Dogs and barbecues - all you need to know

We Brits love our barbecues, and on a sunny summer day you can smell the scent of barbecued food carried on the breeze from gardens across the country. It’s enough to make our mouths water, let alone a dog’s! But can our dogs join in the fun and feast on BBQ treats? Read on to find out.

Staying safe in BBQ season

A relaxing day in the garden topped off with a tasty barbecue tea – sounds like a perfect weekend day. However, it can be hazardous for our dogs, with burns, tummy upsets and even digestive damage on the menu if we’re not careful. Here’s what we need to do.


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Supervise the barbecue

When smells this delicious are wafting out from the barbecue, no wonder our dogs want to investigate. Even if you’re just popping inside to pick up some food or drinks, make sure pets are kept well away from the hot grill to avoid any burns to your pet’s tongue and paws. Dogs can be sneaking when they think no one is looking! After cooking up a storm, remove the grill and put it out of your pet’s way. 


Keep an eye on the food

Make sure any plates of hot food are placed up high, out of reach of any hungry hounds. If dogs wolf down food straight from the oven or barbecue, this could cause damage to their digestive tract

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Don’t share food with your dog

Some barbecue foods such as onions, garlic and corn-on-the-cob are toxic to dogs, and cooked bones are dangerous to dogs too, so keep these well away from your pets. Other barbecue foods, such as sausages, can be high in salt and fat, making them too rich for dogs – they’re best avoided in case of upset stomachs. 

Skewers stuffed with juicy meats can look tempting, but dogs can gobble them down and ingest the skewer too. This is a choking hazard and can cause serious damage to their insides. Stick to plain chicken or fish (minus the bones) if you want to give your canine companion a treat.

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Clear up afterwards

After cooking, remove the grill and put it well out of your pet’s way. Switch off a gas barbecue and make sure a charcoal one is fully extinguished. Close any hood or lid to stop pets nosing around hot coals or jumping up there. Tidy up any used skewers, cooked bones, food packaging and leftovers. Even the most well-trained dog has their limits! 


Be on the lookout

Parks and beaches are popular places for barbecues, so when walking through anywhere that could be a barbecue hotspot, keep your dog on the lead and out of harm’s way.

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Here’s to many long, sunny summers with our dogs and many mouth-watering barbecues too. Never underestimate how much pets might like to explore a barbecue, and remember barbecuing really is a pastime that’s best reserved for humans. Try giving dogs their own food or a treat to keep them out of trouble around barbecues – and out of your food.

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