Summer BBQ pet safety

In the summer time, our pets can often appear to enjoy a BBQ just as much as we do

The opportunity to be surrounded by lots of meat sizzling away, smelling fantastic and tasting great can prove irresistible. However, it’s important to remember that BBQ’s can also be dangerous for pets, so here are Petcover’s top tips for keeping your cats and dogs safe and happy during the BBQ season.

Remember that BBQ food is not for pets

Whilst steak, sausages and chicken wings are staples of the BBQ menu, they are not always suitable for pets. The high fat content means that you need to be very careful what you feed your pet under the picnic table as this can sometimes cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), while bones can puncture your pet’s mouth, throat and can cause blockages and perforations in the stomach and intestines. Corn on the cob is also, perhaps surprisingly, very dangerous for dogs to eat. Unlike most vegetables, dogs are unable to digest the cob at all, meaning it will try to pass through the intestine without being digested which, like bones, can lead to blockages and perforations – both of which are incredibly serious and can become life-threatening. Alcohol is not safe for dogs or cats either, even a small amount can be dangerous. Ensure your pet can’t access any alcohol and that any spillages are mopped up quickly.

Keep your BBQ tidy and safe for your pets

In all the fun of an afternoon in the sun, it can sometimes be easy to forget to keep things clean and tidy – but if you have a pet it’s absolutely vital. Make sure to dispose of tin foil, glad wrap, skewers and other BBQ essentials properly as well as food leftovers. Pets love to look for scraps and lick up delicious smelling grease, but accidentally swallowing tin foil or skewer splinters can do serious damage. Metal skewers can also be hazardous if trodden or chewed on, as they can pierce delicate areas such as the paws or the roof of the mouth. Grease that drips onto the floor can cover pebbles and stones that a pet could mistake for edible morsels, which can then again cause serious problems in the digestive system. Ensure that you clean up all broken glass from any dropped glasses or beer bottles.

Give your pet as much attention as you normally do

If you’re hosting a BBQ with lots of friends and family around, it can be easy to assume your pet is fine for a few hours without much attention. However, depending on the temperament of your pet, with so many people around it can become agitated and unsettled. Some look for places to hide or will try to escape if no such place is to be found. Make sure the house is open and offers your pet a place to retreat and to cool down in the shade and relax. Keep their water bowl topped up so they always have something cool to drink and make sure all your guests are aware of what they can and can’t do and how much they should interact with your pet.

Keep your pet away from the BBQ – even if it’s not in use

Just because a BBQ is no longer in use, doesn’t mean it can be forgotten about as they can remain incredibly hot for a long time afterwards. Ensure to keep the lid closed so that your pet doesn’t climb up to eat up any scraps left behind and grill their paws by accident. Make sure you dispose of hot coals appropriately, so pets don’t walk on them and injure their paws.

Sunscreen is for pets as well as humans

Sunburn is a problem for everyone – and cats and dogs are no exception. Ask your vet about the right sunscreen for your cat or dog – and this is especially important for animals with lighter fur colours and unpigmented skin.

The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Petcover.