BBQ safety: top tips for pet owners

There's nothing better than having a barbeque with friends and family during the great British summer. But all those tempting treats and glowing grills can be a danger for our much-loved pets.

Heatstroke and burns. Bin raids and broken glass. There are a lot of potential dangers for pet owners to bear in mind. Every summer, our vets see lots of pets who’ve got into a spot of bother at the family barbeque. 

Follow these simple tips to make sure your barbeque is fun for everyone – including our four-legged friends!

 

1. Skip the scraps​

Is your dog a master of puppy dog eyes? Don’t give in! Barbeque scraps can upset your pet’s stomach and undercooked or fatty foods could give them a nasty dose of diarrhoea. Try giving them a healthy chew to chomp on or a fun toy to play with instead. It will keep them occupied while you enjoy your food in peace.

 

2. Bin it

If you don’t keep a close eye on them, pets can easily get hold of something they shouldn’t. A big problem at barbeques is pets eating things like kebab skewers or the core from a corn on the cob. These can cause serious internal blockages and injuries. Make sure any leftovers and rubbish are thrown away in a lidded bin that your pet can’t raid. All those food smells will be super tempting for cats and dogs so your bin needs to be super secure.  

 

3. Out of reach

If you’re using lighter fluid or firelighters to light your barbeque, make sure you store them well out of reach of pets. It can be really dangerous for curious paws.

Think about other potential poisons too – keep alcoholic drinks out of temptation’s way for thirsty pets. Take a look at our guide to some common poisons and hazards found around our homes.

 

4. Flamin' hot

Keep pets a safe distance away from the barbeque. Those hot coals and ashes could cause serious burns. Always make sure the barbeque is cooled down quickly once you’ve finished cooking and never leave pets on their own around it while it’s still hot.

 

5. Keep them cool

Our furry friend can quickly overheat in the sun. Make sure they have plenty of water and can head into the shade or indoors whenever they need to.

 

6. Slap on the sun cream

Sun safety is just as important for our pets as it is for us. If you’re feeling the need to slather on the sun cream, it’s likely your pet will need some too especially if they have thin fur, white fur, or pink skin exposed such as the tips of the ears of on the end of the nose. Make sure you use a pet-safe sun creams – your vet will be able to recommend one for you if you’re not sure what to look for. Find out more about keeping your pet safe from the sun.

 

7. De-stress

Having a house full of strangers might be a bit stressful for your pet, so try and give them plenty of opportunity to relax in peace.

  • Set up a calm, quite room in your house where pets can retreat to if they feel stressed out.
  • Your dog might love all the extra attention or they might find it a bit overwhelming. Dogs are usually eager to please and might not want to take a rest even if they’re getting worked up or too hot. Look for warning signs that they’re getting over excited or finding the situation stressful and give them some time out.
  • Pets who live in the garden, like some rabbits and guinea pigs, might be frightened by the noise of a big group of people. Try and keep guests away from their run or move their enclosure into a quieter part of the garden, if possible. 

 

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