The Patriots might be down and out, but the Super Bowl must go on! We all love a chance to get together with some good friends and some good food, regardless of who’s on the field, and we hope you all have some exciting plans for this very special Sunday. But if there’s one thing worse than watching your team drop a pass, it’s watching a houseguest drop a garlic knot directly into your pup’s waiting mouth. That’s why we’ve put together this list of helpful Super Bowl safety tips, to get your pets out of the ER and into the endzone. So get ready to flag some common household dangers, tackle the safety hazards in your own home, and kick off your most pet-safe Super Bowl yet! No more football puns, though. We’re already burned out.
Fine. A few more. Since you asked nicely.
Play Defense at Kickoff
Our first Super Bowl safety callout starts the moment you let guests into your house, and it’s… well, letting guests into your house! While you’ll be eager to greet your friends, your pets will be equal parts excited and nervous about all these strange new people in their home. Frightened pets often make a quick break for the door, which can result in them escaping and becoming lost. Keep your defensive line especially tight while letting guests in and out of your house, and consider keeping your pets closed in a separate room at the beginning and end of your party. And if you haven’t microchipped your pet, there’s no time like the present!
Don’t Fumble the Food
If you’re playing in the Super Bowl, your game day meal is probably full of protein and complex carbs. If you’re watching from home, wings and chips are a more likely menu. But if you’re a dog or a cat, your game day meal should consist of the same pet-safe foods it usually does (and if you need a refresher, we’ve got you covered!).
While you probably don’t need to be told not to feed your dog chicken wings or a slice of pizza, well-meaning house guests may not have built up the same resistance to those sad puppy eyes. Make sure all your guests know not to share human food with pets, and keep plates and serving trays covered or otherwise out of reach. If the thought of a party where you can’t feed the pets is just too much to bear, consider setting out some host-approved kibble or treats for your guests to give instead. Unlike the real Super Bowl, now everyone wins!
Rep Your Colors Comfortably
The Super Bowl is all about showing off your team pride, and if you’ve bought your pet a jersey or a costume then a party is the perfect place for the big debut. But whether you’re rooting for the Pats or cheering on one of those other teams, you should always make sure any pet costume is safe and comfortable for your little superfan. Clothes can be strange and alarming to pets who aren’t used to wearing them, and they can easily restrict movement and vision, or cause overheating. Plus, your star quarterback might get more attention than they’re used to, which can cause them to become stressed and overwhelmed. Which leads nicely into our next topic…
Play It Cool
Super Bowl parties can be fun, but they can also be hectic - doubly so for your pets! Their home is full of strangers and so many new sights, sounds, and smells, not to mention the emotions! If you’re yelling at the TV during a touchdown or feeling stressed over a double overtime nail-biter, your pets might pick up on that and behave accordingly. That’s why it’s extra important to keep a close eye on your pet during the party, and to monitor for any signs of stress or discomfort. If you notice your pet lowering their ears, hunching up, or hiding under furniture, call a timeout and move them away from the action. Your guests might miss them, but your pet will appreciate having a quiet space to recoup before the fourth quarter.
Have a Post-Game Wrap-Up
The winners are hoisting the trophy and your guests are headed home, but a host’s work is never done. As strong as the urge to say “I’ll deal with it tomorrow” might be, your future self will thank you for cleaning up now. Dirty plates, half-empty cups, and dropped bits of food all pose a potential danger to pets, and should be dealt with as soon as the party’s over (or ideally, during the party itself). It may not be fun, but it’s a small price to pay to keep your pet happy and healthy!
Remember the Off-Season
We’ve been talking about Super Bowl parties today, but a lot of this advice stays good year-round. Just because the party is over and your jersey is packed up until next year doesn’t mean we have to forget what we’ve learned! Keeping your pet away from ingestion hazards, keeping a close eye on them when guests are over, and being mindful of clothes and costumes are all good habits that will serve you well the other 364 days a year.
Of course, try as we might, we can’t answer everything in a single blog post. If you have questions we haven’t answered here, or are reading this after the Super Bowl and are worried your pet might have gotten into something at your party, make like we’re Tom Brady and give us a ring! And if you’re reading this in the present and are still ramping up to your Super Bowl party, it might not be a bad idea to bookmark our emergency resources page as well. Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s always better safety than sorry!
Alright. Puns are done for real now.