Pets in your wedding

A popular addition to weddings today is to have your beloved pet in attendance at your wedding.

While they can add a sweet touch to your wedding day, think about the following things to assure your family pet will become an "asset" at your wedding and not an "accident" at your wedding.

Before even considering the participation of your pet, does your venue allow pets?

Check with your venue, synagogue, temple or church to see if they do. Once it's established that it's a "go", check the following issues.

  • Can your pet participate and follow through with your ideas. A laid back bloodhound vs a hyper terrier will give you very different behaviors.

  • Can your pet perform his role and what is the role of the pet? Walk down the aisle with the bride? Walk the couple to the reception only? Big difference.

  • Can the pet stay focused or does he or she become distracted and become easily agitated? Will an outdoor ceremony cause the pet to want to run and play vs staying on spot?

  • Is he socialized...people and children friendly? Is he healthy enough (not up in years) to hang out for the many hours that are required for his attendance?

  • If all above is a yes...great! Have your beloved dog, cat or even your potbelly pig participate.

Make sure you have the following:

  • A designated "pet attendant" that will do nothing but care for your pet during the wedding day and event itself.

  • Bring ample food and water for your pet. Especially water in the warmer seasons. Animals can become overheated just like humans. Don't let your dog sit in a hot car until it's "show time".

  • Bring a kennel crate and his or her toys to keep the animal safe and content.

  • Make sure their vaccinations are current.

  • Watch the animal for signs of stress in large crowds. If the animal is nipping or biting at strangers that's a sure sign he or she has had enough.

  • Do not allow the dog access to the food or the flowers at the wedding. Flowers are not always pesticide free and chocolate kills dogs. Children may not understand this an unknowingly feed your pet a bite of your cake and wreaths placed around the animals neck could be an invitation for a "munch" on it's leaves and flowers.

  • Allow the dog plenty of "breaks" if you know what I mean. There is nothing more embarrassing than "mother nature" calling your dog as your gliding gracefully down the aisle.

Lastly...don't let your dog upstage you. I've seen weddings where the animal becomes so much of the focal point that the couple gets a lost in all the fan fair.

Realize a barking dog at the wrong moment of your vows might be cute at first and get a laugh or two but it won't be so funny if it continues during the rest of the ceremony.

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