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Five Dangerous Super Bowl Party Foods for Your Pet

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Avoiding Super Bowl Sunday Disaster

Super Bowl Sunday is a great excuse to get together with friends and family and pig out while watching football. Unfortunately, many of those same party foods can be dangerous for your pet. Here are five things you should keep far, far away from your cat or dog on Super Bowl Sunday.

1. Alcohol

Having a frosty one with your friends is quite alright (if you're of legal drinking age, that is). Allowing your pet to partake of the beer is quite another. Consumption of as little as a few ounces of beer or other alcoholic beverages can result in ethanol poisoning in dogs and cats. Signs of poisoning include involuntary urinating, hypothermia, slowed breathing, and even heart attacks.

2. Chicken Wings

Despite being an enshrined staple of football parties, chicken wings may prove problematic if your pet should stealthily grab one (or two!). In fact, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) recently warned pet owners not to feed their pets chicken wings due to the risk of intestinal obstruction — or worse. Another often overlooked risk of chicken wings is salt. “One buffalo wing has almost 160 to 200 mg of sodium,” said Dr. Ernie Ward, founder and president of APOP. “That’s about the amount of sodium recommended for a 20-pound dog in a day. Feeding a dog too much salt can cause high blood pressure and can contribute to kidney and heart disease.”

3. Chocolate

Though it comes in many shapes and sizes, one thing rings true for all forms of chocolate — it can be poisonous to your dog or cat. The compound in chocolate that is of major concern is theobromine, which is most concentrated in dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate — the kind of chocolates found in brownies and chocolate chip cookies, in other words. Chocolate poisoning can cause heart arrhythmias, muscle tremors, and seizures.

4. Soda

Americans will spend over $2 million on sodas and other soft drinks during Super Bowl weekend, according to Shape.com. That is a lot of soda and a lot of caffeine, which isn't so great if your furry friend should get to any of it. Caffeinated drinks (and foods) can cause your dog or cat to suffer from restlessness, breathing issues, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors.

5. Guacamole

Your tortilla chips just wouldn't be the same without some guacamole piled atop them. Sadly, this creamy dip's recipe calls for three ingredients that are dangerous to dogs and cats: avocado, garlic, and onion. When consumed in sufficient quantity, onions and garlic can cause gastrointestinal issues, elevated heart rate, and red blood cell damage. Avocado toxicity, meanwhile, can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of stool production.

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  • Garlic?
    01/28/2014 04:42pm

    For years, natural health vets and pet sources tout the importance of Garlic to use for Tick and Flea retarding. But here you are saying it is toxic. UGH!!!!

  • 01/28/2014 06:46pm

    Hi Putzangel,

    While you may be correct that some pet health experts tout the benefits of garlic for fleas control, we simply wanted to inform unsuspecting pet owners of the possible toxicity of garlic (and onions,avocado) when consumed in sufficient quantities (as it states in the slideshow).

    You can read more about garlic toxicity on Pet Poison Helpline's website:



    petMD Editorial

  • 02/02/2016 07:20pm

    I cannot find any source that says avocado is toxic to dogs. Can you please share your source? thanks

  • 02/02/2016 08:25pm

    I'm assuming that this is their source considering that symptoms/clinical signs are word for word. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/avocado/

  • 02/02/2016 09:11pm

    Which says: Avocado contains a toxin called persin, but despite the rumors, avocado is not poisonous to dogs, nor likely to cats. Only certain species are poisoned by persin. While dogs and cats don’t seem to be affected by persin, avocado poisoning can be deadly to birds and large animals (such as cattle). The bigger risk to dogs and cats is a foreign body obstruction, which can occur if the dog swallowed the whole large, round avocado seed; due to size alone, this seed can get stuck in the esophagus, stomach or intestinal tract of dogs.

    Pet birds should never be fed avocado, as canaries, parakeets, cockatiels and large parrots are extremely susceptible to persin toxicity. Signs of persin poisoniong in birds includes the inability to perch, respiratory distress, fluid accumulation around the bird’s heart and lungs, liver and kidney failure, and sudden death.

  • Regular text in a paragra
    01/27/2015 04:30pm

    This is another slideshow that won't advance for me. (Most of them do, but occasionally there is one that doesn't and this one of them). I'm sure I;'m not the only one with this problem. If the article were printed in typical paragraph form, like a regular news article or anything else basic to get information distributed, it would be so much better than trying to be fancy and inadvertently excluding some readers. Waiting for the slideshow to load each new page when it does work is also more time consuming than some people prefer.
    Keep it simple to serve your audience better.
    Thank you.