Your Dog in Your Wedding
By Arlo the Hound with help from Honor Tarpenning
In honor of the recent nuptials of a member of our Next Day Pets family, and the upcoming wedding of another, today’s tips are about including your dog in your wedding. This is a fun way to have your best furry friend in on one of the most memorable days of your life. Letting your dog be a part of the occasion is also a great way to bring a sense of normalcy and a great stress reliever into the big day. Here are some tips on how to do it and make sure it goes over without a hitch.
Before you make the decision to make your pooch a part of the ceremony, carefully consider his limitations. If your dog is extremely high-energy he can still be involved, but should be kept on a leash the whole time. If he is very young, perhaps he can be carried by a familiar friend for his part of the ceremony, and then taken someplace quiet and safe for the remainder of the evening. If he is afraid of large crowds, or unfamiliar surroundings, it might not be the best idea for your dog to be involved.
Talk to the members of your wedding party ahead of time. If anyone is afraid of dogs or is allergic, you might want to rethink your dog’s involvement (or choose a new bride’s maid).
Call your church, the venue for the reception, and your hotel and ask if they allow dogs. A great big wrench could be thrown in your plans for your dog’s involvement if you don’t make sure your dog’s welcome.
Give your dog a bath or have him groomed the day before the ceremony. Not only will he look and smell great, but this will cut down significantly on dander that could bother attendees who are allergic to dogs.
Think about putting your pooch in a tux or dress. Lots of fun clothes
are available to get your pooch all dressed up for the occasion.
Make sure someone takes your pooch for a nice, long walk before the ceremony. It would be pretty embarrassing for your dog to have an accident in the church. Also, a long walk will help your dog expend any extra energy so he can be calm and mellow on your big day.
Assign a friend or family member to take care of your pooch for the day. First of all, it’s your wedding, so your friends and family have to do what you tell them. Second of all, it will be an enormous relief to know your dog is safe and cared-for even though you’re busy, excited, stressed, and busy, busy, busy.
The rehearsal is not the time to “try out” your pooch on the whole wedding thing. If you are putting him in a special outfit, try it on several weeks in advance, and put it on him several times so he is used to it by the big day. If he is doing any special tricks like walking down the istle by himself, or carrying the rings on a rope in his mouth, practice time and time again until you know for sure he’s got it down perfect. For the bride, put your wedding dress on around your dog a few times before your wedding day. If it is big and poofy, it might startle your dog, causing him to run away or, worse, he could jump up or pull on it. If your dog is going to rip your dress, you sure want it to happen before the day of the ceremony so you have time to get it fixed. If he rips it that morning, you’re in trouble. Also, bring your dog to the locations of the ceremony and the reception several times before the day of your wedding so he can get used to the sights and smells.
Bring some comforting objects along to help your dog relax in unfamiliar surroundings. His bed, blanket, or favorite toy will help the day go smoothly. Some of his favorite treats wont hurt either.