Wedding season is here and we can sense the love! If you bought or adopted a dog while dating, you probably feel like he is your child—and why shouldn’t your dog-child be a part of the celebration? If you’d like to include your dog in your wedding, here are some things to think about:
Is your dog still going through the “puppy terrors,” or is he well behaved?
Even a well-behaved dog might get nervous around a scenery change and large crowds. Test out his socialization skills at a large family gathering before bringing him to the big day. Typically, a quiet, smaller dog will have an easier time acclimating than a larger, high-energy dog.
Will the dog frighten your guests?
Unbelievable as it may seem, not everyone is a dog lover. You may think slobbery kisses are adorable, but your cousin in her brand-new dress may not agree.
Is the wedding indoors or outdoors?
If you’re having an outdoor event, is it gated or secluded to keep your dog safe? If indoors, is the venue dog-friendly?
Will you leash your dog?
If so, who will be responsible for holding onto him throughout the wedding? The person should be someone both you and your dog trust. Some weddings run for several hours, so make sure that the person holding your dog has a conveniently located seat from which to take your dog for a walk if he gets restless.
Will your dog have a job?
Many people find it cute to enlist their dog as the ring bearer. This is a great way to include him in the wedding if he can behave well enough. Fasten the rings to the collar with a festive ribbon, and have someone walk him down the aisle. Just be sure to put the rings on right before he walks down the aisle or you risk losing them.
If your fur-baby is part of the wedding, pay him plenty of attention. Carry some treats around to reward his good behavior, and give your guests treats with which to reward him as well. Remind your guests that they should not feed your dog table food because it can make him sick. And always keep a bowl of fresh water close, especially for those hot summer outdoor weddings! It may be a good idea to prepare a package for your dog that includes his bed and favorite toys to provide a sense of comfort and security.
If you ultimately decide not to have your dog in the wedding, it’s not the end of the world. You can still have your photographer snap some photos of your family at home before the ceremony! Just be sure to find your pup a safe, comfortable place to stay while you’re gone for your wedding and honeymoon.