Summer safety tips - Your dog and your barbecue

Summer safety tips - Your dog and your barbecue

Health & Safety

Summer is one of the nicest times of the year to enjoy the outdoors with your dog, and few of us go through the whole of the warmer season without holding or attending at least one barbecue! Spending lazy afternoons with friends around the grill while your dogs play together is one of the best ways to spend the warmer months, and barbecues are of course very appealing to dogs and humans alike, with their delicious aromas and slowly sizzling sausages!

In this article, we will cover some safety tips when it comes to dogs and barbecues, and advice on how to ensure that your grill out goes off without a dog-related hitch. Read on to learn more.

Heat-related risks

Barbecues are of course a source of heat in the form of hot coals and open flames, which may be potentially be dangerous to man and beast alike! Just as you would of course take care to keep your children safe from putting their hands on the grill or burning themselves, make sure that you do the same for your dog.

Never leave the barbecue unattended without adult supervision until it is completely cool, and ensure that the grill top is out of your dog’s reach. Make sure that you do the same for just-cooked food that will still be very hot; don’t place that tray of juicy burgers on a table and then turn your back!

Food safety

If your dog is taking part in your barbecue, the chances are that they will want to share, and it would be pretty mean not to let them have a little morsel of something when they have sat patiently for hours surrounded by all of those delicious smells!

Remember however that not all human foods are safe or good for dogs, and products such as chicken wings that have bones in them, meat that has been marinated or treated with spices and products such as sausages that contain onion or garlic (both of which are toxic to dogs) should not be fed to your dog.

Also, ensure that anything you give to your dog is thoroughly cooked; don’t think that the burger that is raw in the middle is ok for your dog but not your child! Allow anything you offer to your dog to cool down sufficiently before your dog gets their paws on it too, to avoid burns!

Consider fencing your dog off

If your dog cannot be trusted not to make a grab for the food, is boisterous and may knock into the barbecue or is otherwise potentially likely to pose a risk to themselves or others, consider either fencing the barbecue off from your dog, or keeping the dog fenced off in a different part of the garden.

This is also a good tip if your dog becomes possessive or aggressive around food, particularly if there are other dogs or children present.

Clean up promptly

Once the barbecue has finished and the grill is cooling down at the end of a long, hot day, it is entirely understandable that you might want to leave the clean-up for tomorrow, leaving you with the evening free to relax over a glass of wine. However, your job isn’t over if your dog is around!

Make a priority of taking any leftover food away promptly, and also, checking the floor for dropped bits that your dog might scavenge. Keep the grill fenced off or out of reach until it is thoroughly cool, and also, clean the grill up so that your dog is not tempted to lick it or try to gnaw off any burnt-on bits of meat that remain.

When throwing away food waste, make sure that you dispose of it in a bin that your dog cannot access or break into, as dogs can be very inventive when food is the potential payoff!

Pack any scraps that you might want to eat later away in the fridge as soon as possible, whether they are for your dog or yourself, so that potentially harmful bacteria does not have the chance to grow.

Don’t forget your dog

When you are enjoying your barbecue with your friends and your dog and everyone is having a great time, don’t forget about your dog’s comfort and safety.

Keep an eye on your dog to ensure that they are not becoming overheated in hot weather, and ensure that they have free access to clean, cool water and shade to get out of the sun.

Don’t encourage overly boisterous behaviour when the heat is at its highest, and ensure that any children present don’t run your dog ragged or ignore their cues that they have had enough.

Finally, remember that your dog should not be overfed or allowed to eat too much at the barbecue, and they should still have plenty of room left for their proper meal.



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