Hot Dog! Cookout Safety for Pets

Cookouts are highlights of the summer season, and food seems to taste better because it’s been roasted over a grill and eaten out in the fresh air. When your pet joins in the delicious celebration, they double the fun. However, exercise caution when your four-legged friend attends your cookout. Our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care Services team warns you should be aware of several important hazards when your pet joins you in your barbecue fun. So, follow our team’s cookout safety tips for a mouthwatering festivity that will be enjoyable for the whole family. 

#1: Do not share dangerous foods with your pet

Some of the most popular cookout foods are also some of the most dangerous for your furry pal. When dishing up a plate to share with your pet, refrain from giving them the following foods:

  • Grilled meats — Meat with bones, skin, or large amounts of fat can cause your pet to experience various health problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, or a foreign body obstruction.
  • Kebabs — Wooden or metal skewers of raw meat and onions are all exceptionally hazardous to your furry pal. Raw meat can transmit all manner of bacteria, while onions can cause anemia. In addition, if your pet swallows a skewer, the implement can pierce their mouth or throat.
  • Corn on the cob — A corncob can become lodged in a pet’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract and require surgical removal. 
  • Side salads — Pasta, potato, and assorted salads, cole slaw, and dips are essential parts of a barbecue menu, but many of these dishes’ ingredients can cause your pet health issues. Mayo, eggs, vinegar, garlic, chives, and heavy seasoning can cause your pet anemia, pancreatitis, and other GI problems.
  • Desserts — As the evening winds down and the campfire flares, chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows are ready to become s’mores. These sweet treats are a quintessential part of cookouts, but the high sugar and fat content can upset your pet’s stomach, and chocolate is toxic to your four-legged friend.

Roasted boneless, skinless, and seasoning-free chicken breast is a safe food to share with your pet. Add a few pieces of seedless watermelon, fresh baby carrots, and grilled green pepper to round out your pet’s perfect picnic plate.

#2: Block your pet from the grill

As you prepare to fire up the grill, you might have lighter fluid, charcoal, and a grill brush nearby, which can cause trouble for your four-legged friend. Wire grill brushes can cut your pet’s paws or tongue if they try to lick meat juices off the bristles, while old charcoal may include the same tantalizing juices, turning these briquettes to rock inside your pet’s stomach. Charcoal may also contain a fire accelerant, which is highly poisonous to pets. Fire accelerants and lighter fluid can contain hydrocarbons, causing chemical burns if touched or chemical pneumonitis if inhaled.

The grill itself is also dangerous for your pet, as it can still be hot for hours after having been used. Keep your pet from getting scorched or accidentally starting a fire by blocking their access to the grill.

#3: Keep your pet cool and comfortable

Cookouts usually take place on bright, sunny days, which can mean blistering temperature and suffocating humidity levels. If your fur-coat-wearing friend is hanging out with you as you grill, help them beat the heat by:

  • Encouraging water intake — Entice your pet to drink more water by adding ice cubes to their bowl, or installing a pet drinking fountain.
  • Staying in the shade —Keep your pet out of the direct sunlight as much as possible, especially when walking on pavement.
  • Playing water games — Toss some treats into a wading pool with a few inches of water and watch your pet bob for their snacks. Or, embrace your inner child and frolic in the sprinkler with your furry pal.

#4: Use pet-friendly insect repellent

Summer weather creates the perfect conditions for grilling, but also for insect population explosions. Although you may be tempted to cover your pet in a cloud of insect repellent before heading outside, products that contain N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) can be incredibly harmful to your four-legged friend, leading to serious neurologic issues. Alternative repellents that contain essential oils can also be dangerous, as many oils are toxic to pets. For example, peppermint and citronella oils are popular insect repellents, but they are toxic to cats and dogs. 

Pest populations can be high at any time of year, so ensure you regularly administer your pet’s year-round flea, tick, and heartworm preventive products, and opt for a pet-friendly insect repellent that has been proven safe. Talk to our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care Services team to discuss the best pest control options for your furry pal.

Keeping your pet safe at a cookout can be a challenge, especially when your furry pal follows their nose to barbecue foods’ mouthwatering aromas. Our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care Services team can help protect your four-legged friend by providing summertime preventive care that includes microchipping and parasite prevention.

By |2024-02-15T00:00:11+00:00June 26th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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