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Your Dog at Your Big Day: Pointers for Including a Pet

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2014

Pets are a big part of our lives, but before you sign up your furry friend for a role—big or small—read these pointers from puppy pro Heidi Ganahl, founder of Camp Bow Wow, a doggie daycare and overnight kennel.

Consider Fido's Demeanor

Your pet needs to be well- behaved and know the basic “sit” and “stay” commands. You want your dog to be a cute addition, not a distraction.

Prep Your Pooch

Definitely bring her to the venue beforehand. Dogs like to sniff and explore new spaces, so if you get that out of the way early, she'll be less likely to do it at the ceremony. Take her to the rehearsal, too, so she can practice with people around.

Choose the Right Place

Don't put her in a situation where she feels alone or nervous. It's best if she isn’t standing up with the wedding party; have someone she knows walk her down the aisle and then sit next to her.

Designate a Petsitter

Ask a trusted friend or family member to walk your pal before the ceremony, and make sure she has adequate food and water.

For a list of Camp Bow Wow locations, visit


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