It’s an exciting time here in Broncos Country—with Sunday’s victory in the AFC Championship Game, the Denver Broncos are headed to Super Bowl 50! And you know what that means—football parties with family, friends, and lots of food. But with all of the fanfare, it’s easy for our pets to get lost—or even frightened or injured—during the festivities.
To score big when it comes to your pets’ comfort and safety, follow these tips from the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association and avoid any penalties during the big game!
Keep pets on the sidelines. Some pets don’t feel comfortable around groups of people and may become fearful or stressed out. Loud noises like cheering, yelling, clapping, or jumping around can cause anxiety in pets. Make sure your pet has a quiet place to go to get away from the commotion in case they need a break. Cats, in particular, will likely enjoy a quiet, closed room away from the festivities.
Defend exit routes. Guests might not be as conscious of your pet’s whereabouts, so always be aware of people going in and out of your home. Leaving the door open for even a second can give your pet the opportunity to escape, and not all guests will make good blockers. Pets that are skittish around people might be especially determined to bolt.
Avoid interceptions. Be sure to keep any food or drinks that are harmful to pets away from where they can easily intercept them. Some of the most popular Super Bowl snacks can be deadly if consumed by animals. Things to avoid:
- Wings. As a staple of football parties, it’s estimated that Americans will consume over 1.25 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday, and while it may seem like a good idea to give a dog a bone, these can cause intestinal obstruction or choking because they splinter easily.
- Alcohol. Pets are not able to metabolize alcohol like humans can. Even small amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, coma, or even death. If you suspect that your pet has ingested alcohol, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.
- Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine. These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and even death.
- Salt and salty snack foods. Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Avoid feeding salt-heavy snacks like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn to your pets.
- Fatty foods. Fat trimmings from meats like barbecued ribs are hard for animals to digest, and can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis.
- Nuts. Certain nuts, especially macadamias, can poison your pets. They contain high amounts of oils and fats, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis.
Make sure your pets have their own food, treats, or toys to keep them entertained, and remind your guests not to give in to those puppy eyes.
Keep an eye on the rookies. If your dog or cat isn’t used to having youngsters around, you may want to find a quiet room for your pet just to be sure that there are no surprises. If your pet will be joining the party, be sure to watch how the kids and pets interact and set some ground rules so your younger guests know what your pets tolerate and enjoy.
Follow these tips and you’ll be the real MVP on Super Bowl Sunday (at least in the eyes of your furry friends). Go Broncos!
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