Dogs & Barbecue: Keeping Them Safe!


What were we thinking about in the aftermath of the Fourth of July? Oh, it should’ve been looking back at the fun of heating up the grill and throwing a barbecue for all our family and friends. Instead, we looked at our hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, and chicken–and wondered what we could do to protect the dog that was also looking at all of our food with much anticipation. Yes, it’s natural that we’d want to include our dogs in the backyard festivities, but that can bring about a lot of consequences if the right steps aren’t taken.  [photo via flickr]

One simple way to keep dogs away from barbeque trash is by putting leftovers in garbage bins. Many times after we finish eating, we leave our dirty plates sitting on the table. It’s during that time that dogs can eat up the scraps left behind. If they eat remains like corncobs and chicken bones, this is life threatening. Dogs can choke on these items. The best kinds of garbage cans used to prevent this are ones with tight-fitting lids.

Another way to stop dogs from eating BBQ garbage is by putting the food in spots where they can’t access it. Leave trash in places high up where dogs can’t reach it. Yes, we know that canines have a tendency of jumping up on counters, so make sure to leave the scraps in a spot that if this happens, they still wouldn’t be able to get to it. For instance, a great spot to leave food is on the top shelf of a cabinet or on top of the refrigerator. Also, keep leftovers in sealed containers instead of out in the open. We recommend using plastic containers with tight-fitting lids like Tupperware.

While this may seem like a no-brainer, the easiest way to keep dogs from getting into the barbeque trash is by having someone watch the hounds once the food is out. It’s easy to lose sight of where your dog is running around, especially when you’re entertaining guests at your house. Assign someone to watch your pet while you’re cleaning up the kitchen. This will help keep dogs from licking plates clean of any leftover food pieces. Ingesting leftovers could lead to serious problems. Peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus fruits can cause gastrointestinal irritation. This of course results in vomiting and diarrhea. If the stems, leaves, and seeds of apples, cherries, peaches, and apricots are eaten, dogs may vomit and lose their appetite. There have even been cases where dogs experience weakness, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation, shock and death.

Barbeques are a fun activity that we look forward to every summer. It’s a great way to bring together our family, friends, and even pets. If we take some safety measures to keep our dogs out of harm’s way, there’s no reason they can’t join in on the festivities too. By taking these few steps to keep our canines away from hazardous leftovers and trash, a barbeque can be fun for everyone.