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Super Bowl LI (51) is almost here! And with it, Super Bowl parties! Whether you’re cheering on the Patriots or Falcons, Team Ruff or Team Fluff, throwing a party is great way to celebrate with friends. However, be sure to take a moment and give some extra thought to the animals you share your space with. You want to throw a great party but not at the expense of your pet. Is it their first party? Are your guests animal lovers or deathly allergic? Here’s your pregame playbook that will keep your home a happy and healthy space for your pet.
Is your pet suiting up for the Big Game? Donning her best Falcons or Patriots jersey? First, make sure your pet is OK with clothing and accessories. Pets who resist being dressed or those who completely freeze up once clothed should never be forced to wear clothing. If your pet doesn’t mind being dressed, make sure the clothing doesn’t chafe, scratch, or otherwise irritate them. And avoid anything that affects their mobility or vision. Keeping these tips in mind will make sure your mascot can sport their team colors without causing them undue stress or discomfort.
Whether your pet likes being in the thick of the action or would rather ride out the storm under a bed, it’s important to remember Super Bowl parties are a big departure from most pet’s daily routines. If your pet needs their own space be sure to create one in a room where they can relax undisturbed with all their usual amenities. Even if they’re usually fine mingling freely it’s best to keep an eye on them especially if the party is particularly crowded, raucous, or if there are many children. Know when your pet is ready to play or when they need to take five on the bench.
He… Could… Go… All… The… Way!
Guests will be coming and going and it’s not uncommon for a door to be left open or ajar, particularly as the party wears on. An open door is an invitation to trouble for adventurous pets or for animals who are perhaps feeling stressed by the party. Post a sign to let your guests know you need their help. It can be simple and hand-written or a more elaborate sign. A mention on the invitation couldn’t hurt and is also courteous to guests who may have allergies or are not animal lovers. Is your pet an escape artist? Check out our microchipping resource page to protect your pet!
A pet’s dream of a surprise treat unfortunately often collides with the reality that many human snacks can make our furred friends unwell.
Molly hoped I’d omit this section. Sorry pup! It’s for your own good! (Photo: M. Cahill)
Common party staples such as brownies contain chocolate which is poisonous to both cats and dogs. Guacamole very often includes garlic and onions, both toxic to dogs and cats. Alcohol can also be toxic so be sure adult beverages are not accessible to pets and spills are cleaned up quickly. Check out this handy list to brush up on foods to keep out of your pet’s reach. If you’d like to prepare your pet a special Super Bowl treat, here are some delicious suggestions we’ve previously offered.
Decorations and party favors are staples of any party. Remember that popped balloons can easily startle animals and a balloon’s remains can pose a choking or blockage hazard to inquisitive animals. Streamers and strings may also become chew targets for pets. In addition to posing the same risks as popped balloons, streamers may also contain unhealthy dyes. Minimize or keep potentially hazardous items out of reach. Or better yet, go with pet-safe decorations like a life-size cut-out of your favorite player.