids can turn them in for a corresponding prize.
When children arrive, have them write their name on a doghouse. Supply each child with a large cardboard box to serve as his doghouse. Set up a grooming station where guests can have their face painted like puppies. Let each child design and then wear a dog tag. Make sure each guest goes home with a doggy bag of puppy-themed treasures, like a small beanbag puppy, dog stickers, and dog bone shaped goodies.