What NOT to feed your pets at your Summer Barbeque

Warmer days, longer evenings, holidays, beach visits and barbeques can only mean one thing, summer is here! Before you get your tongs and apron out to prepare the BBQ, it’s important you know about the foods that can be harmful for your cat or dog.

While sharing is caring when it comes to humans at the table, we highly recommend you and your guests do not extend this sharing with your pets!

Here are some key food groups to keep away from your pets;

  • Hot foods– Freshly cooked meats can reach very high temperatures which can burn the mouth or throat of a pet who has enthusiastically gobbled something up. Please seek immediate veterinary care as burns are painful and can lead to internal scarring and narrowing of the oesophagus.
  • Corn on the cob- Enthusiastic eaters have been known to swallow corn cobs whole! They can easily get lodged in your pet’s intestine if swallowed.
  • Kebab sticks- Can cause intestinal perforation (a hole in their intestine)
  • Desserts- Summer desserts and sweet treats may contain macadamias or chocolate which are highly toxic to dogs. Rich dairy products may also cause stomach upsets in sensitive pets.
  • Ribs or bones- Many people believe it is safe or even healthy to feed dogs bones; however, it is hazardous. Bones can cause broken teeth, choking or internal damage. Cooked bones are particularly dangerous and must be avoided.
  • Alcohol- A beer or Aperol Spritz are popular thirst quenchers during the balmy months; however, dogs cannot process alcohol well, leading to liver failure, which can be fatal. Put your bottle bin in a spot to ensure pets cannot lick up any spilled alcoholic beverages.
  • Onions- All members of the onion family (garlic, scallions and shallots included) contain compounds that cause anaemia in pets causing weakness. While the amount required to make your dog sick is significant, it’s best not to take the risk.
  • Salty foods- Salted chips and crisps are high in sodium, and these can leave your pet very thirsty, which can turn quickly into dangerous dehydration on a hot day. Make sure your pet avoids salty foods and always has access to fresh, clean water.

Just like you would be mindful around the BBQ with small children, keep your pets away from hot surfaces. Cats may be attracted by the smell of delicious food and jump onto the hotplate after you have finished cooking.

While you’re enjoying your summer BBQ, treat your pet to a delicious ‘pet-friendly’ feast to ensure they can enjoy their own food distraction. If they’re not hungry, this may also stop them begging for food from your guests.

If your pet eats something they shouldn’t have, our partner emergency vet hospitals are always open 24/7 including all public holidays. If you are not sure if your pet needs to see a vet, you can also contact WebVet for peace of mind. With WebVet you can speak with a vet anytime, anywhere via video call and it’s free for Healthy Pets Plus Members. Learn more.


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