How to keep your pets safe & healthy during BBQ season

If you’re a pet owner, it’s likely that your dog or cat will be present at your summer BBQ. But is it safe for them to attend your event, or to nibble on something cooked on the BBQ? If you’re considering firing up the grill today to celebrate the World Cup, here’s how to look after your pets today and throughout BBQ season…

I read some research by IAMS this week showing that pets will be ‘guests’ at 1 in 5 summer BBQs. That could be your cats wandering around the garden, or your pooch greeting your visitors at the gate. Even if you don’t have pets of your own, guests sometimes bring their dog with them to avoid leaving their pet home alone. It’s great, because it enables your friends to linger at your party for longer, as they don’t need to rush home for their pets. But is a BBQ party really a safe place for pets?

Well, the BBQ itself a bit of a hazard – imagine if an excitedly wagging tail caught a leg of the BBQ and tipped the whole thing over? I’m specifically thinking about my small tripod kettle grill, which wouldn’t take much effort to tip it over. Plus, the heat from the BBQ could be a hazard if your furry friends get too close. Even after the BBQ has burnt out, you’ll have to keep an eye on the embers to make sure no pets go nosing through the dust.But the main hazard of having pets at a BBQ is actually the food. And I don’t mean because it’s too hot for them to eat! I mean because it might not be suitable for your furrbaby to consume at all! The survey says that 4 out of 5 people would feed their pet ‘human’ foods, even though 72% understand that it’s not healthy for dog or cats to eat it.I remember seeing a chart at the vets that showed how a small amount of cheese would be the equivalent of multiple cheeseburgers to a cat, so I’ve always been very careful about giving my pets any human food, no matter how intently they are staring at me! With 44% of cats and 49% of dogs in the UK now considered to be obese by vets, we’ve got to be careful about feeding them human foods that could affect their health and only give them treats that are especially designed for pets instead.

Here are 5 BBQ party foods that you should avoid feeding to your pets, even if they’re doing cute puppy-dog eyes at your plate!

  1. Hot dogs can cause digestive problems and diarrhoea because they contain high levels of preservatives and salt.
  2. Chicken wings and drumsticks have bones that can splinter and if your pet eats them this can cause an obstruction inside them.
  3. Onions and garlic are harmful to dog and cats as they contain compounds that harm their red blood cells.
  4. Alcohol is poisonous to dogs or cats so don’t leave drinks unattended in case they lap some up.
  5. Corn on the cob might not be toxic to pets but the shape can cause choking, so don’t leave your plate within reach.

I hope these tips will help to keep your dogs and cats happy and healthy this summer and I’m so pleased that IAMS have collaborated with me to share this survey and their expert advice with you. Let me know if you know of any other things that pets should avoid in the comments below.



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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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