How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

Fall has arrived, and with it comes invites to harvest parties and holiday soirees. With such a busy social calendar, it can be hard to find time to spend with Lucy (we’re used to being together a lot!). So what do I do if Lucy is invited to come along to the party? There’s a lot to consider, so I’ve put together my best tips on how to prepare for taking your dog to a party if you’re lucky enough to have the chance!

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

First of all, lets be practical! You can’t take your dog everywhere. There are going to be tons of times when it’s simply not possible to bring your dog. But every once and a while you get the chance. I never assume that Lucy is invited, even if it’s just lunch at my sister’s house, I always ask permission first. I also try not to take Lucy to homes that I’ve never been to myself first. I want to make sure I’m setting her up to be a hit at the party, so I don’t want to take her to houses that are tiny, have a lot of fragile knick knacks, or have kids who leave snacks lying around. That’s just going to result in disaster!

So what can you do? These are the steps I would take anytime I prepare to take Lucy partying with me. It’s not a fool-proof plan since dogs can be wonderfully unpredictable, but it’s a start! This is also a great chance to share this awesome outfit with a little Fall color. I’m loving the bare shoulder look and thought this rusty color paired really well with the earth tone snake print skirt. Even thought there are cut outs and a slit, the outfit is still comfortable enough to keep track of Lucy! High heels are only recommended if you’re advanced in taking your dog places!

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

  • First of all, ask permission. Always ask the host if it’s OK to bring your dog. And be smart! Your dog probably isn’t welcome at an intimate dinner party, but a Fall open house could be perfect.
  • Make sure your dog is well trained. If you take your dog to a party and they end up barking non-stop and doing their business on the floor then you probably won’t be invited back! If your dog isn’t well trained then you might want to a dog trainer like to help control your dog.
  • A tired dog is a good dog. Have truer words ever been spoken? Tire that puppy out before taking them anywhere! A good park session, a jog, swim, anything it takes to bring their energy level way down.
  • Any activity that really tires out Lucy usually results in her getting a little dirty. Make sure to clean your dog before taking them to someone else’s house. Give them a bath (I love this shampoo!), if needed, and a good brushing so you don’t leave any dirt or dog hair behind at your friend’s house. If you are planning on taking your dog for a walk then you could always get them a waterproof coat to help them stay clean (or at least cleaner then they normally would be after a walk), if this is something that interests you then you could always check out a website like
  • Make sure you have a good collar and leash (and a gentle leader or harness if you prefer). I would invest in a quality dog harness to make sure it lasts a long time. Cheap, poor quality harnesses can break really easily, especially if your dog is strong! I don’t recommend using a retractable leash. You should use a regular leash so you can control how close your dog stays to you (this leash gives you lots of options). At first you might want to walk them around the house or the yard before letting them off leash (if the hosts says that’s OK).
  • If your dog is going to be the only dog there, you could bring a bully stick to keep them entertained for a while. This always works when Lucy and I go anywhere with her cousin Piper.
  • If you’re taking your pup along to a multi-dog household or a puppy party, be cautious about taking treats. Some dogs don’t like to share, so you don’t want to create any tension in the group.
  • Most importantly, stay alert and be ready to go if you need to. If you dog seems uncomfortable or people at the party tell you they are scared of dogs, be prepared to head home. It’s not worth causing problems or stress for anyone.

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

We live in the city, so most of the dog friendly parties I would go to are just a short drive from my house. This is great because it gives me so many options with Lucy. If I leave her it home, it’s easy to stop by and let her out or check on her. Or if I take her somewhere that doesn’t end up being a good fit, I can always run her home.

A good way to ease into taking your dog to someone’s house, is to start by taking your dog to a public gathering place. Maybe local micro-breweries are dog friendly and are my favorite places to hangout with friends and my dog at the same time. Call ahead to make sure, but patios are usually dog friendly, and depending on your local laws, some breweries allow dogs inside making them great places to socialize in the Winter!

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

How to Prepare For Taking Your Dog to a Party

*This post contains affiliate links to products I have personally tested and believe it.

All photos by Sarah Collins Photography.

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Tori Mistick is a blogger, podcaster and certified Canine Enrichment Specialist. You might call her a professional dog mom! Tori has a soft spot for senior dogs and loves the color pink. Based in Pittsburgh, PA.


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