Don’t Forget about Pets at a Barbecue
July 15-19 is Texas Barbecue week, and we all know Texans love their barbecue. During the summer when we are out barbecuing with family and friends, it’s important to not forget our furry family members and keep them safe. Here are a few tips to ensure that you and your pets have a good time at a barbecue.
Keep Away from the Grill
We know to keep small children a good distance from the barbecue pit, but we should remember to keep pets away as well. Have someone always keep an eye on pets so they don’t burn themselves or knock the grill and/or its contents over. Also, if there are drippings from a pit on the ground or perhaps in a pan under the pit, be sure to keep pets away from these and clean them up quickly if possible.
Just Say No to BBQ Treats
While many owners like to give treats to their pets, it is best to avoid giving animals any table food. Changing a pet’s diet unexpectedly can cause an upset stomach, and many foods served at a barbecue can be dangerous. For example: bones, peach pits and corn cobs are serious choking hazards and can cause intestinal blockages, grapes and raisins in that harmless-looking fruit salad are toxic, and fatty meat can lead to fatal pancreatitis in some cases. To minimize the chances of your pet eating something it shouldn’t, promptly throw away food in a secure garbage bin that pets cannot access and pack leftovers away when finished. If you want to give your pet a special treat, talk with your veterinarian about finding something that will be safe and tasty for your pet.
Barbecues and warm weather go hand-in-hand, and even though your pets love spending time with you, some breeds can easily over-exert themselves in hot weather. To avoid heatstroke, make sure you have cool drinking water for your pet out at all times, and consider keeping kiddie pools out so your dog can cool down and have fun while splashing around. Make sure your pet has a spot to relax in the shade, and consider keeping the kiddie pool in this area if possible. If you notice your pet seems tired, it may be best to let to them cool off inside. If your pet is exhibiting signs of heatstroke, call a veterinarian immediately. You can download a Heatstroke Prevention Brochure HERE.
Keep Toxic Items Out of Reach
Barbecues in the backyard bring other hazards for pets besides the food and heat. Here are just a few other things not to forget about when spending time with your pet outside. If you have a pool, be sure that all pool chemicals are out of your pet’s reach as they can be toxic. Direct your pet away from any toxic plants in your yard. Lastly, be sure to keep mosquito repellant out of your pet’s reach.
Taking just a little time ahead of your barbecue to prepare the environment for your pet can save you and your pet from trouble and allow you both to relax and have a fun time.