February 1, 2018

Pet Safety on Super Bowl® Sunday: What You Need to Know

puppy with a toy plush football and megaphone

Every February, countless sports fans gather in front of their televisions, ready for the year’s biggest football game: The Super Bowl®. During this time, when attention is focused on touchdowns, cheers, commercials and snacks, pets can get into all kinds of things they shouldn’t—things that could be a potential danger. So, just in time for the big game, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has a few Super Bowl® do’s and don’ts to help you ensure that your pets are safe and sound. 

Foods

If something smells delicious to you, it will probably smell even better to your pet. But as you know, many tasty treats we may enjoy can cause serious health concerns for your furry friends. 

Don’t: 

Feed or let your pet get into chicken wings, creamy dip, pizza, chocolate desserts and potato chips. The spread for the big game can cause stomach upset and potentially pancreatitis. 

Be especially careful about any foods that might have garlic and/or onion in them, as they can cause damage to the red blood cells and kidneys. Additionally, chocolate, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins and salty snack foods should be kept away from pets. 

Do: 

Have a bowl of special treats you know your pet loves, or even your pet’s regular food, that guests can give to your four-legged-friend as a snack. That way, everyone can get something special to eat!

Alcohol, Prescription Medications, and Other Recreational Substances

For many people, adult beverages are part of the Super Bowl® celebrations. Adding guests to the mix also means that they may bring with them medications or other potentially harmful substances you should be on alert for.  

Don’t:

Leave alcoholic beverages or other recreational substances unattended. Glasses may be left unattended while people hurry to the kitchen or crowd around the television, and pets can easily lap them up. 

It’s also common for pets to get into marijuana and marijuana-infused baked goods, such as brownies, on game day. Both alcohol and items containing marijuana—especially if they are chocolate brownies—can have adverse and possibly dangerous effects on your pet. Keep in mind, it’s also not uncommon for pets to be exposed to these items the Monday after Game Day, since partygoers may leave something behind—giving your pet ample opportunity to find forbidden treats overnight or while his owner is at work. 

With all the people attending Super Bowl® parties, it’s not surprising that some guests bring medications along as well. Pets at parties often will grab medications out of a guest’s pocket or purse, or consume something foreign that may have been dropped on the floor. 

Do:

Take your glass with you and any put alcoholic beverages or recreational substances up out of paws’ reach. 

Ensure that any medications are not kept where pets can get to them, and that they are taken behind closed doors, just in case one or two pills are dropped. 

Clean up as you go! Don’t leave any plates or trash around for curious noses to get into. 

If you suspect your pet has been exposed to any poisonous substances or ingested anything harmful, contact your veterinarian or call Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at 888-426-4435 immediately.