Summertime, and the living is easy… Yes, it might be for you but not so much for your furry friends. They have to deal with all sorts of discomfort, ranging from overheated bodies to warm drinking water, hot pavement under their paws and oh, that elusive BBQ! Days on the patio are fun times for many of us but there are inherent dangers for pets when it comes to grilling. Dr. Issam Kadri of Richmond Hill Animal Hospital gives some safety tips for pets that you can keep in mind during summer BBQ days:
Accident Prone Pets
There’s nothing quite as alluring as the smell of meat cooking on the grill, and that applies equally to your pet. It’s always best to keep your animals out of the BBQ area, no matter how beseechingly they’re eyeing the meat on the grill! Hot coals, hot grills and inquisitive pets are a dangerous combination. If you must have your pet outdoors with you, make sure the grill is attended at all times to avoid any accidents.
Be careful too about how much leftover meat you give your pets. Regardless of the quality of the cuts, when it’s marinated and spiced it could cause them more grief than it’s worth. Keep a close eye on your guests as well to make sure they don’t overdo the titbits and cause Fido an upset stomach later that night. Other foods found at BBQs that can be harmful to pets include raw onions, avocados, dairy products, grapes and certain nuts. These can not only make your pet sick, but they can be potentially toxic. Feeding titbits between meals can also contribute to your dog becoming overweight.
No Bones About It
Many of us love a good T-bone steak or chicken on the grill and your furry friends are no exception. However, just because we don’t eat the bones doesn’t mean they won’t try to!
Bones present some very real dangers to pets, such as
- fractured teeth
- airway obstructions
- gastrointestinal complications
- dental problems
Clear the plates when the meal is over and dispose of the bones in a tightly sealed garbage can.
The high temperatures in summer are easy to deal with when you’re swimming and lounging in a pair of shorts, but dogs and cats seldom have the same luxury. Long-haired breeds can overheat quickly, so make sure they have access to shady spots or can go inside to cool off. Heat stroke can be fatal, but it’s easily prevented by taking some simple precautions. Have a bowl of water with ice-cubes handy, and put down wet towels for the animals to lie on if necessary to keep cool.
Take the precautions you need for both you and your pets to have wonderful summer barbecue days together, without the risks that come with the various activities.