The dangers of BBQ’s for your dog

With Summer now in full swing, many of us will be lighting up the barbecue and enjoying dining – Al Fresco. However, it is vitally important to be extra cautious for your dog’s safety, as there are many dangers for dogs at BBQ’s.

Dog at BBQSummer is here and out comes the BBQ! It should be a lovely way to spend time with family and friends eating and drinking in the garden. Your dog will love this time too spending time with you all in the garden. However dogs are at risk of becoming ill from many foods cooked and eaten at BBQ’s as well as it risk of the alcohol around and the BBQ itself.



Dangerous foods

Be careful when having BBQ’s as your dog maybe fed onions by mistake in burgers or hot dogs. Please ensure guests are aware of the danger if they feed your dog. If your dog has eaten an onion contact your vet immediately, onions if ingested by a dog can cause anaemia so must not be given at all. Signs that your dog has eaten an onion are the dogs urine looks red in colour and smells like onions, loss of appetite and feeling under the weather. Onions reduce the amount of red blood cells in the dogs body causing them to become anaemic. Just small amounts can damage red blood cells, reducing the dogs ability to carry oxygen. Please note: Garlic is in the same family as onions and even small amounts of garlic can be harmful.

Avocados contain persin which is found to be toxic to dogs. Avocado consumption can cause heart failure, signs your dog has consumed avocados are vomiting, diarrhoea and difficulty breathing.

Avocados along with mangos, plums, nectarines, peaches, cherries, have a small or very large stones in the centre and if eaten your dog can not only choke on it but if ingested this can cause a blockage in your dogs intestine which may require surgery. So always keep your dog away from the fruit bowl and any puddings that are on offer. Do not throw the stones of fruit in the garden of a house with a dog the dog may not be present at the time but will find that fruit stone later and my ingest it.

Corn on the Cob
Corn cobs are top the list of intestinal foreign bodies during the summer months. Corn cobs flavoured with butter or meat juices are especially tempting and dangerous to the family dog. In the stomach, cylindrical cob segments are not digested and eventually pass into the small intestine. The intestine cannot dilate or stretch sufficiently to facilitate their passage, resulting in a small bowel obstruction. Discard all cobs of corn carefully at BBQ’s your dog will be very sick if they eat one.

Most BBQ’s will involve ribs, chicken on the bone, lamb chops etc. Raw and cooked bones are commonly fed to dogs and although not poisonous they are a hazardous food for your dog to eat. They can splinter and get lodged in your dogs throat and in severe cases in your dogs intestines meaning that your dog will be in discomfort and needing surgery to remove the lodged bones, this is very dangerous as they can do damage to your dogs internal organs.

Turkey Skin
If you are cooking Turkey on your BBQ do not feed your dog the skin it is known to cause acute Pancreatitis in dogs.

Hot Food
If you do want to give your dog a treat at the BBQ always ensure it does not contain onions or are covered in spices or sauces. Also ensure the meat is cooked and cooled down. Dogs can burn there mouths and get stomach ache or vomit from eating food that is too hot. If you have to give your dog a treat then the safest option would probably a small bit of cooled plain chicken breast or steak.

Kebabs and their skewers
Your dog probably will not be able to resist the wooden or bamboo skewers used for kebabs, as they have the flavour of the meat on them. Dogs will chew and swallow these pointed skewers or even swallow them whole. Unfortunately, they often punch a hole through the wall of the oesophagus, stomach or small intestine where they will migrate throughout your dogs body. This is very painful so ensure all skewers are disposed of carefully.


Regardless of what type of BBQ you use they are very hot and can take time to cool down. Never leave your dog unattended when a BBQ is on or cooling down. It takes a second for your dog to jump up and burn itself. Take note of where your BBQ is positioned if it is on gravel or bark your dog may lick the spilt oil and meat drippings and swallow substantial pieces of gravel or bark to cause an obstruction in their gut. Do not allow your dog to lick and swallow any drippings from the BBQ it may make them vomit or burn their tongue. If you use a drip tray to collect the oil and meat dripping do not allow your dog access to this and ensure you empty it after every BBQ. Dogs can walk under BBQ’s and accidentally knock the drip tray and cover themselves in the oil and if hot it will burn them.


Foil, plastic wrap, packaging and the cotton string used to bind a roast can become hazardous objects of consumption for your dog always ensure your rubbish id disposed of safely and kept away from where your dog can access it. Ensure your guests do not leave their plates lying around especially if the have bones, cobs, fruit stones and skewers on them.

Garden parties

Ensure all guests close doors and back gates so many dogs escape and wonder off when parties take place in the garden. Make sure you know what to do if your dog goes missing and act quickly. If you have taken your dog along to a BBQ at some one else’s house never let your dog roam around their garden, they may eat a poisonous plant that you may not be aware is there or your host even know it is poisonous to dogs.


Do not allow guests to give your dog alcohol. Accidents do happen and people may spill alcohol on the floor. Never let your dog clean up spilt alcohol off the floor, if your dog has cleaned up a little amount by accident do not panic as normally your dog will only be affected if they have had large amounts. Signs that your dog has had large amounts could be dizziness, problems standing, urination, vomiting, drowsiness and lack of co-ordination.


All dogs are at risk of suffering from dehydration and heatstroke and unfortunately some dogs die in hot weather. Remember the golden rule if you are hot then your dog is even hotter as they only sweat through their mouths and paws. Always ensure your dog has access to shade, do not force your dog to sit in the sun with you as he or she is not interested in topping up their tan unlike us humans. Always ensure your dog has access to water and do not play retrieve games in the garden when the weather is hot.


We all want to enjoy the summer BBQ’s so always take care when attending one or having one at your home. With so many dangers for your dog at BBQ’s just be extra cautious for your dogs safety and health and you can all have a great time.

(Article source: Bonnie Dogs)

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