The Puppy Bowl: What Is It And Where Can You Watch?

**Embargoed til 2/5/2013** NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Adoptable puppies play during the taping of Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl IX" program in New York City, NY on November 11, 2012. The mock football game will air as counter programming to the actual superbowl. On the internet, puppy bowl has been a huge sensation and now in it's 9th year. The puppies used in the show are from shelters and rescue organizations from across the country. The kittens in the half time show came from a shelter located in New York City. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Puppy Bowl is almost here again. You may 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?

**Embargoed til 2/5/2013** NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Dan Schachner plays an enthusiastic puppy referee at the taping of Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl IX" program in New York City, NY on November 11, 2012. The mock football game will air as counter programming to the actual superbowl. On the internet, puppy bowl has been a huge sensation and now in it's 9th year. The puppies used in the show are from shelters and rescue organizations from across the country. The kittens in the half time show came from a shelter located in New York City. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Puppy Bowl is a program that airs on Animal Planet during the halftime show on Super Bowl Sunday. It was 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 about 2.47 million for its initial airing in 2017 and millions more from people who recorded it or viewed videos online afterward.

The premise is fairly simple. The Puppy Bowl features several 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 pre-game show, and more. The puppies are put on Team Ruff or Team Fluff.

**Embargoed til 2/5/2013** NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Sandi Buck removes an overactive puppy from the set during the taping of Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl IX" program in New York City, NY on November 11, 2012. Buck is from the American Humane Association and makes sure all animals are safe during the two-day production. The mock football game will air as counter programming to the actual superbowl. On the internet, puppy bowl has been a huge sensation and now in it's 9th year. The puppies used in the show are from shelters and rescue organizations from across the country. The kittens in the half time show came from a shelter located in New York City. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

You don’t have to worry that the puppies are forced to compete against each other in any potentially dangerous games. In fact, the puppies don’t really compete at all. They just play with toys inside of an enclosure that is surrounded by Plexiglas and made to look like a football field. A touchdown is announced 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.

**Embargoed til 2/5/2013** NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Video and still photographers get eye level view of the hedgehog "cheerleaders" at the taping of Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl IX" program in New York City, NY on November 11, 2012. At one time they tried putting cheerleading skirts of the hedgehogs but they didn't stay on given the animals have no waistline. The mock football game will air as counter programming to the actual superbowl. On the internet, puppy bowl has been a huge sensation and now in it's 9th year. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

All of the puppies featured in the show are adoptable, and they’ve all passed socialization requirements and have had their vaccinations. 39 pups will be featured in the 2018 Puppy Bowl. Other animals are likely to appear, 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 that have appeared during the pre-game show or during the event include Michelle Obama,¬†Andy Cohen, Whitney Cummings, and Reese Witherspoon. Celebrity animals that have been on the show include Lil Bub and Keyboard Cat.

When Is The Puppy Bowl And Where Can I Watch?


The Puppy Bowl airs every year during the Super Bowl halftime show on Super Bowl Sunday. The 2018 Puppy Bowl can be viewed on Animal Planet on Sunday, February 4th starting at 3pm ET and 12pm PST. You can also sign in on Animal Planet’s live stream online if you have a cable provider. Your cable subscription can be used to watch on iPhone, Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Xbox and Android.

**Embargoed til 2/5/2013** NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Kittens play on the halftime set at the taping of Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl IX" program in New York City, NY on November 11, 2012. The mock football game will air as counter programming to the actual superbowl. On the internet, puppy bowl has been a huge sensation and now in it's 9th year. The puppies used in the show are from shelters and rescue organizations from across the country. The kittens in the half time show came from a shelter located in New York City. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

If you don’t have a cable subscription and still want your Puppy Bowl fix, you can go to Animal Planet’s website and watch clips from previous years, as well as promotional videos for this year’s event for free without a login. You can also check out some highlights from past years on YouTube.

Will you be watching the Puppy Bowl instead of the Super Bowl halftime show? Are you looking forward to all the cuteness? Let us know in the comments below!

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