Dogs are a wonderful part of life, so it’s no surprise that you want your pooch to be a part of your big day...
But, how can you make your wedding dog friendly? Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, has some top tips to create a day that will be a ’match made in muttrimony’ instead of a dog’s dinner…
#1 – Health and safety is ‘impawtant’
Having pooches at your wedding party can be a great idea, but don’t forget that it’s just as ’impawtant’ to keep your VIPs (very important pooches) as happy as the humans! Check your venue allows four – legged guests, then, ask yourself; is your dog happy with crowds and meeting lots of new people, including children of all ages?
Our top tip: Let your guests know in advance in case they (or their children) are nervous of dogs. A reminder on how to “Be Dog Smart” and mingle with mutts safely might be order.
#2 – The adventure of a lifetime… for your dog!
Your wedding is an adventure with new smells and sounds! Some flowers and foods are poisonous to canines, so make your dog part of the plan when you meet with florists and caterers. At the venue, scope out any possible escape routes, and ensure there is a quiet room with food and water, bedding, toys and poo bags, with easy access to the outside world. If your wedding is outside, create a doggy area with shade and a paddling pool and never leave your four-legged friend alone, or in cars, even for a minute. If in doubt hire a pet sitter who knows your pooch to ensure they are happy throughout the day. You’ll be very grateful for someone to deal with any unexpected doggy dramas!
Our top tip: New sounds such as loud music, fireworks or big crowds can be concerning for dogs. Sound Therapy might help prep your pooch. The earlier you can start this, the better the chance of success.
#3 – Expect the unexpected… but not from your dog!
Planning on having your pooch as part of the wedding party? Training (especially recall) will be the key to success, and we think, a happy marriage! A well trained dog won’t want to wander off, eat anything they shouldn’t or bark during the wedding breakfast! But, training should be long term plan including frequent visits the venue together to get used to the surroundings, without any pressure! We don’t recommend dressing up your dog. As well as being uncomfortable, doggy outfits could irritate, and cause some mutt misbehaviour! However, a nice new collar or lead could be just the icing on the cake to make Fido feel special on the big day too.
Our top tip: Dogs Trust Dog School can help with all your training needs. With fun, friendly classes for dog owners across the UK, Dogs Trust Dog School helps to create a unique bond with your dog so you, your partner and your pooch can live happily ever after!
#4 – A ‘woof’ of opportunities…
Be inspired by your dog on your big day! How about a ’Muttini’, ’Puppy Colada’ or ’Woof on the Beach’ as your guests arrive? Or a ‘doggy bag’ to carry their dog-friendly cake home! Whilst the guests have wedding favours, your four-legged friends might like a present ‘from our pup to yours’ as a long-lasting reminder of a fun-filled day! Naming tables after favourite doggy breeds, or a fabulous doggy inspired centre piece, could be a ‘grrrr-eat’ way to keep your canine involved too!
Our top tip: Dogs Trust wedding favours are a fun alternative to traditional ones, and, you’ll also be helping over 15,000 dogs in our care too! What more could you ask for?
#5 – Have fun with Fido!
Dogs are a wonderful part of life, and this should be remembered… especially on your wedding day! With careful planning – you and your guests can have a fantastic day with fido. If your doggy themed day has inspired your family and friends, and they are ready to welcome a four-legged friend into their lives, remind them to think of Dogs Trust – and offer a rescue dog the forever home of its dreams.
Our top tip: Research the breed best suited to your lifestyle, and visit www.dogstrust.org.uk for lots of information and advice on getting a dog.