Animal Rescue of New Orleans column by Traci Howerton for Jan. 31, 2013

Photo provided by ARNO -- Gecko is a chihuahua mix lapdog who went into foster care during Hurricane Isaac and gets along with other dogs and cats. For more information, email adoptfromarno@yahoo.com or visit the no-kill shelter at 271 Plauche St., Elmwood, any day between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The adoption fee is $200 and includes neutering, shots, a microchip and heartworm treatment, if needed. Show caption
Photo provided by ARNO -- Gecko is a chihuahua mix lapdog who went into foster care during Hurricane Isaac and gets along with other dogs and cats. For more information, email adoptfromarno@yahoo.com or visit the no-kill shelter at 271 Plauche St., Elmwood, any day between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The adoption fee is $200 and includes neutering, shots, a microchip and heartworm treatment, if needed.

Even party animals can find the season overwhelming

In New Orleans, there always seems to be a reason to throw a party. With the Super Bowl on Sunday, followed by Mardi Gras, you are bound to throw a house party or attend one. While these get-togethers are a fun time for humans, they can be very stressful for animals.

When having your next party, keep in mind these tips to keep the stress level down for the four-legged attendees:

  • Make sure your pet has a quiet place to retreat during the festivities. For example, a bedroom with the pet’s crate and favorite toys is a place where he can feel safe if the party gets too noisy.
  • Be aware of the foot traffic going in and out of the front door. Make sure no one accidently lets one of your pets escape. While you may be very mindful of where your animals are when the door is open, your guests may not be pet owners and as aware as you are.
  • Refrain from feeding your pets party food. Also, make sure your guests know that this is unacceptable. People food can be harmful to your pets, and they may end up with upset stomachs or worse. Have pet treats on hand to avoid the temptation of sharing with the animals during the party.
  • Pay attention to your furry friend during an event. A quick pat on the head or one or two throws of a toy can be comforting.
  • Make other arrangements. If you think the party is going to be too overwhelming for your pets and you will not have the ability to keep a watchful eye on him during the event, make plans for him to stay with a family member or board him to avoid possible negative scenarios.

Remember, dogs are not allowed on the parade route —with the fabulous exception of parades especially for canines and their human families, such as Barkus.

The Super Bowl and Mardi Gras are great reasons to celebrate and have a good time with family and friends. Making sure all of your family members are safe and secure during the festivities will ensure the fun can go off without a hitch!

Traci D. Howerton is Social Media Editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. ARNO operates a volunteer-based, no-kill shelter in the Elmwood Industrial section of Jefferson Parish and depends upon the generosity of people from all over the country who have followed the group since Katrina. Contact ARNO at arno.advocate@gmail.com, visit http://www.animalrescueneworleans.org or leave a message at (504)571-1900.