“Puppy Bowl XIX” will air on the Animal Planet channel. However, a date has not yet been announced. 

The big game, which has become an annual event since it began airing in 2005, has been immensely popular and inspired several spinoffs. “Puppy Bowl XVIII” began with a Pre-Game Show at 1:00 p.m. ET and went directly into the game, played between Team Ruff and Team Fluff, at 2:00 p.m. ET. We would expect a similar format for 2023 as well.

While we wait for more news to come out about “Puppy Bowl” 2023, keep reading. We will give you all the details on where to watch the previous game, where the players are from, how the game is played, and more. Don’t forget to keep checking back. As soon as we get updates, we’ll include them on BuddyTV so you are in the know.

When Is the “Puppy Bowl?”

When “Puppy Bowl” returns for 2023 has not been announced yet. However, the “Puppy Bowl” has taken place every Super Bowl Sunday for the past 17 years. We anticipate the 2023 “Puppy Bowl” to take place on that Sunday as well. If that is the case, then the “Puppy Bowl” should take place on February 12, 2023. 

Where Can You Watch Past “Puppy Bowls?”

Need some “Puppy Bowl” fun to watch now? If you just can’t wait for the 2023 Bowl, you can rewatch the 2022 event, provided you have a cable or streaming package that carries Animal Planet. Streaming services that offer the channel include Hulu + Live TV, Discovery+, fuboTV, Philo, and more. 

Where Do the “Puppy Bowl” Dogs Come From?

The “Puppy Bowl” exists as a call-to-adopt event. The show highlights all the dogs (and kittens) available in shelters around the country. Team Ruff and Team Fluff rosters are both filled with shelter animals. In fact, in 2022, 67 animal shelters and rescues had animals playing in the game. They came from 33 states — including Hawaii for the first time ever — with over 100 dogs all vying for the title of cutest and available for adoption. 

Speaking of firsts, 2022 was also the first year that the show featured nine special needs dogs in its lineup. Benny, a Labradoodle in a wheelchair was also joined by Rocket, a deaf Chihuahua/Dachsund mix as well as Moby, the French Bulldog with a cleft palate, and many more. 

How Does Scoring Work in the “Puppy Bowl?”

The players of the “Puppy Bowl” play the game in a model stadium. There is no live audience, just a laugh track. The game is followed by both cameras and GoPro’s as well as cameras hidden in things like water bowls. 

The game begins with the introduction of the puppy starting lineup. While the game is being played, a human referee, also called the host, watches over the puppies. There is even adorable half-time entertainment with the kitty half-time show, which includes 30 minutes of the kittens playing with lights, laser pointers, yarn, scratching posts, and so many other toys. As most kitten owners can tell you, the toys aren’t always enough to keep the little furballs active, so the show also scatters catnip around the field to get the cats more curious about their surroundings.

As you can imagine in a game played by dozens and dozens of puppies from poodle to labrador, the rules on scoring — and everything else — are a bit fast and loose. When a puppy brings one of the football toys into the marked end zone a “touchdown” has occurred. In fact, “Puppy Bowl IX” is remembered for the occurrence of a double-touchdown, when both end zones were found by two puppies at the same time. 

Penalties occur for puppies using the field as a potty, howling, illegal bathing, napping on the field, and more. The 2015 event saw the advent of the “terrorizing the ref,” “paws interference,” and “pancaking” — which is when a dog lays down instead of playing. Time outs are called whenever the water bowl needs refilling or when team members are participating in “unnecessary ruff-ness” by having tiffs between themselves.

The winning team will receive the Lombarky Trophy. The contenders from both teams in the “Puppy Bowl” compete for awards like the Most Valuable Puppy (MVP). The MVP award is voted on by viewers. Last year’s game saw Team Fluff overcoming Team Ruff’s skilled competitors to win the trophy. Team Fluff also saw one of their players, the labrador retriever and service dog in training, Kirby, win the MVP award. 

Who Are the Hosts and Narrators of the “Puppy Bowl?”

While the official list of hosts and narrators — human and four-legged alike — has not been released yet, the “Puppy Bowl” has a history of legendary participants. For the past two years, the “Puppy Bowl” has been hosted by Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. For “Puppy Bowl 2022,” they also participated as the official coaches for the event. 

Puppy Bowl Teams

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart host Puppy Bowl

Previous narrators include:

  • 2012-2020 Scott Graham – sportscaster for the Philadelphia Phillies
  • 2010-2011 Jeff Bordner – Emmy award-winning voice actor as well as a professional broadcaster
  • 2005-2010 Harry Kalas – a narrator for NFL Films and play-by-play voice for the Philadelphia Phillies

The role of human referee and host has also been filled by a few different people over the life of the event. For the first few years, this role was filled by a crew member that would be selected at random every year. Beginning in 2008, the Associate Producer, Andrew Schechter began filling that role consistently. In 2012, the show made a switch and Dan Schachner began refereeing and hosting. For his audition, he submitted a tape of him putting together an impromptu football game among the dogs of random dog owners at a dog park. He has remained in the role ever since.

“Puppy Bowl” Spinoffs to Watch

For the animal lover who just can’t get enough of the on-field cuteness, there are a few spinoffs you can catch in between “Puppy Bowls.” The most well-known of which is probably the “Kitten Bowl,” which first aired in 2014 on the Hallmark Channel. Unfortunately, after airing from 2014 to 2021, the “Kitten Bowl” was canceled by Hallmark. The good news for fans, though, is that GAC has picked the show up. 

Beginning in 2023, fans can watch the renamed show — “Great American Rescue Bowl.” The revamped event will include more than just kittens. Dogs, cats, and puppies will all be included and all will be available for adoption. 

Other spinoffs included the short-lived “Puppy Games,” which aired against the “2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony.” “Dog Bowl” aired annually a day before the “Puppy Bowl” from 2018-2020.

The “Puppy Bowl” itself works to keep things fresh and viewers entertained. In 2009, they introduced a blimp, made to look similar to the Goodyear Blimp, that “flew” over the stadium during gameplay. The blimp was controlled by hamsters and made appearances up until 2020. 

In 2010 they brought in cheerleaders for the game. The cheerleaders originally were rabbits but have also been chickens, hedgehogs, penguins, goats, and, one year, a Piggy Pep Squad. From 2011-2020 the show included a “kiss cam.” In 2012 they introduced a cockatiel bird named Meep. Meep used Twitter to tweet about the game. In 2017 they introduced mascots for Team Ruff and Team Fluff, which that year were a screech owl and a chinchilla.

Discover More About Your Favorite Movies and Shows on BuddyTV

Animal Planet‘s “Puppy Bowl XIX” hasn’t been announced yet, but considering how popular the event is with viewers it likely is coming in February of 2023. Stay tuned to BuddyTV for all the latest details and news about the show, its adorable stars, and more. As we learn more details we will make sure to update you here. In the meantime, BuddyTV is here as your go-to for all the latest news and updates for your favorite shows and movies. 

Rebecca Swanson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV