Your pets are your babies, and you’d no more exclude them from your big day than any other family member. However, even the very best “good boys” among the four-legged set require a bit of extra consideration when including them in large social gatherings.
Is your pooch up to the task? Will they add to your ceremony? Heed these four tips for planning a pet-friendly wedding.
You might choose to have your fur baby become the only nonhuman groomsman in attendance, reducing your worries about how your pup will react to strange dogs. However, what if you plan on letting guests bring the Fidos in their families, too?
Specify in your invitations that you welcome well-socialized pets, but fearful ones or those with behavioral issues should remain at home. Enlist the help of an animal-loving family member or friend to oversee introductions as pets arrive and watch for those who don’t react well to newcomers.
Keep in mind that a pet-friendly wedding can expose you to additional legal responsibilities. You might know that you shouldn’t startle a dog or interrupt them while eating or drinking — can you trust your guests’ children to obey the same rules? If not, it might be best to restrict pet guests to your fur family or those belonging to the wedding party only.
Some older dogs might be content to lie by your side, but other pets love to play. Plus, you need a safe enclosure for feline attendees who aren’t normally outside cats.
If you have multiple pet attendees, it’s best to designate a play area. Those who rent a venue might want to bring synthetic grass or rubber pads to protect the landscaping — rambunctious puppy paws can rip up sod and dig holes. You might consider the same approach to protect your backyard aesthetic if hosting at home.
Dogs can dehydrate quickly, especially when excited — like when exposed to crowds of new hands to sniff. Ensure you keep plenty of fresh, cool water available and regularly assess the need for refills.
You thoughtfully included a spot on your RSVP cards for guests to indicate food allergies. Guess what? Fido can likewise be sensitive to certain ingredients. Seek hypoallergenic treats, especially if you plan on setting out bowls for your guests to reward their puppers.
Pets need to go, too — and most don’t use the toilet. Ensure you have plenty of materials on hand for cleaning up waste. It’s wise to make a cleanup station with a specialty disposal container and fresh bags for scooping.
Your pets are family, too — it’s natural to want them to participate in your big day. However, you have to make realistic allowances for the furry set. Heed the tips above when planning a pet-friendly wedding.