The Dog Bowl: Making a Case for Senior Dogs
Between the food, drinks and the game itself, the Super Bowl is always an exciting occasion, no matter what teams are playing. While most of America watched the Patriots and the Rams battle it out for the Lombardi Trophy Sunday night, a good amount spent the afternoon watching the Puppy Bowl and the Puppy Bowl Presents: the Dog Bowl, a cuter, more relaxed version of the main event.
Animal Planet first aired the Puppy Bowl in 2005 and the Dog Bowl in 2018. The premise itself is simple: a bunch of adoptable shelter puppies and dogs are put into a makeshift football field filled with several toys. The Puppy Bowl features Team Ruff competing against Team Tuff, while the Dog Bowl pits the Oldies against the Goldies. Points are earned when a toy crosses into the opposing end zone, and the team with the most points at the end wins. Even though it’s more about cuteness than competition, the Bowls draw a large audience and provide an entertaining, carefree way to kill time before the big game.
The Dog Bowl is especially important because it is one of the few events that brings awareness to the playful personalities of senior dogs. On television and in movies, senior dogs are often portrayed as the foil to energetic puppies. According to ASPCA numbers from 2015, senior dogs have a 25 percent adoption rate compared to the 60 percent adoption rate of puppies. Giving older dogs the platform to appeal to a wider audience is beneficial in changing the lethargic, dull stereotype that seems to accompany them.