As the biggest football game of the year approaches many of us are planning our party menus. If you’re a pet parent, you may be wondering what you can and can’t feed your furry friend as they join in on the fun. While it’s crucial to make sure that what’s in your bowl isn’t harmful to your pup, having them take part in the festivities helps make the occasion memorable for you both.
Here’s a quick rundown of some common Super Bowl food staples and whether or not they’re safe for your dog to eat. In some cases, a seasoning, topping or sauce makes all the difference between a treat that’s safe for your pup in small quantities and a food they should absolutely avoid.
To help, veterinarian, Dr. Alysper Cormanes at Veterinarians.org has shared some foods you can share as well as some you should avoid giving your pet at Super Bowl gatherings. So before breaking out the chips and dip, check out the list of foods that are fair game (and foul) on Super Bowl Sunday.
Hot dogs or pigs in a blanket are a classic game day food. However, when it comes to sharing them with your pet, it’s best to do so moderation as they can be high in fat, calories, and salt.
“You can easily give your begging puppy a bit too much and it can lead to pancreatitis because they will have a harder time digesting the fatty contents,” Cormanes said. “Dogs that are obese or have dietary restrictions should skip this snack entirely.”
In addition, onion and garlic, two common ingredients found in hot dogs, can cause anemia when consumed by dogs and thus should be avoided.
Pizza is another popular choice for Super Bowl parties that your dog might be able to sample, depending on the ingredients.
“What makes pizza bad for dogs is that the main components of pizza toppings are potentially harmful to them,” Cormanes explains. “Onions, garlic, chives, shallots, and leeks cause toxicity in dogs by damaging red blood cell membranes. Pepperoni has been shown to cause gastroenteritis and salt toxicosis in large amounts. The pizza sauces often contain too many spices for dogs to safely consume, and the dairy can cause some stomach upset in dogs that are sensitive to lactose.”
Chicken wings, another game day favorite, are usually safe for dogs to eat as long as there are no bones present. However, if they have bones, Cormanes says to think twice.
“They may look small and harmless, but if they break and are swallowed at the wrong angle, that sharp bone edge could lodge somewhere and could spell a whole lot of trouble,” Cormanes says.
In addition, many sauces used on the wings may contain onion or garlic powder, which can be toxic to dogs. They may also have strong, spicy flavors that could cause gastrointestinal trouble. Plain, boneless chicken is the best option for pets.
Nachos or chips and dip are another common snack at Super Bowl parties, but again, there are some things to watch out for here too. Many dips (like guacamole) contain avocado, which is toxic to dogs. And chips tend to be high in salt content, which isn’t good for their health either.
“A plain tortilla chip is generally safe to be given to your dogs, but only as an occasional very small snack,” Cormanes said. “Flavored nachos are bad for your dogs as they usually contain harmful herbs and spices and a lot of salt. Dogs do not have the same threshold as humans do with the amount of salt we can safely have and can develop salt toxicosis, especially breeds that are smaller. Especially avoid the nacho dips and sauces that are harmful for the same reason, cheese-based ones are especially bad for dogs that are lactose intolerant and may cause diarrhea and/or vomiting.”
Whether you prefer grilling in the backyard or ordering in, burgers and sliders are always a hit at Super Bowl gatherings. If you share with your pup, be sure to keep it plain and simple.
“Strip your burger of sauces and condiments, onions and cheese, and thoroughly cook the meat and you are good to go,” Cormanes says.
Chili is a hugely popular food to eat while watching the Super Bowl, but it’s best to avoid giving any of this comfort food to your furry family member.
“Chili is a bad choice to be served to your dog because it almost always will contain herbs that are toxic to them,” Cormanes explains. “Onion and garlic, and chili powder which contains a chemical called capsaicin will cause irritation and a burning sensation for your dogs and they will eventually have stomach problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and gas.”
Potato skins are a delicious, satisfying food that is safe for dogs and humans alike to consume, but in moderation.
“They contain oxalates, these oxalates can cause trouble for your pet in the long run because this may lead to kidney problems in the form of crystals in their bladder or urinary tract,” Dr. Cormanes explained.
To ensure safe snacking, avoid giving them any extras like cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream.
It’s important to know what snacks your furry friends can and cannot eat while you’re celebrating the big game. So before you let your pup indulge in whatever’s on the table, take a look at this list of foods and double check.