For many of my friends, the annual Puppy Bowl is the only time they ever care about football. Don’t worry—it’s still happening this year. The Puppy Bowl XVIII is happening on Sunday, February 13 at 2 PM ET, well before the other big game. You can catch all the tail-wagging action on Animal Planet or stream it on Discovery+. But if you’re lucky enough to have a bunch of doggos in your life, why not round them up and throw your own Puppy Bowl?
Here are your premium needs for a fur-tastic time.
You’ll need turf because where else is this action going to take place? There are a few choices depending on the fluffy teams. This Snuffle Mat is for solo athletes or a small group. There are plenty of activities to keep a baby dog busy while game day activities proceed. Keep them mentally and physically stimulated as they sniff out and search for hidden goodies. Don’t worry; it’s made of polyester and can be easily washed in a machine.
Looking for something a little more traditional? A touchdown rug might be what you’re looking for to keep in the true spirit of the game. Available in three sizes, this football area rug is a more durable pick that you can vacuum easily and spot clean for “accidents.”
Uniforms are important for at least designating who is on which team. I’ve used bandanas before when doggie games went on in the backyard over the summer. If you want to be authentic to the event, though, there are Bengals and Rams uniforms for the pooches still available. You can also go nondescript and make up your own teams. Decorate these blank dog tees to your liking.
Alright, the teams are suited up, now it’s time for equipment. For something a little more modern, this Nerf ball is built for a long-haul game. It’s super durable and lightweight, but it’s also sizable, so maybe the bigger fur kids play this round. It’s water-resistant too. If anyone is a bit on the slobbery side, it’ll be A-okay.
The Orbee-Tuff ball keeps the party more old school. Open it up to hide treats for added motivation. It’s made of a TPE material that is safe all-around for land, sea, and mouths—and it’s mint-scented too, so with every bit, your doggo’s breath gets a little less disgusting.
Every game needs an official, a ruff-eree, one might say. This is an excellent job for an older dog who’s happy to make sure the rules are enforced. In keeping with the spirit of the game, make sure they’re in uniform too. Midlee’s ref garb is actually one of the pet department’s top sellers, believe it or not. This double-reinforced jersey can make it through a few Puppy Bowls if need be. The poly-fabric used to make it does well with drool control, so it’s ok to get wet or messy. Just toss it in with the rest of the jerseys for good measure.
Time for snacks!
At the end of each quarter and certainly at half-time, hearty play and good sportsmanship should be rewarded. I’ve selected snacks fit for midwestern pets and Golden State fur babes in honor of this year’s Super Bowl teams.
To represent the Bengals and their home of Cincinnati, we have I’m Here For The Chili & Cornbread biscuits. Made from all-natural ingredients, these tasty treats honor the most famous Cincinnati dish, Skyline Chili. As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time in the Queen City, the spaghetti chili is not super spectacular, but it is iconic. While these may not be slathered in cheese and noodles, all the flavored is still there, and rest assured, it’ll have the pups howling for more.
Now it took me a second to think of a delectable snack to represent
Los Angeles, but I am told it’s Philippe’s Beef Double-Dip, thanks to Twitter. You wouldn’t think I’d be able to find a dog treat that is likened to a French Dip, but you’d be wrong. Grab a bag of Weruva’s Double Dip with Au Jus. These bags are perfectly portioned for pre-game or post-game protein meals. This delicious recipe is packed with quality beef and salmon slathered in mouthwatering au jus. Well, now I’m hungry!
You’ll need some power juice too and what better way to stay alert on all the action than with some tasty hot coffee. This special edition Puppy Bowl Bundle from Grounds and Hounds is one of the company’s best sellers. Grab a 12-ounce bag of silky smooth medium roast blend made from beans from Guatemala and Papua New Guinea. In this 2022 bundle, you also get an official “Team RUFF” bandana, plus an extra football plush for practice. Only the grounds option is left so if you want a bag move as fast as your fluffy cornerback.
Keeping a few supplies at the bench is important so that no one gets exhausted. If a little puppy strain happens, turn on this heating pad and sit out a few snaps. Water- and scratch-proof, this pad adjusts to seven different levels of heat, and the cloth cover is easy to remove and clean. This is a good spot for athletes to rest their paws and muscles. The only downside is it can’t help with concussion protocol.
Let’s stay hydrated with puppy Gatorade, aka Wolf Spring. Give these strapping players a swig of vitamins and minerals right on the sidelines. This functional treat combines coconut water and potassium to help boost energy. If all the exercise wasn’t enough to help with digestion, don’t worry, Wolf Spring is full of prebiotics. All the ingredients are plant-based, so your pups stay lean, mean, tackling machines, no need for dilution. Pour it right into a bowl, and your little player is set through the fourth quarter.
Accidents happen, and it’s essential to be prepared for them. This football-shaped poop bag dispenser (with six refills) is the hot item for the big day. If there’s extra action in the EndZone, hang this in an easy-to-get-to-spot.
In all seriousness, every house with a pet should have a first aid kit just for them. You never know when a furry limb could get twisted, a nail could get snagged, or a scratch could happen. This one from Kurgo is as chic as it is safe. It’s got 50 pieces meant for an array of accidents. Gauze, swabs, tweezers, antiseptic—anything you could need, plus a first aid pet guide. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it is vital to protect your team. See, you’re already doing better than the NFL. Whether or not you let your athletes use CBD post-game is at your discretion.