Summer BBQ Safety For You And Your Dog

With summer upon us, we’re here to answer all of your questions around barbecuing with your pup.

While summer holidays and BBQ go hand-in-hand, it’s best not to let those go hand-in-paw. Read on to learn more!

But dogs eat meat, surely BBQ is okay?!

Well, here’s the thing–it’s really best to avoid giving BBQ to your pup.

Many of the foods you’ll find at BBQ’s and back yard cookouts are detrimental to canine health. BBQ can be spicy, greasy, and high in unfriendly fats. Such qualities can actually cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in pups. This can be very serious. Corn is very difficult to break down efficiently, and the cob can cause intestinal blockage. Additionally, corn is very high in carbohydrates, and metabolizes as sugar.

Sausages? Burgers? Hot Dogs? Heck no! These have seasonings in them that aren’t dog-friendly at all. Sausages often have nutmeg, which is toxic for dogs, and onion powder, another a bad option for pups, and both of these are in most seasoned meats. Additionally, foods like hot dogs are pretty darn over-processed!

Bones! Cooked bones are dangerous. When cooked, the bone becomes prone to shattering which can cause choking and intestinal injury. If you want to give your dog a bone, go for a raw red-meat bone like lamb or beef (no poultry). Always supervise dogs while they are chewing!

Grease. ‘Ooh the smell of BBQ grease can be quite irresistible to dogs, so be sure to keep your BBQ area tidy. Don’t work on gravel, as grease can spill onto it, and become quite compelling to some dogs. Keep things clean by remembering to remove the grease pan and empty it safely. This fatty substance, while very tasty-smelling to canines, can disrupt pancreatic health.

Set Clear Rules. Everyone is there to celebrate, but make sure all party participants know the house rules when it comes to the furry fiend–no human foods. Even if you feed your pup human food (like boiled chicken, etc.) your guests may not know what is safe and what isn’t, so it’s best to go with zero-tolerance on table scraps. Remind guests that the sweet, drooling pup making the big eyes at each party-goer, is attempting to find the weakest link, and for them not to fall for it!

Set Boundaries. The BBQ may smell great, but can get pretty toasty, and any food that may fall from the grill will be hot and could burn. Use positive reinforcement training (high-value rewards for backing away and staying away from the BBQ) to help your pup understand that the BBQ is best left alone by curious canines.

Provide Fun Alternatives. It’s fun to give a dog something that makes their tail wag-rewarding dogs is rewarding! Set out a jar of a healthy treat (like fresh green beans or dehydrated chicken strips) to reward your pup. Pro-tip: you’ll want to use a smallish jar, so that your pup doesn’t manage to fool everyone into giving them never-ending snacks!

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