How to keep your Super Bowl party from harming your pet

Even the most football-obsessed owners have to remember their pets may need special attention during the Super Bowl, according to veterinarians Debra Horwitz and Marty Becker. The noise and activity, coupled with all the guests and food that often accompany the Super Bowl, can cause stress for pets, and owners should take time to pet their animals, take them out for bathroom breaks, avoid feeding them human food and give anxious pets a quiet room away from the festivities if needed, they advise.

If you’re an American, have eyes and ears, and enjoy eating, then you’re probably celebrating Super Bowl Sunday this weekend — that wonderful time of year when it’s all about delicious finger foods, screaming fans and, yeah, football too.

But while you’re shrieking at the TV and jumping around like you’ve never seen a football game before in your life, your poor, confused pets will be taking the brunt of your excitement.

That’s why animal behaviorist Dr. Debra Horwitz and “America’s Veterinarian” Dr. Marty Becker have partnered with Petco to help you help your pet cope with football fever.


1. Don’t forget your pets’ needs.

Just because the biggest game of the year is on TV doesn’t mean your pet can forgo his bathroom breaks and social needs. Record the commercials — or watch them online later — and use that time to tend to your four-legged friend. You can even take a quick trip to the dog park if you can stand missing a few minutes of the game.

2. Keep the greasy wings away.

We mean from your dog — although it wouldn’t hurt if you banned them from your own stomach as well. Do not be tempted to throw fattening foods to your pets — particularly chicken wings, which they can choke on. And make sure to remind your guests to refrain from the same.

3. Pause and pet.

There are moments during the Super Bowl when even humans can get a tad frightened by the screaming fans — especially when you’re not paying attention (or have no idea what’s going on). So how do you think your pets feel when your neighbor takes a flying leap at the television? Make sure to take a few moments during the game to show your pet some love. The best part? Stopping to pet your dog (or even watching fish swim) can help reduce your blood pressure and decrease cortisol, a hormone related to stress and anxiety.

4. Find a quiet place.

If you find your pet looking anxious, set aside a quiet room for him to retreat. It will calm him down and even give you some relief from the insanity.

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