Ten picnic and barbecue foods your dog should not eat

Ten picnic and barbecue foods your dog should not eat

Health & Safety

The warmer months of the year provide lots of opportunities to spend time with your dog as well as friends and family doing things outdoors, and picnics and barbecues make for highly appealing options for meals during the summer! We’ve already covered the basics of barbecuing safely with your dog in this article, so in this piece, we will cover ten common picnic and barbecue foods that your dog should not eat, and why.

Read on to learn more!

Tortilla chips and dip

Tortilla chips are not strictly toxic per se, but they are high in both fat and salt, making them a poor choice of treat for your dog. Dips for tortilla chips should be avoided particularly, as dips such as salsa generally contains onion, and guacamole contains garlic, onion and avocado, three foods that are not suitable for dogs at all.

Fruit salad

Giving your dog a piece of appropriate fruit or small chunks of a frozen fruit such as melon is a healthy and cooling way to offer your dog a summer treat. However, you should pick the fruit or pieces of fruit that you offer to your dog carefully, and not just let them eat a mixed fruit salad, as some fruits including grapes, and of course, raisins, are very toxic to dogs.

Corn on the cob

Grilled corn on the cob is a delicious and healthy addition to any picnic or barbecue, and corn itself is a safe food for your dog to eat in moderation. However, avoid giving your dog their own corn cob to gnaw on, as the shape and size of a corn cob can potentially become lodged in the throat of your dog, leading to choking and a real emergency that is best avoided.

Hamburger meat

Hamburgers are not toxic to your dog per se, but they are very high in fat and possibly salt, as well as being much richer than your dog’s usual diet. This can lead to diarrhoea and stomach upsets, and of course, many shop-bought hamburgers contain onion as well, which is toxic to dogs.


We’ve already referenced some foods that contain or may potentially contain onions in this list, but onions also bear mentioning on their own, as they are toxic to dogs and can lead to gastrointestinal issues and even heart problems. Sliced onions can often be found in salads, cold pasta, and waiting to top burgers and hot dogs, so make sure everyone knowns not to feed them to your dog!

Chocolate desserts

As most dog owners know, chocolate is poisonous to dogs, and should never be given to dogs in any shape or form. Sweet treats and desserts usually make up one of the best parts of your picnic or barbecue, and chocolate is almost certain to make an appearance in there somewhere! Any sweets, desserts, cakes or other products should not be given to dogs or left out for them to scavenge, and a good rule to follow is not to share any cakes or desserts with your dog at all.

Pork ribs

If your barbecuing skills are fairly advanced, you might enjoy cooking pork ribs on your barbecue, which of course leaves you with a lot of small meaty bones to contend with, which your dog will probably be more than willing to help you out with! However, pork ribs are a bad idea for your dog to eat, as small, cooked bones can both pose a choking hazard, and also potentially splinter if your dog crunches them up, leading to further problems.

Chicken wings

Chicken wings are a lot like pork ribs when it comes to the reasons behind why they are not suitable for your dog; they are small, cooked bones that are very fine, and often, sharp, and can pose a significant risk to your dog if they ingest them. Added to this, chicken wings are often marinated in sauces and flavourings, many of which will contain onion, garlic or spices that are not suitable for dogs and that may actually be toxic.

Whole hotdogs

A hotdog sausage on its own, boiled in water or grilled on the barbecue is a perfectly good treat for your dog if you chop it up into small, bite-size pieces, but a full-sized hotdog complete with the bun is a poor choice to feed to your dog. A hotdog in a bun is larger than your dog can reasonably swallow in one go, and your dog may become overexcited when offered their treat, and attempt to wolf the whole thing down, potentially posing a choking hazard.

Anything you’re not sure about

Finally, unless you are the person doing all of the shopping and cooking for your picnic or barbecue, the chances are that you will not be able to monitor exactly what everyone has brought, and all of the ingredients that may potentially be within their offerings.

In order to play it safe, never feed your dog any picnic or barbecue food that you aren’t sure about in terms of all of the ingredients and what they have been cooked in, as many seemingly simple dishes will have additives or spices incorporated into them as well.

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