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Tips for Making Your Wedding Dog-Inclusive

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Tips for Making Your Wedding Dog-Inclusive

It's a June outdoor wedding, and all the guests are in their seats. The ushers, best man and groom file in, and then one by one the bridesmaids. Next, comes the maid of honor, walking with a very special guest of honor. With tail wagging and a big grin, the couple's Labrador retriever makes their way to the front to the delight of all in attendance. 

This type of heartwarming scene is becoming increasingly common, as more and more pet owners opt to include dogs in weddings. If you're planning to tie the knot soon, you can recreate your own version and make the event extra special, provided you take some steps to ensure that having your dog in the wedding is a great experience for you and your pet. In this guide, we'll discuss what you need to know, including how to include your dog, what to dress them in, how to find dog-friendly wedding venues and what you can do to keep your dog calm throughout the day. 


How to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding 


There are several ways to include your dog in your wedding. Here are a few fun ideas: 

  • Have your pet walk down the aisle in dog wedding clothes, serving as the flower girl or ring bearer 
  • Let your dog "sign" the marriage certificate by addingt a paw print 
  • Bring your dog to the front while you light the unity candle 
  • Make the dog part of giving the bride away by having the groom bend down and "shake" the dog's paw 
  • Add your dog to the receiving line, so everyone can greet them 
  • Include your dog in your wedding photoshoot 
  • Share a special doggy dance at the reception 
  • Set up a doggie photo booth at the reception 
  • Establish an area where guests can play with your dog 


How to Choose a Dog-Inclusive Venue 


To include your pet in your wedding, you'll need to have the event somewhere that welcomes pets. The Internet is a great place to start your research. Look up "dog-friendly wedding venue [Town Name]" and see what pops up. Read online reviews and check out official websites to make a shortlist of possibilities. 

As you explore your options, you'll likely come across both indoor and outdoor venues. Often, outdoor venues are more pet-friendly, but you'll still need to consider things like whether the venue is secure to keep your dog from wandering away and how you'll handle bathroom time when your dog needs to go. For indoor venues, consider how easy it will be to access the outdoors, so your dog can get some recreation and relieve themselves when needed. 

When you contact wedding venues, be sure to ask what their pet policies are. Will you need to pay a cleaning deposit to include your pet? Is your pet free to go anywhere in the venue or will they need to stay in designated areas? 


Choosing Dog Wedding Clothes 


Dressing up can be a big part of the fun for doggie wedding party members. You can keep things simple with a decorative dog wedding collar decked out with flowers, tulle or a bow tie, or opt for full dog wedding outfits, such as pooch tuxedos and dresses. 

Whatever route you choose, ensure that you select dog wedding clothes that fit properly and keep your pet free to move. Have your dog try on their special ensemble a couple of times before the wedding so that they become accustomed to it. 


Potential Stress Factors of Weddings/Large Gatherings 


While having dogs at weddings can be tons of fun for people, large gatherings can sometimes be stressful for pets. Some potential wedding-day stressors include: 

  • Unfamiliar settings and smells 
  • Large crowds of people 
  • Loud music 
  • Decorations, particularly ones that light up or make noise 
  • Fireworks or firecrackers 
  • Changes in routine 

How dogs may respond to wedding stress varies. Some may exhibit unwanted behaviors, such as barking, being destructive or peeing or pooping in inappropriate places. Dogs may pace, shake, hide or even try to escape when feeling stressed. 


How to Keep Your Dog Calm and Happy During Your Wedding 


As you can see, weddings can be stressful for dogs in different ways. The good news is that you can take steps to mitigate many of them. To help your pooch enjoy the event, follow these tips: 

  • Prepare your pup: Socializing and training your dog will help make the day a success. Practice their role at home if possible and give them a chance to get to know some of the people they'll be spending time with at the wedding by scheduling visits. If possible, head to the venue a couple of times before the wedding day to give your dog a chance to become familiar with it. 
  • Create a safe space: Establish a quiet area away from the action where your dog can retreat to if they start feeling overwhelmed. Place food, water and their pet bed or crate here so they can identify the space as their own. 
  • Designate a pet sitter: You'll have a lot to do during the big day and may not be able to give your dog all the attention they crave, so have someone serve in the role of pet sitter for the day. Ideally, the person should be someone that your dog is familiar with and trusts. 
  • Keep them busy: Before the wedding, give your dog some outdoor time to run around and burn off energy. Keep toys on hand at the reception to provide mental stimulation if they start feeling bored. 
  • Try Kradle products: Kradle's CBD and Naturally Calming products promote a calming effect with natural ingredients like broad-spectrum CBD oil and our proprietary BotaniTek formulation. They may help curb destructive behavior and help your dog maintain a normal emotional balance. 
  • Have an escape plan: Hopefully, all your planning will pay off, and your dog will make it through the wedding stress-free. However, it's still a good idea to have a plan in place to remove your dog from the wedding if something unexpected happens. Map out a plan for who will take your dog away and where they'll go if their health, safety or emotional well-being becomes a concern. 


How Kradle Can Help 


Having your dog participate in your wedding can put a special, personalized touch on the big day, and when you carefully select your venue and dog wedding outfit and take steps to address stress before they start, the big day can be as enjoyable for your dog as it is for you and your guests. As you plan your wedding, keep Kradle CBD and Natural Calming Products in mind. With a diverse assortment of chews, bakes, bones and melts, we offer natural solutions for dogs of all sizes, ages and breeds. Learn more about our products and order today. 


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