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Articles and Advice from our Pet Expert

Forget the Big Game. Throw a Puppy Bowl Party Instead!

Are you ready for the cuddliest, snuggliest, fluffiest sporting event of the year?

That’s right! It’s almost time for Puppy Bowl XII, which returns to Animal Planet on Sunday, February 7, from 3-5 PM ET/PT. Featuring adoptable “players” from 44 different rescues, it’s become a yearly must-see tradition for football fans and non-fans alike. In between the adorable touchdowns and penalties, visitors to will watch as 10 foster puppies are unleashed into a pristine white room to create a variety of cute messes. As time ticks by, the puppies will be presented with more messes, from a larger-than-life sloppy joe to a gravy-filled champagne glass tower and a shower of confetti.

Now, as a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader, I never miss the Big Game. but I always gear up by watching #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff go head-to-head (or snout-to-snout) for two adorable hours beforehand.

If you’re as big of a Puppy Bowl fan as I am, why not throw a Puppy Bowl-watching “pawty” this year? Here are few ideas to kick-off your planning:

  • Create either a paper invitation or an e-vite with a puppy theme. Paw prints, bone shapes, a fire hydrant and dog tags are always good choices. You can even include actual pictures of cute puppies (including your own).
  • Make “doggie” bags to give guests and include goodies for both pups and people. Some ideas might be dog treats, a paw print keychain, the dry ingredients for DIY dog biscuits, and a bone-shaped cookie cutter.
  • If you’re game, invite guests to bring their four-legged friends. But if you’d rather keep the chaos to a minimum (and avoid the possibility of snacks being snarfed by counter-surfing canines), ask them to bring their pup’s pic to the party instead.
  • Snap photos or selfies of each guest with their puppy pic or with their dog. Then share the picture, along with a story of the dog's biggest mess, in a Twitter post using the hashtag, #PetHappens. For each tweet and story with that hashtag, BISSELL will make a donation to the BISSELL Pet Foundation. The more tweets, the higher the donations will go!
  • Have guests choose a team (#TeamRuff or #TeamFluff) before the Puppy Bowl begins. Ask each team to decide on an animal shelter or pet rescue to support. For every touchdown their team scores, the opposing team has to donate $1, $5 or $10 (decide based upon each person's budget) to that charity. 
  •  If a virtual shindig is more your style, then take the party online. Simply create an event on Facebook or form your own Twitter party with a designated hashtag of your choosing.

    You can still invite friends (both personal and virtual), create teams and raise money for shelters. Or you can select a dog (or cat) from a favorite shelter or rescue that needs a home. Then invite all pet-loving friends to share the pet’s picture and story on social media all throughout the Puppy Bowl. Talk about a party with a purpose!

    And don’t forget…you can help raise funds for animals in need by encouraging guests to share a story about their pet’s biggest mess by using the BISSELL hashtag, #PetHappens.

    Whether in-person or online, your Puppy Bowl party is sure to score big with pet-loving family and friends!

    For more ways to live happier and healthier with pets, visit my website, Kristen Levine Pet Living.


    Kristen Buck60x60

    Written by:
    Kristen Levine, pet living expert

    January 19, 2016

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