Q:My boyfriend’s buddies are coming over to watch the Super Bowl. I’m afraid they’ll give Brady, our miniature Schnauzer, snack food and beer, and Brady will get sick. Am I worried for nothing?
A:You are right to be concerned. The problem you’re asking about has actually earned a name: Super Bowl Syndrome.
People food is fine for humans, but dogs can get mighty sick from eating too much of it. Dogs with certain diseases—and even particular breeds of dogs—are at increased risk.
For example, miniature Schnauzers like Brady are susceptible to pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas. Even small amounts of fatty foods like buttered popcorn, nuts, ribs and cheese can trigger vomiting and abdominal pain.
If Brady has heart disease, he should stay away from salt. That means no potato chips, pretzels or lunch meat that might cause fluid buildup and breathing problems.
Your boyfriend and his friends may not realize that some foods they enjoy are toxic to dogs. For instance, onions and garlic damage red blood cells, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, and macadamia nuts produce tremors and loss of coordination. The artificial sweetener xylitol induces liver damage, hypoglycemia and seizures in dogs.
Don’t let anyone give Brady beer, not just because he’s underage, but because alcoholic beverages are toxic to dogs.
Forbid your boyfriend and his buddies from giving Brady any people food or drink. Instead, offer your pooch a new toy to keep him occupied so he doesn’t beg. Or settle down with him elsewhere to watch one of these pet-themed movies.
Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.