PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With the NFL regular season kicking off tonight and college football rivalries heating up around the country, PetFoodDirect.com would like to encourage football fans to create fun and safe tailgate parties for their dogs. Here are ten tips to make your dog-friendly tailgate the best on your block.
- Verify that the area is dog-friendly – Not all college campuses or NFL stadium parking lots will allow dogs. It's best to confirm this beforehand so that your furry fanatic can partake of the fun too. If not, your backyard is a great place to host a pet-friendly game day BBQ. Also, if you plan on attending the game after the tailgate, arrange for your dog to stay with family or friends. Under no circumstances should you leave your dog in a car.
- Pre-approve the guest list – No, we don't mean the annoying friend who brings all those tortilla chips but "forgets" to bring the salsa or guacamole. We're talking about vetting the dogs. Some dogs are able to become fast pals, while others can't seem to even look at each other for more than a minute. You want the rivalries to take place on the gridiron, not at the tailgate.
- Keep dogs leashed – This is for their own safety. There are just too many moving cars and people around to take such a chance, and you never know when something might accidentally spook a dog.
- Have a first aid kit easily accessible – Some basic supplies can help save a life if something should go wrong. A kit should include items such as gauze, nonstick bandages, towels, clean cloth, adhesive tape, hydrogen peroxide, milk of magnesia, activated charcoal, digital thermometer, eye dropper and muzzle. Also, keep the phone number for your veterinarian or the nearest animal emergency hospital and copies of your dog's identification and vaccination papers in the kit.
- Bring the best dog food and dog treats you can find – There are plenty of organic dog treats and healthy "human" foods you can offer the dogs at your tailgate. Extra lean meats, strawberries, bananas, carrots and unsalted, unbuttered popcorn are all on the "okay" list for dogs. Foods dogs should not eat include grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, avocado, nuts and fruits with pits, which can present a choking hazard. It's also important that any foods given to dogs be properly cooked and cut up into smaller pieces.
- Scoop the poop – That's right, you must be ready and willing to go on pooper scooper duty and dispose of the excrement properly. Not only is it unsanitary to leave doggy "business" lying around, it is a party foul of the highest order. And you don't want people thinking you can't throw great tailgate parties, do you?
- Clean up the trash – Dogs are notorious for scarfing up just about anything off the floor. Avoid a bad case of indigestion in dogs or worse by making sure that all your guests properly dispose of all trash and scraps in garbage bags. These bags should be placed in areas that are inaccessible to dogs.
- Toys and games make everything better – Can't stand to watch your team go down by another touchdown? How about you play some fetch with the dogs. Balls, sticks and flying discs are some of the best dog toys to have around. You can even get your friends involved and make a game of it.
- Provide plenty of shade and water – Dogs are great at running around and having a good time, but they aren't always keen on letting you know when they're just doggone tired. And unlike humans, dogs eliminate heat by panting. When panting isn't enough, their body temperature rises. This can be fatal if not corrected quickly. To prevent such a dog emergency, make sure all your four-legged partygoers are provided with sufficient water and an area to cool off or hide away when their favorite team is losing.
- Dress up your dog in team colors – You and your friends will be dressing up in team colors, so why shouldn't your dog. If your dog isn't much for wearing doggy jerseys or t-shirts, then try a bandana. Remember, it's game day. It's time for you and your furry pal to show some team spirit!
PetFoodDirect.com is the nation's largest online retailer of pet food, pet meds and pet supplies. With over 148 brands of pet food and more than 16,000 top-quality pet products in stock, PetFoodDirect.com offers pet parents the largest selection of supplies with the convenience of repeat home delivery. PetFoodDirect.com is a subsidiary of the Pet360 family of brands, which also includes NationalPetPharmacy.com – a fully licensed, full-service pet pharmacy delivering pet meds, vitamins and comprehensive pet health and wellness products, and petMD.com – the world's leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets.