You’ve got something old, something new, something borrowed — now how about something chewed?
Many dog lovers choose to include their four-legged friend in their wedding, which is a great way to make your ceremony memorable and personal. But it’s not for everyone — or every dog.
The American Kennel Club offers some tips to ensure that your dog’s participation in the wedding will be smooth and safe for all:
• Consider your dog’s temperament before making the final decision to include him. If crowds, increased attention or changes in environment stress out your dog, then a wedding might not be the best place for him.
• Do your research to make sure your venue is pet-friendly. Let the photographer know that your dog will be part of the photos and make sure he or she is comfortable working with dogs. Also think ahead of the shots you may want to catch with your dog so that the process doesn’t delay your day.
• Let invitees know that your dog will be part of the celebration, and be prepared that people with allergies or a fear of dogs may be unable to attend.
• Take a refresher obedience class with your pup. You’ll want to make sure it can sit or lie down quietly during the ceremony and also that it’s able to tolerate a costume if you choose to go that route.
• Designate a member of your bridal party as the official “handler” during the ceremony, or have your dog sit with a family member or pet-sitter in the audience while you recite your vows. This person should be armed with treats and baggies for cleanup.
• Consider your temperament. Sorry, bridezillas: This option is not for you. Dogs don’t understand the seriousness of a wedding ceremony, so unless you can maintain a sense of humor about the possibility of something going awry, leave Fido out of the festivities.