Keep pets safe, happy at your Super Bowl party

January 28, 2013 

Super Bowl Sunday might not be as fun for pets as it can be for people. Loud -- cheering or jeering -- guests can upset your furry friends and stealing food can result in a stomachache.

If you're hosting a Super Bowl party, follow these tips from veterinarians of the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA) to keep your pets happy and healthy, no matter which team wins.

1. Commercial break - Take care of your pet's physical and social needs by taking a quick trip around the block or a rousing game of fetch in the yard. Don’t wanna miss the half-time commercials? Record ‘em.

2. The Super Bowl is America's second biggest food consuming day of the year behind Thanksgiving. Do pets a favor and offer a small amount of pet-specific treats so pets can share in the big game spread.

3. Pet your furry friend. The hormone oxytocin kicks into high gear when petting an animal, helping to reduce blood pressure and decreasing cortisol, a hormone related to stress and anxiety. If your team is on the losing end, therapists have been prescribing pets for years as a way to deal with depression.

4. Quiet zone - Make sure pets have a restful room or area to which they can retreat. Loud party voices and booming music can make pets anxious. Even well-socialized animals are likely to be pushed beyond their limits.

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