The Puppy Bowl is almost here again. You may have seen posts about the Puppy Bowl on social media, and if you’ve never heard of it before, you might be wondering what it’s all about.
The Puppy Bowl is a yearly event that started in 2005 as an alternative to the Super Bowl halftime show, and as the name implies, it features cute, little puppies instead of musicians and entertainers.
If the Puppy Bowl sounds like something you’d enjoy, here’s what you should know about it and where you can watch it.
What Is The Puppy Bowl?
The Puppy Bowl is a program that airs on Animal Planet on Super Bowl Sunday, originally during the halftime show. It started in 2005 and was seen by about 150,000 viewers in the United States.
It has grown quite popular since then, drawing a viewership of millions for its initial airing in recent years and millions more from people who recorded it or viewed videos online afterward.
The premise is fairly simple. The Puppy Bowl features adoptable puppies playing with each other and with several toys on the “field.” There are plenty of close-up shots of the pups being adorable as they play, eat treats, drink water, and sometimes even have little accidents.
It’s meant to be a puppy parody of the Super Bowl, complete with nonsense penalties, commentary, a pregame show, and more. The puppies are put on Team Ruff or Team Fluff.
Do The Puppies Really Compete?
You don’t have to worry that anyone is forcing puppies to compete against each other in potentially dangerous games. In fact, the puppies don’t really compete at all.
They just play with toys inside of an enclosure surrounded by Plexiglas and made to look like a football field. The ref announces a touchdown whenever a puppy happens to take a toy into an end zone.
A veterinarian is always on the scene to give medical care if it is needed, an ASPCA representative is present to make sure the animals are treated well, and shelter volunteers are there to help take care of the animals, too.
Since 2012, an American Humane Association representative has been there to make sure puppies don’t get too aggressive.
What Kinds Of Pets Are In The Puppy Bowl?
All of the puppies featured in the show are adoptable. They’ve all passed socialization requirements and have had their vaccinations. The 2022 Puppy Bowl will feature more than 100 pups from 67 animal shelters and rescues across the US.
Other animals may make appearances, too, as the show has featured kittens, hedgehogs, hamsters, bunnies, chickens, and even penguins, most of which are adoptable — except for the penguins which were visiting from Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
There are often celebrity appearances and interactive opportunities so fans can share and vote for the MVP (Most Valuable Puppy).
Celebrities who have appeared during the pre-game show or during the event include Michelle Obama, Andy Cohen, Whitney Cummings, and Reese Witherspoon. Celebrity animals who have been on the show include Lil Bub and Keyboard Cat.
When Is The Puppy Bowl & Where Can I Watch?
The Puppy Bowl airs every year on Super Bowl Sunday. The 2022 Puppy Bowl can be viewed on Animal Planet on Sunday, February 13 at 2pm ET.
You can also sign in on Animal Planet’s live stream online if you have a cable provider or on discovery+. You can use your cable subscription to watch on your television or devices.
If you don’t have a cable subscription and still want your Puppy Bowl fix, don’t worry. You can go to Animal Planet’s website and watch clips from previous years and promotional videos for this year’s event for free. You can also check out some highlights from past years on YouTube.
Will you be watching the Puppy Bowl instead of the Super Bowl? Are you looking forward to all the cuteness? Let us know in the comments below!