There’s nothing quite like cooking out on the grill after a long day at the pool. Barbequing is a popular summer pastime, but it isn’t always fur-baby friendly. When cooking out this summer, make sure to consider the following:
Avoid leaving your pets outside unattended while the grill is lit. Pets may be enticed by the smell and attempt to jump on to the grill, unaware of the dangers underneath the hood. Always supervise your pets whenever a flame is involved, especially if you own a smaller grill or smoker that could be easily knocked over.
Fuel Not Food
Make sure if you are using charcoal or other burners that they are kept well out of reach of pets. Things like wood chips that are meant to add flavor to meats might seem appetizing to your four-legged friend, but ingesting these materials can wreak havoc on their body.
No Bones About It
Giving your pet a bone from the meat you just cooked might seem like a nice gesture, but it can actually be very dangerous. Some bones are hard enough to fracture teeth, while other bones are capable of splintering as your pet chews. Splintered pieces of bone can cut your pet’s mouth, and if the bone shards make it to the stomach and intestines, the damage they are capable of causing can be fatal. Call your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet may have ingested pieces of bone.
Even if they beg, resist giving your pets meat off the grill. While pets can safely enjoy bland meats such as boiled boneless chicken or hamburger meat, a lot of the meat we cook for ourselves is too rich for most dogs. Since dogs digest and process foods differently than we do, consuming rich or fatty foods can cause severe stomach upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Treating an upset stomach can be very costly, and pancreatitis requires hospitalization and IV fluids to treat.
Look Out Below
If your pet is the type to get under foot, make sure they are secured when it’s time to take the food off the grill or dispose of grease. Jumping up or knocking into you to get to the food may cause your pet to have hot grease, plates, or cooking utensils like knifes to be dropped.
Don’t want your pet to feel left out? Consider these healthy barbeque food alternatives for pets:
Fruit – Fruit like watermelon makes a very delicious and hydrating treat! Freeze the watermelon to serve on those hot Texas afternoons.
Veggies – Just because they should stay away from meat doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the sides! Throw some vegetables like squash, sweet potato, or asparagus on the grill – just make sure they aren’t too hot when you serve them.
Frozen Broth – Instead of serving meat, serve your pet (low sodium) beef or chicken broth. When frozen in small containers, the broth makes for an awesome frozen treat that will keep them busy until you’re finished eating.