Tips for Sharing Your Wedding Day With Your Pet

special guest post from Heidi of Camp Bow Wow

Its engagement season! As you gear up to plan your perfect wedding day, you may want to consider including an unlikely member of your family in your wedding – your pet! Picture a dapper Fido, dressed in a miniature tux trotting down the aisle as your ring bearer… the image is nothing short of adorable. But, there are a few things to keep in mind before making this a reality. Heidi Ganahl, the CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow and Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow, the nation’s largest pet services company with 150+ doggy-day and overnight care franchises, offers a series of tips for pet parents to consider when incorporating their pup into their big day.

photo found on Jet Fete, photograph by John Patrick Images

1. Personality Matters: It is important to consider your pet’s personality when making the decision to incorporate him into your wedding. If you have a free-spirited animal, he may resist walking down the aisle in a manner that you’d prefer. Assign someone to walk with him to avoid any mishaps. To prevent an overly hyper dog at your wedding, take him to Camp Bow Wow where he can run, play and exert lots of energy during the days leading up to the wedding. If your pet is nervous around strangers, limit his role and have him leave after the ceremony. If you have a friendly dog, allow him to stay for the reception.  

2. Training Day: Take your pup to the location of your wedding weeks in advance, so that he becomes well acquainted with the area. Allow him to practice walking down the aisle and reward him with a treat afterward. This will provide Fido with an incentive to do so with ease on your big day.

3. No Dogs Allowed: Unfortunately, very few religious and indoor venues will allow dogs on location other than service animals. Be sure to check in advance that pets are allowed on the premises. If you are open to an outdoor wedding, including your pet may be an easier option.

photo courtesy of OMG I'm Getting Married, photograph by N. Feltham Photography

4. Give a Heads Up: Be cautious of guests with pet allergies, as a dog could make the experience of attending your wedding an unpleasurable one. Warn your family and friends in advance that your dog will be around.

5. Doggy Chaperone: Don’t leave your pet unattended. Designate someone as the dog's sitter or hire a Home Buddies Professional to take on the responsibility of walking and caring for your pet during the wedding.  

Photo of Derby the dog submitted by Stephanie of Couture Parties, venue is Belle Mer, Newport, RI. Photograph by Options Photography

6. Safety First: If you decide to dress up your pup, make sure that his costume does not constrict his breathing or movement in any way. A decorative leash is a great option for pets participating in weddings, as this is something that your pet is probably already accustomed to.

7. Feed Me: Have dog food and a bowl of fresh water handy at the reception to ensure that Fido is well fed. Make sure your pet doesn’t sample human food, as this could lead to health complications.

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Thank you to Heidi of Camp Bow Wow for sharing this great article with my readers today