Football season has kicked off, and no matter what team you’re cheering for, the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society (DAVMS) recommends taking precautions to keep your pet safe when enjoying the game.
If you are cheering from the stands or watching from your favorite hotspot, keep your pet at home, and never leave them in the car. Even as the weather gets cooler, it is hard to predict what the temperature inside a vehicle will be throughout the game, and extreme heat or cold can be dangerous—even lethal—for your pet.
On the other hand, if you are enjoying the game at home with friends, be mindful of your pet’s location and interactions with guests. Some pets don’t feel comfortable around groups of people and may become fearful or stressed out. Loud noises like jumping, stomping, and cheering when your team scores a touchdown can cause anxiety in pets.
Guests also might not be as conscious of your pet’s whereabouts, so always be aware of people going in and out of your home. Leaving the door open for a second can give your pet the opportunity to escape. Pets that are skittish around people might be especially determined to flee. If your pet is showing symptoms of anxiety—such as pacing, panting, or cowering—or if you’re afraid they might get out, provide a safe and quiet place for them to stay until your guests leave.
Finally, football season attracts potlucks and cookouts that are great fun for humans, but “people” food can be harmful to pets. Chicken wings are a football staple, but are high in calories and sodium, which can cause obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney failure. Additionally, the small bones can cause intestinal obstruction or choking because they splinter easily. Other popular game-day fare like alcohol, guacamole, cheese dip, and other fatty foods can cause serious health problems or even death. To prevent your pet from getting sick, have pet treats on hand, and remind your guests that human food is off-limits.