Get your dog wedding tips here! Planning to have your dog in your wedding? Ask yourself these crucial questions first to determine if you SHOULD include your dog in your wedding:
#1 How do you think your dog will respond in a wedding environment?
Like traveling, not every dog can adapt well to a new environment. If you wholeheartedly believe that it’ll be a stressful situation for them, then I recommend NOT to include your dog in a wedding since a wedding day is stressful enough.
#2 What type of traveling is involved?
Luckily, Yorkies or small dogs like me make good travelers due to our size. Although there are exceptions, air travel is mostly a small dog’s game. However, if you plan to have a wedding at some exotic international destination, your dog may be up for some strict entry requirements or even quarantine, which is extremely distressing. Unless you plan on staying at your wedding destination for at least a week, flights over 5 hours (even if it’s domestic) can be hassle-some and taxing for your dog regardless of his or her age. If you truly want to have your dog in your wedding, you should select a dog-friendly venue within driving distance (ideally, a few hours from home).
#3 Is your dog in reasonably good health?
If your dog has underlying health conditions or exhibits noticeable signs of aging, the wedding day chaos may be too overwhelming for your dog. You know your dog best – if you have doubts, it’s better to play it safe. Consult a veterinarian as needed.
#4 Is the wedding venue dog-friendly?
Outdoor weddings are ideal for your dog’s participation. Although most indoor venues are not dog-friendly, it may be possible to work out some type of arrangement ahead of time. After all, weddings are expensive and money barks (Oops, I mean TALK).
#5 Will the wedding be safe for your dog?
Think about any potential hazards that can pose a threat to your dog. Envision all the props and decorations as you do thorough walk-thru of the venue. The last thing you want is to rush your dog to the emergency vet on your wedding day. The best dog wedding tip is really to keep your dog safe and comfortable on your wedding day!
#6 Does your dog bark a lot?
Although some breeds like Yorkies are known to be “yappers,” not every dog of that breed is one. If your dog tends to bark a lot (which is simply how dogs communicate), it ultimately depends if you’re okay with some unforeseen barking during the ceremony. Just as humans speak, dogs bark. Hence, dogs may bark for many reasons, including but not limited to feeling territorial, fearful, lonely, playful, anxious, or simply wanting attention. For me, I mostly bark when I hear other dogs bark OR whenever I want treats.
ARF, ARF – so the real question is: Are you okay with some cute chaos in exchange to have your dog in your wedding?
The best way to train a Yorkie or any dog to stop barking is through positive reinforcement. First, NEVER yell at or hit your dog for barking (or doing anything you find “undesirable”); it’s negative reinforcement (an abusive, largely ineffective technique), which may cause your dog to bark even more. Select a keyword or phrase to signal your dog to stop barking (e.g. “Stop,” “Be quiet,” or “No”) and say it in a calm, confident tone. The key here is to be assertive but not emotionally abusive. As soon as your dog stops barking, reward him or her with verbal praise and treats. REPEAT. After endless repetition, your Yorkie or dog will soon understand that being quiet reaps rewards versus barking reaps none. Alternatively, you can try IGNORING the barking entirely and then rewarding once the barking ceases.
#7 Will there be a lot of children at the wedding?
The presence of loud and obnoxious children can be very stressful for many dogs, especially ones who they don’t know well, carry them around (e.g. mishandle without knowing), treat them like toys, or mess with them for fun. Naturally, kids and Yorkies are NOT a good mix unless the kids are old or mature enough to respect a dog’s boundaries.
Arrgggh, like most Yorkies, I do NOT mesh well with children. Children can easily stress me out. Seemingly “innocent” play for children may be nightmares for dogs, particularly small dogs like Yorkies. I am NOT a toy! I hate being carried, hugged, chased, and teased. It’s imperative to warn children at the wedding ahead of time to respect a dog’s boundaries to avoid any mishap or added stress during an already chaotic day. Find out 16 things children do that dogs HATE + Prevention Tips, including how to properly approach a dog.
#8 Do you have guests who are allergic to dogs?
Your dog’s presence at the wedding may be problematic if you have guests who suffer from allergies. As for me, Yorkies are hypoallergenic so it wasn’t a concern. However, some people just don’t like dogs. GRR, my humans would just say FORGET them since I AM their priority (just think about the popular sign “MY DOG LIVES HERE, YOU DON’T”). But realistically, excluding those dog-hatin’ guests may not be an option. You’ll have make some vigorous seating arrangements accordingly. Something to think about…
#9 Are you a perfectionist?
If you’re stressing out over the “perfect” wedding, please recognize that there is no such thing! Having your dog in a wedding may leave room for some uncertainty, but it will sure make the BIG DAY much more sweet and memorable!
Watch me have the BEST time at my Auntie’s wedding:
Want more dog wedding tips? Sniff out over 15 tips on how to INCLUDE your dog in your wedding and 10 ways to incorporate your dog in a wedding (without their presence)!
BARK AT ME if you have other dog wedding tips! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel: Wet Nose Escapades by Roger Wellington.
Markin’ it up,
Roger Wellington a.k.a. The Doob