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BBQ Safety Tips for Dogs

BBQ Safety Tips for Dogs

Summer cookouts represent spending time with family and friends, good food, and lots of fun. If your four-legged best friend is going to be attending, here are some BBQ safety tips for dogs to make sure they stay safe and happy!

During the BBQ

Three dogs lying on a back patio basking in the sunlight.

Lighter Fluid and Matches

Make sure to keep any lighter fluid and matches away from your dog and your dog away from them.

BBQ Sauce and Seasonings

If you will be using barbecue seasonings or rubs, keep them out of reach of your pup’s explorations. Barbeque sauce and rubs can contain ingredients that are unhealthy and even toxic to dogs, such as onion and garlic. Although there may not be enough toxic ingredients to be fatal, they can cause your dog to become sick and vomit or experience diarrhea.

Other ingredients in barbeque sauces, like sugar and vinegar, can also cause your dog to have digestive problems. So, it’s important to never give your dog anything with barbeque sauce or seasonings. The smells can be quite inviting, so make sure you and your guests keep an eye on your dog and refrain from giving them any scraps with BBQ.

A man brushing barbeque sauce on a rack of ribs being grilled.

Grill Safety

In the interest of safety, when taking the meat out to the grill, consider putting your dog on their leash with a designated person to watch them. If it is easier, you can also leave them in the house for a few minutes. Either way, it’s essential to make sure your dog is away from the grill because some grills can be easily tipped over by an excited dog.

Insect Sprays and Repellents

Be careful to place insect repellants, such as citronella candles and any other repellants, where your dog can’t reach them.

A group of friends together at a cookout gathering their food and sharing drinks.

Alcoholic Beverages and Toxic Foods

Never leave alcoholic beverages unattended around your dog. Alcohol can be toxic to dogs, so it’s a good practice to designate a person to pick up abandoned drinks.

Foods and drinks served at BBQs vary, and it’s important to make sure your dog does not eat or drink anything that can be toxic or detrimental to their health. For a full list of human foods to avoid feeding your dog, check out ASPCA’s article, People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets.

Bones and Meat With Bones

Cooked bones, such as chicken or rib bones, can splinter and be extremely dangerous for dogs. Make sure that everyone at the cookout knows not to toss bones to your dogs.

You may want to keep dog treats available for guests that want to give your pup a treat.

A yound child running through a backyard with a ball in their hand playing with a Beagle dog.

Guests and Children

If children are present, it’s very important to watch the children around your dog. Even if your dog is normally great with children, the excitement and smells can add to your dog’s stress level. Make sure that the children know how to play nicely with your dog.

If your dog starts showing signs of stress, seeming apprehensive, or on edge, it’s time to take them inside and find a quiet place for them to rest. It’s important that you are familiar with your dog’s stress signals and that you give your dog time to relax if they need it.

After the BBQ

After the cooking is over, keep your dog away from the grill until it is completely cool. If you used charcoal, remember that grease and pieces of meat will have fallen in the ashes, so be sure to dispose of them in a way that keeps them away from curious noses. Make sure that you secure all leftover trash too. You never know what your dog might decide to chew on, and certain items, like kebab skewers, are extremely dangerous for your dog to ingest.

Just a little bit of planning will ensure that all those attending the festivities have a wonderful time, eating and making memories!

Looking for a way to keep your dog entertained during the cookout? Check out Jeffers’ full line of dog toys, including interactive dog toys, which are perfect for keeping them entertained during the festivities. For more pet holiday safety tips, take a look at Renee’s blog, Holiday Pet Safety Tips.

A Samoyed dog lying on the grass outside next to a folding chair.

If you have any questions about BBQ safety tips for dogs, feel free to contact Renee by email at rsjones@jefferspet.com.

Renee Jones, CPDT-KSA, is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Jean Donaldson, to name a few. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (ADPT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She serves as a Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for Jeffers Pet.