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Keeping Dogs and Cats Safe: How to Plan a Pet-Friendly BBQ

Published date: 11 June 2024

Summer is finally here! During these few weeks (or possibly days) of sun, a strange feeling comes over many of us here in the UK…the desperate urge to have a BBQ.

Burgers and vegetable skewers, sound fabulous washed down with a cheeky glass of something. However, before we fire up the coals, it is important to consider the safety of our beloved furry friends.

Here are our top tips for keeping your pet safe during a BBQ.

Avoid food from the BBQ.

As tempting as it can be to offer your dog or cat a tasty something from the BBQ, keep in mind our staple summer foods are often very fatty.

Sausages, burgers, and chicken legs are unsuitable for our furry friends. With the risk of sickness, stomach problems and the added threat of a puncture or blockage from bones.

Even seemingly harmless foods like corn on the cob can be extremely detrimental to our canine companions' health. These can be a choking hazard and cause blockages in their digestive tract.

Many favourite sauces or condiments also pose a threat, as many contain onion and high levels of salt.

Essentially the BBQ is for humans only! However, this doesn’t mean our furry friends can’t enjoy some tasty natural snacks of their own.

Pssst. Remember to get rid of foil, skewers and other BBQ-related items to avoid your dog getting hold of something potentially dangerous.

Stop the Sunburn!

The sun is not just dangerous for our skin, it’s dangerous for our pets too. Much like us they can get burned and suffer because of sun damage.

Sun can and does penetrate fur, so stock up on pet-safe sunscreen to keep dogs protected. Remember to regularly reapply, especially on the delicate areas, nose, paws, and tips of ears!

Keep pets in the shade!

Of course, the best way to avoid sun damage is to keep your pets in the shade. Unfortunately, our furry friends can be guilty of basking in the heat for longer than they should.

Keep an eye on your pets and make sure they stick to the shade. Remember it's easy for our dogs and cats to become dehydrated during hot weather, so keep their water bowls/ fountains topped up.

Do you have a feline who is fussy with their water? Watch our video on encouraging cats to drink.

Head over here for more tips on keeping your pets cool.

Cats can get overwhelmed during social gatherings and may retreat somewhere to get away from the crowd. Keep the shed and greenhouse doors shut to avoid them sneaking in and becoming overheated.

Be Burn Aware

If your pet does sustain a burn, you must be able to safely treat them.

Submerge the burned area in cool but not ice-cold water for around 10-20 minutes. To prevent your pet from licking the damaged area, gently cover it in clingfilm while you seek vet attention.

Keep your local vets' numbers on hand just in case.

I hope you all get the chance to enjoy a delicious BBQ and get a chance to safely soak up the sun with your favourite furry companion.

Written by Lucy Marcham

Lucy teaches all aspects of the Pets Corner curriculum and specialises in animal nutrition, ensuring that our staff have the right knowledge and understanding of pet diets to assist customers with confidence and care.