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The big game is here, and many of us enjoy watching it with our loved ones—and that includes our pets. It’s pretty common for sports fans to throw a party and prepare snacks, leaving items around the house that can be dangerous to dogs. We here at PetPlace want to keep your dog safe, so below we’ve listed the most common dangers so you can protect your pooch and enjoy the fun in the best way possible.
Please note that one of the reasons some foods are so dangerous is because some dogs will steal food off tables, gaining access to things they would never be given directly. You might be less likely to notice your dog’s behavior if you become distracted by conversations or watching the game, so you may want to consider either placing snacks on higher tables or even going without them entirely for the safest celebration.
Below are some of the most common dangers:
1. Toothpicks and skewers: These items are common as a way to serve small snacks such as cocktail sausages, but they can seem like tasty treats to dogs that can result in major injuries. Pets smell the meat on the picks and eat them, and the sticks can get caught in their mouths or throats. There have even been reports of the wood picks puncturing the stomachs and intestines in dogs.
2. Grapes: Many snack tables also contain fresh fruit such as grapes. These can be dangerous to dogs by causing kidney failure, so please steer clear.
3. Cookies with Raisins: Just as grapes are toxic, so are raisins. Not every dog is affected but as little as a few raisins has the potential to be toxic to some (especially smaller or older dogs). Don’t drop or give your dog a bite of your oatmeal raisin cookies by any means.
4. Avocado Pits: Making guacamole? Keep this kitchen trash far away from your pooch. Some dogs enjoy chewing on the pits, and they can choke on them. If you make items using avocados, take special care to put the pits in a covered trashcan.
5. Chocolate: It’s fairly well known among pet lovers that chocolate can be toxic to dogs in large amounts, but please don’t take any changes. A single chocolate chip probably isn’t going to do any harm but large amounts of chocolate can be toxic, and you don’t want to leave bags of baking supplies lying around where your dog can get to them.
6. Chicken Wings: These are a major danger to dogs because the bones in the wings can be sharp and dangerous. Bones can get stuck in the digestive track or cause gastrointestinal upset.
7. Rib Bones: Just as chicken wings can be dangerous, so can the leftover bones from a rib cookout. They can be chewed into sharp edges that can cause cuts to the gums or oral tissues, damage to the stomach or intestines, or eventually lead to constipation. The rich sauces covering them can contain toxic ingredients such as onions or irritate sensitive stomach and intestinal tissues.
8. Fatty Foods: And speaking of rich and fat-laden foods, dogs love them just as humans do, but they can cause pancreatitis. This gastrointestinal problem can affect any dog, but small breed dogs such as Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Miniature Schnauzers are particularly prone to it. Symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting, abdominal pain, and (occasionally) diarrhea.
9. Macadamia Nuts: One little jar can hold a lot of problems for your pet. The mechanism behind why these nuts are toxic is unknown, but as few as 6 and as many as 40 nuts in dogs have caused severe toxic symptoms. Dogs can develop weakness, depression, vomiting, difficulty walking, tremors, abdominal pain, lameness, stiffness, and pale gums after ingestion, so please keep the snack mixes far from your dog.
10. Onions or Garlic: Dogs and cats lack the enzymes necessary to properly digest onions, and this could result in gas, vomiting, diarrhea, or severe gastrointestinal distress. Severe anemia and even death can occur if the dog ingests lots of onions or garlic and receives no treatment.
11. Xylitol: This is a sugar-alcohol sweetener found in sugar-free human food products such as chewing gum, candy, and most recently peanut butter as well as a number of other products. Dogs that eat significant amounts can develop a sudden drop in blood sugar, which can cause weakness, lethargy, loss of coordination, collapse and seizures. Severe toxicity can cause liver failure.
12. Decorations: These aren’t food, technically speaking, but some dogs sure do think they are. Many pets will chew on and ingest all manner of plastic decorative picks, streamers, beads, banners, and more if they can get their paws (or mouth) on them. These can cause severe perforation and blockages in your dog’s sensitive digestive system, so please keep them far from your dog’s reach.
13. Alcohol: Beer often goes hand-in-hand with Super Bowl parties and tailgates, but it can pose a severe issue to your dog’s liver and kidneys if ingested. I know it might seem funny to let your dog “join in” the celebrations, but please keep alcohol far from his or her reach. This goes for items marinated in or cooked with beer as well, just to be on the safe side.
As you prepare your menu for your company, please consult this list and make sure you’re taking the proper precautions. To be on the safe side, you may want to consider not including some of the dangerous items such as cookies with raisins and snacks with toothpicks. We hope these tips help keep your dog safe and hope your entire family (pets included!) have a great game day.