Want to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding? A Pet Wedding Attendant Could Help

·3 min read
Kiley Ossello with Ollie, the Dalmatian
Kiley Ossello with Ollie, the Dalmatian

Courtesy of Kiley Ossello

Kiley Ossello is a Kansas City business owner and lifelong dog lover who is changing the way people in the midwest get married. She's making it easier for dog owners in her area to include their pets in their weddings—and it's a pretty genius business model.

Ossello's company, Lending A Paw, assists couples on their wedding day by getting their pooches to and from the venue. Her day-of event service includes everything from providing food and water to escorting your pup down the aisle.

The idea came to Ossello when there was a hitch in her own wedding planning. Ossello and her fiancé wanted their Dalmatian, Ollie, to be part of their wedding day—but the logistics were tough to work out.

"I couldn't figure out a way to get [Ollie] there without having a family member or a friend bring her to the venue for pictures," Ossello tells Daily Paws. "And I didn't want them to miss out on pictures or part of the reception worrying about Ollie and taking her to be boarded afterward."

Ultimately, Ossello and her fiance made the choice to board Ollie during their wedding, though it pained them not to have their precious pup there for their big day. But she decided to make the best of the situation by ensuring other couples could have a better experience in the future. Ossello started pitching her business idea to friends and family, and with their positive feedback, she launched Lending a Paw.

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Ossello launched her business just this year and is already seeing success. She tells Daily Paws the delay of weddings in 2020—and the onslaught of pet adoptions during the COVID-19 pandemic—have helped boost business. It also helps that modern couples are more likely to include their pets in important life events.

"We're all obsessed with our dogs—they need to be a part of everything," Ossello says.

Lending A Paw offers an impressive range of day-of services and can be used for weddings and other big events like proposals, photo sessions, and more. Beyond the basics, Ossello will also bring along toys to keep your pooch entertained during downtime, can take them to get groomed before your event, take care of pet waste removal, and more.

"Whatever they're needing during that day, I'm basically their pet handler," says Ossello. "I'll be there to bring the dog wherever they need it to be, and then I can stay at the ceremony or reception to make sure that someone is watching the dog if they want them there."

To help the day go smoothly, Ossello likes to meet with couples before the event to help dogs feel more comfortable hanging out with her on the wedding day. She's considering expanding her service to include cats and hopes that someday she can grow Lending A Paw to include their own grooming and boarding services.

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We're definitely impressed with this incredible service for pet parents—and low-key a little bummed out we didn't think of the idea! We hope to see the idea take off in more cities, and we're wishing Ossello tons of success in her new venture with lots of happy couples and their furry family members celebrating together.