Our vet in residence shares what to look out for to have a safe and happy BBQ season.
BY DR. SHELDON JAFINE, GET LEASHED VETERINARIAN-IN-RESIDENCE
One of our favorite summer time activities is barbecuing and entertaining.
When you’re hosting the BBQ, it’s always a good idea to inform your guests of all the rules pertaining to your dog.
Read on or watch to learn about the key tips you need to be mindful of when hosting or attending a BBQ with your dog.
No bones about it
You should never give your dog any bones or let your guests give your dog any bones.
Tasty for you, toxic for them
Onions are a common condiment and are very toxic to dogs. In the fruit salad, we always like to add grapes or raisins, which are very toxic as well. And finally for dessert, chocolate cake, one of our favorites, is very toxic to dogs.
Don’t be corny
One thing you might not think of is corn on the cob, but at least once a week during the summer, we’re pulling a cob of corn out of the back of a large dog’s throat, so be very careful whether you’re eating it or putting it into the garbage.
Cut the fat
The foods we’re barbecuing are generally very fatty, and a dog ingesting one meal of a fatty food can lead to an inflamed pancreas, which can be deadly if not treated very quickly.
Be careful of items that are BBQ’d and wrapped in aluminum foil. A dog will eat the entire package, foil and all, and it will cause a tearing of the intestine, and it’s quite often deadly.
The knife you use to cut products is very tasty, with the juices from the food, and also very sharp. A dog can easily cut its lip, mouth, or tongue.
Another common way of cooking is using a kabob skewer. People put on meats or vegetables, and skewers are either metal or wood. If a dog were to go for the meat or veggies, they’re not going to remove the skewer. They could impale their throat and cause a big problem.
The last thing of course, is cellophane wrap that we use to wrap up meats and products. Your dog will ingest the entire product, cellophane and all, and this will cause a blockage in the intestine and lead to vomiting, and possibly, a very critical situation.
Don’t forget, your grill is very hot, so always leave the lid down, or always attend to the food, because a dog will jump up if they are large enough, and attempt to eat the food, right off the grill, or lick the grill. This could cause burns to the tongue and mouth which are very severe.
Watch your unattended alcohol. A lot of dogs love the taste of beer, and they also like the creamy type of drinks, like Bailey’s and Kahlúa. A dog has a very low tolerance; they will get clinically depressed by just having a few licks of your drink.
Always make sure you have garbage containers that have sealed lids on the top and keep it secure.
Watch your dog very carefully if you are at someone else’s house because there can be a lot of dangers hidden in the backyard that you might not think of, like insecticides, citronella candles and other chemicals, even fertilizer. If it’s not your house, keep your dog on a leash, and ask the host what’s been put out on the yard.
The kids are alright
Whenever there’s children at the BBQ, always remember, not all kids are good with dogs, and not all dogs are good with kids. So, please ask the host and guests, are the children good around dogs, and if there are strange dogs around, always keep them on a leash. Children have a tendency to pull on ears and tails and on a hot day, a dog will snap at a child, especially if they are eating a hot dog or hamburger, and the last thing we want is for a child to be bitten.
Heat of the moment
On beautiful, hot summer days, dogs will run around and children will chase them, and they just don’t know when to stop. They don’t have self control; they won’t go to the shade and they won’t have water, and before you know it, your dog will be suffering from something very critically dangerous called heat stroke. Always make sure you have time outs, where you put your dog in the shade, and give them a fresh bowl of cool water.
This may seem like a daunting list, but with just a little thought ahead of time, you can save your dog possibly their life, and you a lot of money in veterinary bills.
So have a great summer and remember: safety first!