Ah, Super Bowl Sunday. A day devoted to soaring pigskins, adult face painting, platters of cheesy snacks-and puppies.
Yes, puppies. This is because our friends at Animal Planet have brought us the Puppy Bowl. Instead of professional athletes, tiny terriers and pint-size pit bulls will take the field in a game of epic (and precious) proportions. It’s the perfect opportunity to get friends and family together to celebrate in an unexpected way.
Read on to learn why (and how!) to host a Puppy Bowl viewing party:
1. It’s Simply TOO Cute
Who wouldn’t fall in love with tiny pups romping in a miniature arena? Their wagging tails, fluffy fur and unrestrained enthusiasm for plush toys could melt even the coldest of hearts. It doesn’t matter which team your guests root for that day-all the pups are equally endearing. Pooches large and small join the annual fray. Think terriers, Labs, hounds and spaniels. Most of the pups on the field will be around 4 to 6 months old, so viewers are guaranteed plenty of roly-poly rambunctiousness.
2. Other Species Guest-Star
In years past, parrots have delivered the national anthem, a skunk has served as assistant referee, and tiny pigs have stormed the field. For an extra dose of cuteness, this year the teams will be cheered on by rescue mascots: Orlando the Screech Owl and Muffin the Chinchilla. And did we mention the Kitten Halftime Show?
3. The Game Is Simple Enough for Anyone to Follow
Team Ruff squares off with Team Fluff across a diminutive field of play. Announcers inject energy and suspense into the game as a gaggle of puppies tumbles over the field, playing tug-of-war, tussling with one another and occasionally even scoring a touchdown by running a toy across the end zone.
4. More Ways to Party
Watch Puppy Bowl while you pregame for the big game, or let the kids host their own Puppy Bowl festivities. Not a fan of human football? Start a new tradition by hosting a canine-themed game day party.
Puppy Bowl XIII airs on Animal Planet at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT on Feb. 5.
5. More Reasons to Cook Great Food
Puppy Bowl is a prime excuse to gather with good friends and eat great food. Try buffalo chicken dip or beer cheese appetizers for crowd-pleasing starters. And classic potluck dishes never fail: Think beef chili, pulled pork sandwiches or chicken enchiladas. For dessert, try chocolate and buttercream cupcakes-and canine-friendly pupcakes for your animal companions.
6. Hang out with Your Pooch
The boisterous shouting and nail-biting mood of the Super Bowl may not be your pet’s favorite vibe, but Puppy Bowl is a perfect opportunity to snuggle with your pup on the couch-or let your high-energy dog learn from the moves onscreen. Have a popular pup? Turn the party into a play date by inviting all their furry friends.
7. The Event Supports Pet Adoption
Aside from being excellent entertainment, Puppy Bowl supports a good cause. Each animal “athlete” has been rescued from a pet shelter, and their heartwarming stories inspire adoptions across the country.
Interested in having an extra set of paws around the house? Learn more about pet adoption.