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How to have a pet-friendly Super Bowl party

Posted by Stephanie St. Martin  January 31, 2013 06:43 AM

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Super Bowl Sunday is here. Whether you are cheering loudly for either team or just tuning in to watch the commercials, odds are you'll be watching the game with friends. And as with any good party, there will be countless snacks to munch on and decorations to enjoy. But how safe are these for your pets? Read the tips below on how you can have a pet-friendly Super Bowl party.

Watch where you put your food. Coffee table snacks put things at pet-level. As convenient as it is to have snacks on the coffee table, it gives your pet easy access to food. And a brazen pet will grab an easy snack! Talk to your guests before hand to remind them to watch their plates.

Keep things tidy. Don't leave Solo cups around. Dogs often love beer. And if it's not a doggy specific brew, it's not good for them. In other words, make sure your friends don't behave like animals.

Put your friends' shoes away. People who aren't pet owners tend to forget all the little things pets may do. And the last thing you want is for your friends to be leaving and their loafers to be destroyed. Put the shoes in a closet or a place where your pets can't get at them to be on the safe side.

Lose the foam finger. First, you aren't actually at the game. You are in your living room. And second, with an item like that in a pet’s presence, it can be easily destroyed. Once the foam is chewed and swallowed, it will cause obstructions and maybe even vomiting. (That's not the halftime show you were hoping to watch.) Avoid any easy to destroy decorations and keep things simple.

Create a quiet space. All that yelling and cheering can spook some pets. And we know the volume will be turned up. "Animals' hearing is much more acute than ours," says Dr. Brian Collins, Lecturer, Community Practice Service at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. "Create a space for your pet to escape to enjoy some peace and quiet."

Pets will want to come and go as they please, especially if they get uncomfortable with the noise. Make sure they have the freedom to leave the room if they wish.

Here's a closer look at foods to avoid and the foods that are safe on the menu:

Wings - Avoid.
We know - pizza, beer and wings are the staples of all Super Bowl feasts. But, wings are bad for pets. "Wings are spicy, fatty and have bones. They are one of the worst things to give pets," warns Dr. Brian Collins. If your friends are adamant about having wings, consider putting your pets in another room during the game.

Pizza - Some is ok.
Have friends who don't like to eat the crust? Fear not! "Dogs love 'pizza bones'," jokes Dr. Collins. "The crust with a little sauce or cheese is fine for dogs. But remember - no onions!"

Pigs in a Blanket - small amount ok.
Despite on the size of the pastry, you will want to watch how many your pet consumes. One or two of these treats are fine for pets.

Chips and Dip - no.
Chips tend to be salty, and salt isn't great for pets. So what can you offer instead? Those veggie platters that tend to go untouched. "If you want to give your pet a treat, use a carrot instead with very little dip," says Dr. Collins. "Again, make sure the dip doesn't contain onions. A French onion dip should not be given to pets."

Pretzels - unsalted ok.
Unsalted pretzels, though hard to find, are a better treat for pets.

And don't forget, the cutest game on television, The Puppy Bowl, airs on AnimalPlanet this Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Need tips for kids? Check out this article for ways you can throw a kid-friendly Super Bowl party.

Enjoy the game!

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