Foods Your Pet Should Avoid During the Super Bowl

Don’t miss a single touchdown because of an emergency vet visit.

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Make Sure Your Pet Stays Safe During Super Bowl

Super Bowl family

Photo by Juan Silva

Photo by Juan Silva

Football’s biggest night is almost here which means fans will be eating, drinking and watching the play-by-play. But if you’re sports aficionado who also happens to be a pet parent, being cautious with what your dog or cat tries to gobble down during Super Bowl Sunday is crucial. Avoid a pet foul at your viewing party with food advice from Jennifer Maniet, DVM, staff veterinarian at Petplan Pet Insurance.

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Beware of Nuts

Macadamias, pistachios, almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts

Photo by Jason Donnelly

Photo by Jason Donnelly

If your food table consists of this fan-favorite snack remember that this can be a potential problem if your dog or cat eats it. “Many nuts have a devastating effect on a pet’s nervous system,” says Maniet. Macadamia nuts in particular can cause vomiting, tremor or weakness

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Consider Going Boneless

Super Bowl Wings Five Ways: Beer-Battered Thai, Gilled Chimichurri, Smoky Maple, Crunchy Cheddar, Honey-Harissa

Photo by Yunhee Kim

Photo by Yunhee Kim

Chicken wings are a tailgating staple, but if the bones are ingested by your pet, it can cause serious damage. “Chicken bones can puncture a pet’s mouth, stomach, or intestines,” says Maniet. Then diarrhea and vomiting may follow. “Fatty foods like this can also lead to pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas, which can be life threatening,” she adds.

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Keep Onion Rings Away

Fried Onion Rings

This fried food (apart from causing diarrhea) can also be poisonous to pets as it contains sulfur oxidants which can damage your four-legged friend’s red blood cells and even cause anemia.


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Be Careful With Alcohol

beer, wine, cocktails for Super Bowl

Photo by Jason Donnelly

Photo by Jason Donnelly

Having boozy drinks is also a hazard. “Because of their smaller size, pets are more sensitive to alcohol or ethanol,” says Maniet. Beer, wine and spirits can cause fatal respiratory depression or seizures if guzzled.

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Avoid Toothpicks

Super Bowl toothpicks

Photo by Blaine Moats

Photo by Blaine Moats

We know those tasty appetizers are easiest served with a pointy piece of wood. But if your dog or cat happens to swallow one it can cause severe and potentially fatal damage to their GI tracts. Not good! Let guests use a fork instead to grab their food.

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Stick to This Game Plan

tired pup

Photo by Colleen Duffley

Photo by Colleen Duffley

Keep all of these foods out of reach and remind guests to not sneak pets any leftovers. You can still eat and serve the foods above by securing your dog or cat in a crate or in a different room. Having pet-friendly snacks handy can also help ease their hunger. Or better yet—Maniet recommends giving your furry pal plenty of exercise before guests arrive. “A tired pet is less likely to go looking for trouble.”


Did you know? On an average day, Petplan policyholders spend about $428.92 on veterinary treatment for stomach upset, but over the weekend the same treatment soars to $614.72. Why the hefty price tag? Many vet hospitals have limited hours or are close for the weekend, meaning pets must visit an emergency clinic for treatment.

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Super Bowl Recipes

Philly Cheesesteaks vs New England Lobster Rolls

Philly cheesesteak vs New England Lobster Rolls

Philly cheesesteak vs New England Lobster Rolls