Want To Invite Your Dog to Your Wedding? Follow These Tips

For many of us, our pets are part of the family. It’s probably safe to conclude that in some cases we prefer our non-human family members to some of our human family members. But that’s for another blog at another time.

If our pets are our family, it’s reasonable to want them to be with us on one of the most important days of our lives: our wedding day. And while it might not be practical (or prudent) to bring along your cat or your turtle or your horse to the wedding, it is plausible, dare I say even trendy, to bring along your dog. Some people are even including man’s best friend in their wedding parties.

I recently came across an email full of tips—courtesy of Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow—for making Rover part of your wedding party. Ganahl probably knows a thing or two about dogs; Camp Bow Wow is a company of franchised doggy day care and boarding centers with locations throughout North America, including two in Roseville and one in Elk Grove.

Following are tips (paraphrased) to follow to ensure that your wedding day won’t go to the dogs just because your dog is there.

• Know your dog’s personality. Is he going to walk nicely down the aisle or go barreling into the officiant? This little personality trait of your dog’s is an important one to assess before the big day. Regardless of whether he’s chill or a spaz, it’s probably a good idea to have someone walk with your dog down the aisle, and while it’s OK to “invite” him to the reception, if he is nervous around strangers, it’s best to release him from his duties. After photos, of course.

• Get your dog familiar with the location of your wedding. And just as you have a rehearsal for your wedding party, make sure to allow your dog to rehearse his part, too.

• Make sure pets are allowed on the premises. Many religious and indoor sites ban all dogs except service dogs. Your dog has a better chance of being welcomed at an outdoor venue.

• Let your guests know that Fluff Monster will be in the house. Some people have allergies and others are downright scared of dogs. Let those attending know before they show up to the wedding that your dog will be attending, too.

• Hire a dog sitter. This one is probably obvious, but you should not leave your dog unattended while you go off mingling with your guests. Designate someone to care for your pet. Better yet, hire a professional.

• Don’t get too fancy with the clothes. It makes sense that you want your friend to look his best on your wedding day. Just make sure the outfit is not too constrictive. A safe alternative: a decorative leash.

• Make sure you have plenty of food and water on hand. Just as you wouldn’t think of letting your guests go hungry or thirsty at your reception, do the same for your dog. Have food and fresh water available for him at all times. Oh, and make sure he doesn’t get into the expensive filet mignon you’re serving your human friends. No. 1, he probably wasn’t included in the caterer’s head count and No. 2, it might make him sick.

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