Puppy Bowl XVIII Gets Animal Planet and Discovery+ Premiere Date

While most sports fans are looking forward this year's Super Bowl next month, another highly anticipated event is this year's Puppy Bowl, which sees pint-sized canines all vying for glory as they run, jump, and tumble across a miniature gridiron. In the years since the event's debut, the Puppy Bowl has evolved to spotlight all manner of animals in hopes of encouraging audiences at home to adopt a four-legged best friend, as all of the puppies featured in the Puppy Bowl come from local shelters. Puppy Bowl XVIII is set to stream exclusively on discovery+ and airs on Animal Planet on February 13th starting at 1 p.m. PT with pre-game festivities.

Per press release, "Everyone's favorite other game is back in action for the ultimate woof-a-thon. The original call-to-adoption television event and cutest sports competition, Puppy Bowl, returns for its 18th year, highlighting more shelters, more incredible stories, and the most puppies ever featured in Puppy Bowl history. Get ready to cheer on the adoptable puppy players of Team Ruff and Team Fluff as they give it their all to catch air-speed and take home this year's Chewy 'Lombarky' trophy. Catch all the action in the GEICO 'stadium within a stadium' that takes this game to the next level. Between ear pulls, tail tugs, sloppy kisses, incredible interceptions, puppy penalties, and hard-won touchdowns, this is the game you don't want to miss! Tune in to Puppy Bowl XVIII, the three-hour spectacular event that can be streamed on discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service, and Animal Planet on Sunday, February 13th at 2 p.m. ET.

"Puppy Bowl celebrates adoptable pups in all their cuteness and showcases the incredible shelters and rescues, as well as their staffers, who dedicate their lives to helping animals find their fur-ever loving homes. This year an astounding 67 shelters and rescues from 33 states bring 118 incredible adoptable puppy players out to sport their Team Ruff 'Tail Mary Tangerine' and Team Fluff 'Bark Blue' bandana colors. Each pup player is coming to strut their paws and show off their uniqueness, and with the help of the Wisdom Panel dog DNA test, we'll find out what's beyond those bandanas and luscious fur, and how each dog's breed mix might give them a leg-up on the field. And on top of these hidden traits which may be revealed, these players will give it their all to chase, fetch, guard, heel, and sprint to the Chewy end zone pylons for the ultimate touchdowns and score game catching field goals on The Home Depot goal posts.

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(Photo: Travel Channel)

"Thanks to our returning and notoriously entertaining slo-mo cam, fans will get to see these canines' devotion to the game as they put their tricks to the test to score a touchdown and a possible chase of the tail. While showing off their tricks and shakes, audiences will get the pawesome views from the water bowl cam which will catch our furry friends in a Pedigree timeout to re-energize their quirky selves and quench their thirst. For the ultimate top-notch aerial view, the Temptations Kitty Sky Box will also be featured throughout the game so fans can feel as if they're in the center of all the puppy madness.

"The Puppy Bowl XVIII Pre-Game Show begins exclusively on discovery+ and Animal Planet at 1 p.m. ET where fan-favorite Puppy Bowl sportscasters Rodt Weiler, Sheena Inu, James Hound, and field reports Mini Pinscher and Greta Dane provide the inside scoop on this year's Puppy Bowl Draft ahead of the big game. The pre-game show spotlights exclusive interviews with coaches and players, a look at the adorable pups warming up and running their favorite routes during Chewy's 'Play of the Day.' In addition, audiences will get a first-look tease at the purr-fect halftime show through the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Kitty Halftime Report. We'll also get puppy DNA analysis from Wisdom Panel dog DNA test Players Report and catch up with several special puppy players past and present including Chunky Monkey, who won the hearts of many during Puppy Bowl XVII, and Marshall, who was declared victorious as the winner of the Puppy Bowl XVII 'Pupularity Playoff.' Those who tune-in will meet Biscuit, the Washington Capitals service pup who is training with America's VetDogs and see a special look at the Bissell Pet Foundation and their rescue efforts of transporting cats and dogs out of the Hurricane Ida danger zone to safety at Animal Welfare League in Alexandria, VA.

"To kick off the game, special guests Elmo & Tango are traveling all the way from Sesame Street to gather the Pedigree Starting Lineup players in the center of the field for the Puppy Bowl XVIII coin toss to who from Team Fluff or Team Ruff will be the first to wag their tails! In addition, Elmo & Tango will be featured throughout the game as they cheer on one unforgettable pup, Wasabi, a Chihuahua/Cocker Spaniel mix from The Sato Project, from the sidelines throughout the game. As the game progresses, we will see which pup has what it takes for the one and only Bissell Pet Foundation MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) award by scoring the most touchdowns. This pup will join a league of past MVP champions, and through Tropical Smoothie Cafe, audiences will catch up with a previous Puppy Bowl MVP now in his loving, forever home and living his best life 'on Tropic Time.' Be sure to tune in to find out which lucky pup will also take home the coveted Subaru of America, Inc. Underdog Award!

"And of course, Dan Schachner, Puppy Bowl's official and favorite Ruff-eree is returning for his 11th year of calling the puppy penalties, ruffs stumbles & tumbles, and awesome touchdowns for a game unlike any other. Dan is ready for the ultimate puppy showdown and fans will hear all these calls and more from returning commentators Steve Levy and Taylor Rooks as they give us the play-by-play coverage of the rambunctious pups of Team Fluff and Team Ruff as they frolic, jump, dive, and occasionally snooze their way to victory. In addition to seeing these puppy players on the field, audiences will also see the return of the Subaru of America, Inc. Pup Close and Personal segments that shine a light on adorable star athletes including one special Senior Spotlight story which showcases that age is just a number and senior dogs are ultimately puppies at heart."

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This year's Pup Close and Personal features various segments including:

  • A special profile on Orange Twins Rescue, started by Ariana Grande and her choreographers and creative directors', twins Scott & Brian, who accompany a pair of bonded Siberian Husky/ Chihuahua mix puppy sisters, Bimini & Tayce to Farm Animal Refuge in San Diego where they meet baby goats and cows
  • Kirby, a very special Labrador retriever who is the Houston Texans' service pup in-training in partnership with America's Vet Dogs, who visits NRG Stadium for a service practice session with Texans player Justin Reid
  • Hoku, an American Staffordshire Terrier/ Catahoula Leopard Mix; and Puppy Bowl's first-ever Hawaiian pup, from Maui Humane Society, who as a participant of the rescue's 'Buddies' program, embarks on a special field trip to a hike in Maui's National Parks where we learn about the legend of the 'Poi' dogs of ancient Polynesian culture
  • Birch, a Chihuahua / Toy Fox Terrier mix who is cared for by a special foster under Ninna's Road to Rescue foster program and is coached for the big game by Puppy Bowl XVI alum, Darcy
  • Benny, a special needs Labradoodle, who is living his best life with a foster from Bosley's Place where he spends his days practicing laps on the lush property with his fellow dog companions
  • A special look at The Dogist (Elias Weiss Friedman) who teams up with Pilots to the Rescue, to bring one incredible Dalmatian puppy, Pongo, on a flight from a Virginia shelter to New York City for Puppy Bowl XVIII

Check out the Puppy Bowl XVIII pre-game starting at 1 p.m. ET on February 13th on Animal Planet and discovery+.