This Sunday is The Big Game…that means…big gatherings, dedicated fans, food and FUN!  Here are some tips to help your pup stay sane during the game!

1. Offer them a quiet place to relax while the party is in full swing. Possibly with a fan or white noise on to keep things calm.

2. Provide a special yummy treat that will last like a frozen KONG or other food dispensing toy to help your dog pass the time and enjoy his own private party.

3, Put a photo of your dog on the outside of the door to the room that he is in. Have a stop sign image and a note that says something like “Thanks for letting me nap alone.” or something for parents and kids to see that indicates that door must stay closed. Also you can put a lock on the door that is only available to adults to ensure your dog will be left alone. This is essential if your dog has any history of undesirable behaviors or discomfort around new people or children. Set your dog up for success.

4. If your dog is quite social and you do choose to bring your dog out for a short visit and introduction you may want to keep it short and sweet especially if there are many kids.  Respecting what your dog is communicating is the key to preventing unfortunate situations.

Many people feel badly about excluding their dog during a big gathering. Here are just a few reasons why I advise you to do so:

1. Your dog is not familiar with all of the visitors and this creates excitement and possibly stress for your dog.

2. You are distracted and unable to supervise all interactions especially with visiting children and this sets up your dog for a potentially uncomfortable situation where they need to handle things themselves.

3. You do not know how the visitors feel about dogs and or how they interact with them. What if they hug and kiss their family dog? Will they try this on your dog? Unless you are completely available to supervise all interaction it is best your dog is allowed alone time with a treat to enjoy.

4. Food is always a part of a The Big Game party!  Will this be an issue for your dog?  Does your dog have allergies?  Will your dog “guard” areas with food?

5.  Super bowl parties often have alcohol.  If someone has over indulged they can move and act in unpredictable ways. Your dog may be unsure or uncomfortable especially towards the end of the long night with many people!  Be mindful.

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Have fun and GO TEAM!