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Have a Pooch of Honor? Tips for Preventing Pet Meltdowns on Your Wedding Day

Your wedding should be a time for the whole family to come together and celebrate your new union -- including your pet! Follow these rules of puppy nuptial etiquette, and your pet can watch you say "I do," too!

Photography by: Mike Krautter

Have you decided to let your pet play the role of ring bearer or flower girl? Make sure you and your furry friend are both prepared by following these simple rules:


1. Decide if having your pet attend the wedding is appropriate for the venue and type of ceremony.

2. Be sensitive to your pet’s mood. Will she actually be comfortable doing what you hope she'll do?

3. Let your guests, officiant, and vendors know about your pet’s role in the wedding day.

4. Bring your pet to the venue beforehand to get familiarized. 

5. Take your pet to the groomer before the wedding day. 

6. Arrange for a fitting before the wedding day. We're not talking couture. You just want to make sure your pet is comfortable in his or her outfit -- and that it fits properly. 

7. Be aware of and prepared for potential hazards that may be present at the venue and might pose a risk (such as toxic plants or materials).

8. Make sure everybody involved knows how to command your furry friend. Is there a specific way you have to say "sit" or "stay"? Does your pet now know "sit" or "stay"? It's never too late to train your dog.

9. During the reception, keep your pet somewhere safe away from the excitement, so she won’t become anxious and so guests won’t feed her.

10. Never leave your pet alone: Consider having a handler or familiar friend stay with him at all times.

11. Be flexible on the day and have a backup plan ready if necessary.