June 11, 2024 | News

Keeping pets safe during BBQ season

Keeping pets safe during BBQ season

During summer months, we all love to make the most of the warm weather and enjoy a barbecue. However, some of the treats we love, and equipment used can be dangerous to our four-legged friends. From heatstroke to leftovers, there are many hazards for pet owners to bear in mind.

If you are planning a barbecue, here are some tips from our friends at Nutravet to help keep it fun and safe for everyone, including pets:

Secure the garden

Before the barbecue begins and your guests arrive, take some time to check your garden is safe and secure for pets by making sure all fences are robust and there aren’t any dangerous plants that curious pets may investigate when your back is turned.

Create a quiet space

Make sure your pet has somewhere quiet and away from everyone they can go to if they are becoming anxious by all the noise and extra people in the home and garden. You could set them up in a room where you know no one else will go – make sure your guests are aware. If it’s a hot day keep the curtains of blinds in the room closed to make it a cool place if your dog gets too hot.

Hot equipment

Most traditional barbecues need lighting long before it’s time to cook, so you should cordon off the area completely to stop any pets getting near it. Never leave pets on their own or unsupervised near any hot food or equipment. If you’re using lighter fluid or firelighters to light your barbecue, store them well out of the way of pets.


Barbecue scraps can upset your pet’s stomach and undercooked or fatty foods can make them poorly. Whilst everyone is enjoying their feast, be sure to keep your pet occupied or feed them their normal food at the same time, so they are not tempted by any food not meant for them. Ask your guests not to feed them scraps as it can be tempting if they are begging. Also, keep any alcoholic drinks, sugar-free treats, and chocolate desserts out of reach from your pet.

Foods pets should not eat:
  • Fatty or salted food
  • Corn on the cob
  • Onions – they are toxic to dogs & cats.
  • BBQ sauce and other sauces which often contain onion, as well as high levels of salt and sugar. Spicy sauces can also upset their stomachs.
  • Undercooked meat – just like us, pets can get ill from undercooked food.
  • Hot food straight from the BBQ, which can burn their mouths.
  • Alcohol or any sweet treats for dessert.
Keep pets cool

In hot weather, pets can overheat quickly in the sun, make sure there are areas of shade or somewhere cool inside they can go should they need to cool down. They should have access to plenty of fresh, clean, and cool water to drink. You could set up a small paddling pool in your garden to help keep your dog cool when they are outside. If you know it’s going to be too hot, consider planning the barbecue for later in the day when the temperatures will have dropped slightly.

If you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t or are worried about any other health issues such as heatstroke, contact your vet right away.