The waiting is almost over and the competitors are drooling in anticipation. The big game is on Sunday. Rawhide bones are being anxiously destroyed, but soon ears will perk and heads will tilt when the first squeaky toy is tossed for 2012's Puppy Bowl VIII on Animal Planet, Sunday February 5th at 3PM Eastern/Pacific.

While sports commentators in garish neckties are in their gazillionth hour of making up things to talk about before the human game begins, you should be tuned into Animal Planet where it’s every pup for himself and cuteness totally counts.

The game starts at 3 PM Eastern and Pacific on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5th 2012. If you’re somewhere in the middle get to that TV by 1 or 2 PM. It’s three hours of tail wagging, fluff flying, puppy flopping adorableness that no Super Bowl Sunday is now complete without.

The starting line-up of contenders have had their nails clipped, their coats brushed and are warming up their tails for the competition. We’ve introduced you to Fumble, HunterAberdeen, Baskin, GracieJoni and Fonzi, but you can see them all in their pre-game faces.

This year, the tail-gaters will return and fans are lining up to see the new Piggy Pep Squad. And stay close to the internet, because Meep the Bird will be tweeting all the action from the Animal Planet stadium. Everyone is putting on their puppy pride and hoping they will have a part in one of the great moments in puppy bowl history.

More From TheFW