Super Bowl Sunday is coming up on Sunday, February 12th 2023, but if you’re more interested in Retrievers than receivers, you’ll want to tune in early for the Puppy Bowl!
For 19 years running, the Puppy Bowl has showcased the incredible work of rescue organizations, animal activists, and volunteers. This year, the Puppy Bowl will feature more puppies and rescue organizations than ever before, with 122 puppy players representing 67 shelters joining the big game.
To play, the pups are released onto a mini football field covered in toys where they’ll romp, play, and of course battle it out for the win. Points are awarded every time a puppy drags a toy into the endzone. Pups can score touchdowns on either side of the field, and they can even receive penalties like “pass inter-fur-ance” and “premature watering of the field.”
Between plays, viewers will enjoy Adoptable Pup segments, and clips to get to know the puppy players. Some of the pups have been given DNA tests to learn more about them, while others will be featured for their unique backstories. With play-by-play commentary, fun features like a water bowl cam, and even a Puppy Cheer Squad, the Puppy Bowl is absolutely packed with cuteness and fun!
A three-hour event, puppies play as long as they can, or until they receive a penalty. The pups will be switched in and out through the game, and they’ll get a break at halftime. Instead of a concert, the halftime show is a laser pointer and yarn-ball-filled kitten romp!
So, who can we expect to see on the field for Puppy Bowl XIX? Let’s meet some puppy players, starting with Team Ruff.
Joey is a super chipper pup from Vintage Pet Rescue in Rhode Island, and his new wheels have given him a new leash on life!
2. LITTLE MIGHTY
From Indiana’s IndyHumane, Little Mighty is a fierce tri-pawed pup who is ready to leave his ruff past behind him for a future as a Puppy Bowl champion!
Moocow might be the smallest puppy in the Puppy Bowl, but don’t let his size fool you! Moocow has so much love to give, and this sweet, sometimes shy pup is ready to win some hearts…er, touchdowns! From Bosley’s Place in Georgia, Moocow is definitely going to be a favorite.
Moving on to Team Fluff, let’s meet Pickle, an absolutely adorable Pomeranian mix from Florida Little Dog Rescue, who’s ready to show off his athleticism and endless energy!
One of the biggest puppies in this year’s competition, Velma is a super chill cuddle bug from Green Dogs Unleashed who’s ready to give up her nap time for a chance at the Puppy Bowl trophy!
Shy dogs can be Puppy Bowl champs, too, and Inya is here to prove it! From Arizona’s NAGI Foundation, this little girl will be ready for cuddles immediately after the game. Inya’s participation is extra special for the Puppy Bow since the group that rescued her is a Native American-led and focused rescue group providing support to pets and pet owners in Indigenous communities. One of the first of its kind, NAGI Foundation is providing a vital resource to a historically underserved community.
Beyond being a cute way to spend a few hours, the Puppy Bowl is also one of the longest-running adoption events in the country and has an incredible success rate. All adoptable puppies and kittens from years past have successfully found homes, and this year’s Puppy Bowl will again feature pets looking for a home.
During Puppy Bowl XIX, viewers will meet 11 unique pups in need of forever homes. Each of these featured puppies has special needs and tons of love to give. Joey and Little Mighty (featured above) are two of these special needs pups, and they’ll be joined by 9 more absolutely adorable and adoptable dogs during 2023’s Puppy Bowl.
Puppies on Team Ruff and Team Fluff will take the field at 2 PM ET sharp where they’ll compete to win the Lombarky trophy and the hearts of viewers everywhere. For pre-Puppy Bowl coverage, tune in at 1 PM ET. To watch the action, tune in on Animal Planet or Discovery+.
Are you planning to adopt a dog in 2023?! Check these 10 Statistics on Dog Adoption in 2023!