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Dogs are family and as such, many couples are opting to include their dog in their wedding ceremony. As fun as including your dog in your wedding day is, there are several items to check off your list to make having your dog in your wedding a smoother process
Just as you will be assessing the behavior and personality of your flower girl and ring bearer to see how easily they will make it down the aisle, the same process and assessment should happen with your dog.
Is your dog comfortable in areas where there will be a significant number of people? How will your dog adapt to a new environment? If your dog enjoys attention, is extremely social, well behaved and obedient, they will likely love being part of your wedding day.
However, if your dog is shy, has anxiety or worries easily, your wedding may not be the best place for them.
Be sure to check with the venue that pets are allowed. Or, you could show up the day of your wedding with your pup in tow, only to be turned away. All your planning and rehearsing could be down the drain.
Be sure your guests know there is a special, furry guest-of-honor attending so those with allergies or those that are fearful of dogs can prepare. Add this information on a supplemental card, or include it on your wedding website.
While your dog may play a huge role or small part of your wedding – you should designate a handler to look over your dog. Be sure someone has been tasked to look after the four-legged ring bearer orhound of honor – before, during and after the ceremony. This will reduce your stress so you don’t have to worry about your dog’s behavior, feeding him, making sure they have access to water, etc.
Be sure the handler has plenty of your dog’s favorite treats – so they can be distracted or occupied during the ceremony.
Prior to the big day, you should rehearse as much as possible so your dog understands his responsibility throughout the wedding. Walk through the motions if they will be heading down the aisle. Be sure they are able to sit still without barking or other negative behaviors for the entire ceremony. Ensuring your dog will greet guests properly is also critical. If your dog is a jumper, you should work on this in the months prior to your wedding date.
Many groomers can book out months in advance, so you should plan accordingly. Don’t schedule it too far away from the wedding, or that freshly clean, good-smelling dog will be long gone come the big day.
Let your photographer know your dog will be in the wedding. Show them some image ideas you’d like to recreate, or ideas you have for incorporating your dog in wedding photos. Make sure you have a list of all the photos you’d like on your big day and share them with the photographer – that way you won’t forget you wanted one with your dog and your flower girl, or one with your dog at your feet, etc.
Consider Pet Insurance
Having an active dog insurance policy can provide pet parents with peace of mind on their wedding day.
Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.
1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.