Behold the cuteness!

By Meghan Overdeep
January 12, 2018

With Super Bowl LII less than one month away, the countdown to the cutest competition of the year is officially on. Now in its 14th consecutive year, Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl will make its triumphant return to television sets on Feb. 4.

This year, 39 adoptable puppy players from rescues across the country will represent Team Ruff and Team Fluff as they go paw to paw in an epic battle for the "Lombarky" trophy.

Puppy Bowl XIV features pups rescued from areas that were devastated by natural disasters in 2017, including Houston, Puerto Rico and Florida. This year's lineup also features four special needs puppy players including Ryder (a sight-impaired Husky), Chance (a deaf Dalmatian), Moonshine (a sight-impaired and deaf Border Collie) and Luna (a Pomeranian mix with a cleft palate).

Southern Living spoke with Bada** Brooklyn Animal Rescue, a New York City-based rescue fielding two miniature poodle/chihuahua mixes (J-Paw and Blueberry Pie) about how their fury athletes are preparing for the big game. According to BBAR, both fluffy competitors are "bulking up with a high-carb, high-protein diet—aka all the treats." And, for good luck, both pups plan to "pee on their lucky fire hydrant right before the match, though Blueberry Pie believes peeing on the referee is good luck, so we can't promise she won't be a little naughty."

The pawesome-ness begins at 4pm EST on Animal Planet. In the meantime, check out the full lineup at