BBQ hazards for dogs

Grills are firing up, Frisbees are being dusted off and good old fashioned summertime fun is on the books. How can a backyard BBQ possibly pose any threat to your family dog?! Curious canines can find a way to turn a fun gathering upside down.

Let’s start with all of the mouth-watering meat on the grill and the commotion of party guests. Dogs get just as excited for these things as we do! They also have the keen awareness that we are busy getting food put together and concentrated on entertaining, leaving Fido to plan his capers. Be mindful where you put that tray of burgers or chips and dip. Leftover food plates at dog level will be gone in a flash too.

A lone dog in the yard next to an unattended tray of meat is a health hazard waiting to happen! We have heard several stories of dogs that have gobbled up entire plates of food when no one was looking. Big chunks of burgers, hot dogs and cheese can be very hard for a dog to digest and lead to a condition called “the bloat”. The bloat is when an animal’s stomach is twisted due to a variety of things including rapid air intake from scarfing down large amounts of food. While most BBQ hijinks will not result in something as serious as “the bloat” it’s possible! Large amounts of quickly ingested chunks of food can cause major distress for your pup and result in an expensive vet bill.

A few other BBQ safety tips: be careful of guests leaving doors and gates open, small children walking with food in their hands at dog level, and rover getting into any sort of predicament (think a bee’s nest, overheated) while you are distracted with your guests.

A few thoughtful checkpoints at parties can go a long way in keeping your furry friends safe!