Puppy Bowl IX is almost here! One of the most-anticipated Super Bowl half-time events every year since 2005, Animal Planet's doggie football competition is a cute, furry diversion from all the human brutality sure to take place when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Baltimore Ravens on Feb. 3, 2013.

This article provides everything you need to know about the annual event, from where to watch a free online live stream of the competition and what TV channel to view it on to a simple breakdown of the rules and an introduction to this year's teams.

Follow along with all the furry action via online live stream by clicking this link, which will take you to Animal Planet's official video feed once the tails start wagging on Super Bowl Sunday.

And if you'd rather watch the Puppy Bowl on your TV, simply flip to Animal Planet as soon as halftime begins if you want to be sure you don't miss any of the adorable action. Find out what channel Animal Planet is on your cable provider and in your area by clicking this link and typing in the pertinent information.

Dubbed "the biggest event on all fours" by Animal Planetthe Puppy Bowl is one of the cutest events of the year, featuring adorable young doggies who face off in a modified version of a football game.

The puppies play on two teams in a model stadium set up by Animal Planet. In order to score, a puppy needs to bring a chew toy into the opposing team's end zone. Sportscasters provide commentary and background on the individual dogs during the game, and a referee is on hand to keep score and ensure that no one breaks the rules -- if that's even possible in the Puppy Bowl.

Most of the puppy players are found at pet adoption centers, and adoption information is provided during the game so viewers can actually take one or more of the furry participants home if they are so inclined (don't tell your kids this fact if you don't want a fuzzy quarterback running an offense in your living room soon.)

Information about the individual puppy players participating in this year's football showdown can be found on Animal Planet's official line-up page, which you can reach by clicking this link. Believe us, it's worth a few minutes of clicking through to see the photos of all the furry contenders, from Blitz the terrier mix to Winston the miniature pinscher.

Though the official Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show is by far the most popular source of halftime entertainment, the Puppy Bowl is a family-friendly, fun alternative. At least you won't have to wonder whether or not Beyonce is lip-syncing during her performance, as she did during her rendition of the National Anthem at the 2013 Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Click this link for more information, and click play below to watch a video that will give you an idea of what you'll be treated to if you tune in to this year's Puppy Bowl: