Super Bowl Foods: Don’t let your pet snack!

By Catherine Angle, DVM
Staff Veterinarian at Pet Poison Helpline®

Dog and Cat with FoodEvery year people open their homes to their friends and loved ones to watch the Super Bowl. As your house is filled with people, paper plates and plastic cups will likewise be filled with food and beverage and left on coffee tables, laps, and in the hands of little children for your four legged friends to sample. No matter which team you are rooting for, the Pet Poison Helpline® crew wants you to keep your pets safe and out of the emergency room. Here are a couple of food items to keep far away from pets or, if that isn’t an option, consider confining them.

  1. Guacamole: Seahawk fans keep your avocado away from your mascot because birds are very sensitive to it. For the rest of the animal kingdom the guacamole isn’t a big deal as long as there aren’t a lot of onions in it. Please don’t let dogs chew on the pits; once swallowed they are the perfect size to get stuck.
  2. Chocolate: You know the drill. Chocolate is very dangerous to dogs but not all chocolates are created equal. If your favorite canine helps themselves to the brownie pan give us a call so we can walk you through what to do next.
  3. Chicken Wings and tooth picks: The bones in chicken wings shatter easily leaving sharp ends and tooth picks are sharp to begin with. Both can cause serious health concerns for dogs and cats. If swallowed whole they can get stuck in the digestive tract and they can puncture the wall of the stomach or intestines and lead to life threatening peritonitis. Keep them both away from pets and invest in a covered garbage to keep curious animals at bay.
  4. Grapes and Raisins: It is so close to the New Year that most people have one friend that will destroy the spread of delicious unhealthy food with a fruit tray or vegetable platter. In their well-intended attempt to keep everyone healthy, their “ants on a log” could land your canine co-pilot a three day stay at the local animal hospital. These are a big deal. There is no lowest safe dose. Feel free to have a grape and raisin free party, I won’t judge.
  5. Chips and Cheesy Salsa Dip – There is nothing toxic about melted cheese and salsa. The peppers could lead to some vicious flatulence and the cheese to indigestion, constipation and pancreatitis. It is, however, an essential addition to the super bowl spread and if your cat licks it all up before your guests get there I wouldn’t be surprised if there are acts of retribution.