Super Bowl® Sunday is just a few days away and many of us are counting down the minutes until parties, time with friends, rooting for our favorite team and most of all, the food! But, with parties comes extra people, plates full of food and cups full of beverages that are left within paw’s reach. Whether your gathering is large or small, it’s important to keep your pet’s safety top of mind, and to help you do so, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) put together this list of popular Super Bowl® items that could pose a threat to your pet.
Alcoholic drinks are commonly consumed during the Super Bowl® but even a small amount of alcohol can cause a pet to become unsteady on their feet, making them more prone to injuring themselves. If they vomit after taking a few laps of your alcoholic beverage, they are at risk for aspirating and developing breathing difficulties and in higher doses they can develop low blood pressure and hypothermia. In very large amounts, consuming alcohol can even lead to coma and death. Be sure to keep the booze out of your pet’s reach!
While guacamole is a staple at most parties, unfortunately, the persin in avocados may cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset in dogs and cats, and could be fatal to any birds living in the home. Dogs and cats may develop pancreatitis due to the fat content in the avocado if enough is ingested, and if the pit is ingested, it may cause an intestinal obstruction.
Coffee, teas and other drinks that contain caffeine can cause hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythms and seizures. In very high doses of caffeine, death can occur. Make sure to keep an eye on your pet near caffeine products!
Chips and dip:
It’s not a Super Bowl® party without some chips and dip, but be careful of salt, onion and garlic. If consumed by pets, too much salt could lead to excess thirst, more frequent urination and sodium toxicity. Onions and garlic in larger amounts can cause damage to the membranes of the red blood cells leading to cell destruction and anemia. Cheese dips are yummy, but too much cheese can lead to GI upset and pancreatitis.
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine as well as caffeine. High doses of these ingredients can cause vomiting and diarrhea, increased thirst and increased urination and hyperactivity. At higher doses an elevated heart rate, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures and even death can occur.
Grapes and raisins:
Grapes and raisins can lead to renal injury in dogs. If you or your guests have any desserts or party mixes that contain these items, be sure to keep them well out of reach of your pet.
Most nuts lead to GI upset, but some nuts such as macadamias can cause more significant signs in dogs. If enough macadamia nuts are ingested, your dog may develop vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty walking, weakness of the hind legs and an elevated body temperature. The exact cause is unknown, but signs will often develop within 24 hours of exposure and a full recovery is expected within 24-72 hours.
Backpacks, purses and bags:
People often have prescription and non-prescription medications with them, and curious pets may snoop into pockets and purses and consume something harmful. Be sure to keep these in a room with a door that can be closed so that they are well out of the way of snooping noses.
Be sure to keep all of the above items away from your pet to ensure your Super Bowl® party stays safe and fun!
If you suspect your pet may have ingested a toxic substance, please contact your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.