Updated October 1, 2019

There are few things more enjoyable than gathering with friends and family to watch football on the weekend. But while you plan your football party festivities, keep your four-legged fans in mind. Many of the foods and drinks that are synonymous with the big game could spell trouble for pets. Be sure to include your pets in your planning because nothing will spoil halftime like having to rush your pet to the emergency room!

8 party treats that are hazardous for your pet:

1. Alcohol

Football and beer seem to go hand in hand, but unattended drinks could entice your pet. Not only is alcohol dangerous to our pets due to their smaller size, but their bodies aren’t able to metabolize the alcohol as well as humans can.

2. Chicken wings

It’s really not a football party without a platter of chicken wings, and for pets, it’s just too tempting to pass up. Spicy chicken wings can easily do a number on your pet’s gastrointestinal system, causing vomiting and diarrhea, but those little bones pose their own threat.

The dangers of bones lie in their brittle nature, which causes them to splinter easily. They can puncture your pet’s mouth, stomach or intestines. Bones can also pose a foreign body threat once they pass into the intestine. Avoid a dog insurance claim and throw bones away. 

3. Chips and dip

There’s usually nothing toxic about chips and dip (unless your dip contains garlic or onions), but these snack foods are loaded with fat. Diarrhea or vomiting can occur with any change in diet, but bingeing on fatty foods can also lead to pancreatitis, especially in breeds that are predisposed, like Schnauzers.

4. Onion rings

Those crunchy, golden rings of goodness are a party staple, but onions and garlic are toxic to pets. If consumed in large enough quantities, snacks containing onions can cause red blood cell damage and destruction, leading to life-threatening anemia.

5. Nuts

Many nut varieties have a bad effect on a pet’s nervous system. Macadamia nuts cause weakness, tremors, vomiting, and an elevated temperature. There is no exact dose that is toxic, so do your best to avoid them altogether.

6. Guacamole

Avocados contain a toxin called persin, which rarely affects dogs and cats, but since they are high in fat, they may cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Another threat to pet health has to do with the pit. If ingested, the avocado pit can become lodged in the intestinal tract, causing a life-threatening obstruction. Once your avocados are turned into guacamole, you still need to be vigilant. Guacamole, while delicious, is chock-full of those pesky onions and garlic we’ve already mentioned.

7. Appetizers with toothpicks

Appetizers that have a toothpick holding them together pose another threat to our pets. When your pet pops the whole thing in his mouth, the toothpick will go down the hatch, too. Toothpicks are sharp and may puncture their mouth or gastrointestinal tract.

8. Grapes

Sometimes we need to cleanse our palate with a healthy dose of fruit. If your fruit platter contains grapes, keep a close eye on it. Grapes and raisins both pose a serious health risk to your pet, wreaking havoc on the kidneys.

friends watching TV with dog

Make a game plan

With friends and family cheering at the blaring television, there’s a lot more noise than usual. This may present a problem to your pets if they aren’t used to crowds and loud noises, especially pets with anxiety. To prevent any anxiety-related issues and food toxicities, prepare your pets by following these tips:

  • Make sure to give pets plenty of exercise before guests arrive. A tired pet is less likely to go looking for trouble.
  • Secure pets in a crate or keep them in a different room away from the party so they feel secure.
  • Remind guests not to slip pets any food.
  • Supervise pets and keep all food and drinks out of reach, and keep lids locked tightly on trash cans.
  • Consider boarding your pet for the big day.
  • Choose your decorations wisely. Cats are likely to play with balloon strings and streamers. If ingested, these decorations can cause an obstruction in the stomach and intestines, which can be deadly.
Jan 8, 2018
Pet Health

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