The Big Game Spells Big Trouble for Pets

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Beer and finger foods top Petplan pet insurance’s list of nefarious noshes

According to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, 43.3 million Americans are planning to throw a Super Bowl party this year — and nearly 80% of those who plan to watch also plan on purchasing food.

Football fare is nearly irresistible for dogs — especially when sitting at eye-level — but even cats can grab a piece of the action. Unfortunately, furry fans who intercept game day grub are likely to catch more than they bargained for. Petplan encourages would-be revelers with pets to think carefully before serving the following:

  • Brew-hoo — Just like people, some animals have a taste for beer. But think twice before pouring your pet a pint: even a nip can cause fatal respiratory depression.
  • No bones about it — Chicken wings have especially fine bones, which can splinter easily and puncture the GI tract. Besides, the sauces are virtually guaranteed to cause an upset stomach.
  • Not fun-ion — Onion rings are doubly dangerous: onions in any form are poisonous to pets and fried foods can cause diarrhea.
  • (Don’t) pick ‘em — Toothpicks make a nice presentation for cubed meats, cheeses and other appetizers, but can cause severe and potentially fatal damage to pets’ GI tracts, if swallowed.
  • Aw, nuts — Many nut varieties have a devastating effect on dogs’ nervous systems. Walnuts and macadamias are especially toxic and can cause vomiting, paralysis and even death.

Start with a game plan
For some pets, the temptation may simply be too great. If that’s the case, seek alternative arrangements before hosting, or consider leaving your pet at home, if attending.

Watch the turnovers
When begging doesn’t work, dogs may resort to linebacker tactics: playing smart and aggressive. Encourage guests to minimize the risk of fumbling food by sitting at a table or using snack trays.

The best defense is a good offense
Go for the extra point by keeping pet-friendly snacks handy for hounds with hungry eyes. Better yet, go for two with pigskin-themed pet treats.

don’t leave it all on the field
Keep an eye on unattended plates and cups — and make sure to clean up promptly. Even if they’re blocked at the line of scrimmage, sufficiently motivated dogs will run the end-around without a second thought.

“Super Bowl parties can be tremendous fun. But between talking, watching the game and having drinks, it can be easy to lose track of your pet,” says Petplan Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Dr. Jules Benson. “This is one case where an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.”

Learn more about protecting your pet’s health by visiting


About Petplan
Petplan is more than a pet insurance provider. We’re dedicated to giving pet parents the support, resources and tools they need to keep their pets not just surviving—but thriving—into old age. Simply put, we aim to be the kind of company that will make our pets proud. For the third consecutive year, Petplan was listed among the top 50 of Forbes' annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies – a list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures. Petplan is the only pet insurance provider to have been included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America.

Petplan’s fully customizable cat and dog insurance policies provide comprehensive coverage for all hereditary and chronic conditions for the life of the pet as standard. Petplan policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company in the U.S. and by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company in Canada. The Allianz Group was rated A+ by A.M. Best in 2015. For more information about Petplan pet insurance, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.

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Jessica Kinney
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