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Every year after the Super Bowl I get an increasing number of phone calls from people with dogs with a new bite incident. While there is a lot of information about fireworks safety during the summer and food safety around the holidays, Super Bowl parties can be quite scary for dogs.
1. Let your dog meet your visitors one at a time.
If your dog isn’t used to a bunch of people invading your house being surrounded by strangers can be overwhelming. Dogs should approach strangers, never the other way around. While your friends will want to say hello to your dog, be sure they your dog really wants to meet them. Have your visitors stand in one spot and hold out a hand a little bit. Dogs that want to meet will approach your friends. Dogs that don’t want to meet will not. Never crowd your dog into a corner so they don’t have an option to move away.
2. Muffle the shouting.
Dogs really don’t understand shouting at the television. Dogs can assume they are doing something wrong and not understand how to make the shouting stop. Put your dog in another room with a movie or radio to help drown out the cacophony of excited voices.
3. Give your dog a break.
Do you really need to watch then entire halftime show? Get your dog away from the hubbub and excitement with a little walk. Or better yet, take them to an entirely new location and let them smell around and clear their head from all the activities.
4. Give them something to do.
If you’re going to be ignoring your dog for long periods of time give them a bullystick, toy, or stuffed Kong to occupy them. You can also create an over-sized ice cube with some of your party food and let them lick their way to the goodness. Check out some frozen dog treat recipes here: http://www.dogtreatkitchen.com/frozen-dog-treats.html
5. Keep food away from your dog.
High fat and salty foods can be dangerous for dogs. Be sure to put all food above dog level and the trashcan up or hidden. Most cooked bones are bad for dogs, so if you’re doing chicken or ribs keep an eye out for sneaky canine thievery. For a full list of things that are toxic to your dog, check out this link: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-foods-your-dog-should-never-eat