Springtime in the Hill country brings many beautiful things, including the wedding season. If you and your sweetheart are almost ready to say those “I do’s,” but you cannot bear the thought of doing it without your fur baby by your side, look no further than The Pet Gal.
The Pet Gal was founded in 2009 in Austin by Susan Anderson who started the business to provide care for and love on animals as if they were her own.
Originally, The Pet Gal started as a pet sitting and dog walking service. As the company expanded, customers asked if pet sitters could accompany their dogs on their wedding day.
Anderson’s loving spirit for dogs has reached countless pups far and wide as she has expanded The Pet Gal pet sitting, dog walking and pet taxi services to Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Kona and Waikoloa. However, wedding pet attendant services are only being offered in the Austin area.
The wedding pet attendant service started when a client asked Susan and her husband Dan if they could help her four-legged friend be included in the big day.
When The Pet Gal is connected to a wedding, a wedding pet coordinator will connect with the client. Claire Sheehan, a Pet Gal employee in the Austin area and wedding pet coordinator, likes to sit down with the couple to get to know them and their story. For Sheehan, the little details are what help her develop the perfect plan for their pets.
Customers can start with a pre-made package, but they are welcome to customize it if necessary. With all packages, you can arrange for your dog(s) to be chauffeured from your home or a pickup location straight to the Austin-area venue. Once they have arrived at the venue, your pet attendant is by your dog’s side the entire time.
While The Pet Gal does not offer training services, some dogs do not mind being given the special task of carrying a sign in their mouth or the rings on their collar as they make their way down the aisle.
Every pet needs food and water to get through those tiring meet and greets. Your pet attendant will make sure your dog is fed, watered and has potty breaks as needed. If your dog has an accident while in the care of its attendant, The Pet Gal is insured to help the venue with any damages.
Many couples also like to dress their dog for the occasion. The team has seen everything from bow ties to tuxedos, from bows to flower crowns.
“I think the dogs actually really like getting dressed up,” Sheehan says. “It makes them feel a part of it. They are a member of the family. Like, ‘Hey, I’m here and I look nice too.’”
After the ceremony, Sheehan said a lot of couples want their dogs to hang out and walk around during cocktail hour.
“It makes for really cute photos when people react to the dog coming up to say hi,” Sheehan says. “Sometimes we’ll even (have them) wear a body camera to capture all of those sweet moments when people react to the dog.”
The Pet Gals even help surprise a bride or groom with their pup. The “first look” is even more surprising when the groom turns around, fully expecting to see his beautiful wife dressed in white but instead finding his floppy-eared friend dolled up and already covering him in doggy kisses.
Wedding pet attendants from The Pet Gal have seen it all. They once even helped a couple promote dog adoption by accompanying a litter of adoptable puppies to the ceremony.
In addition to wedding pet attendants, The Pet Gal offers dog pet taxi services, walking services, pet sitting and boarding.
All Pet Gals or Guys are certified in dog and cat CPR, and they have taken dog and cat behavior courses. In addition, many of them have previous animal experience working in veterinary clinics and training facilities. Before your pup is left in new hands, a meet-and-greet is always in order to make sure the dog is comfortable with its caregiver.
Pets are family, and they should be treated as such. Cheers to happy memories, lots of tail wags and all the doggy kisses!