.The Super Bowl is a big day for millions of Americans, a bunch of who host parties right in their homes, complete with wings, chips and dip, and plenty of beer. While it’s convenient and fun to party in your own living room, it’s not always great for your dog, who probably loves the excitement and the food—but also needs to stay safe. Here is a rundown of the most popular Super Bowl foods dogs should never eat.
According to veterinarian Alysper Cormanes, your pup should stay away from these foods in your spread while you watch the game:
- Chicken wings are a bad idea for dogs because they can swallow the sharp little bones, leading to major trouble. While your pooch can eat plain chicken in small amounts, keep in mind it can be an allergen for pups with sensitive skin—and you should never feed any dog the outer coating of a wing, especially if it has strong or spicy sauces or flavors on it. Garlic and onion powder are especially harmful for dogs.
- Nachos should be avoided because of their high herb, spice, and salt content, though a plain tortilla chip as a one-off snack is fine. Smaller dogs are especially at risk for salt toxicosis, as canines don’t have the same salt threshold as humans. Avoid cheese dips, too, as they can cause diarrhea and/or vomiting. You don’t want to learn your dog is lactose intolerant during a nail-biter play.
- Pizza is OK in small amounts, especially the crust, although that should also be avoided for dogs who have fat or caloric intake restrictions. Again, onions and garlic are bad for dogs, as are cives, shallots, leeks, and pepperoni. Basically, your furry friend shouldn’t eat any pizza toppings, no matter how hard they beg.
- Cookies might seem fine as long as they don’t have chocolate, but you should still keep them away from your dog even if they’re missing that well-known toxic ingredient. Raisins could lead to kidney failure, and walnuts, macadamias, and pistachios are toxic, too, to say nothing of the previously-mentioned lactose intolerance you might discover because of milks, creams, or dairy-based toppings.
- Burgers are actually fine—as long as they’re totally plain. Don’t give a dog a slider with any condiments, onions, or cheese on it, though. If you plan to feed your pup a burger or two as a treat, make separate lean, unsalted patties for them.
- Guacamole is a no-go for pups because avocados contain a substance called persin, which is toxic in large amounts. Guac is also especially bad because of the onions, herbs, spices, and salt you may add.
- Chili should also be avoided because of its herb content (once again, no onion and garlic for dogs). Also, chili powder contains capsaicin, which will irritate your dog and cause a burning sensation, and may lead to stomach issues.
- Potato skins are fine as a rare, portioned treat, but because they contain oxalates, large or frequent portions can cause long-term trouble for their kidneys.
- Pigs in a blanket are rough for pups because long-term, too much fatty content can lead to pancreatitis. You can give them a small amount, but keep an eye on it—and don’t even risk it for a dog with a dietary or caloric restriction.
Super Bowl party dog safety
Cormanes told Lifehacker that the general rule to stick with for dog-snacking is, “If you’re not sure it’s safe, don’t give it.” She suggested familiarizing yourself with certified dog-safe treats you can feed them so they still have a treat while everyone else is chowing down on the human food. You can even make some yourself, if you’re not too overbooked with making those nachos and potato skins.
As for other safety tips, you should let your guests know you have a dog and that they shouldn’t feed them any unsafe foods either (or that they can’t feed the dog at all, to be extra safe). She added, “If you’re planning on hosting a particularly big party, you might want to consider giving them a separate area.” It can be hard to keep track of guests and pets; plus people can get rowdy, which can make pups nervous. Keep your dogs in a room with food and water and don’t forget to visit them every once in a while, ideally with a treat. This is especially key if new people are coming over, which might make your dog uncomfortable.