Barbecue season: keeping your dog safe

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Summer is here and with it comes barbecue season, British weather permitting of course. Barbecues are a great way to spend time in the garden with family, friends and our beloved canine companions but they do involve some hazards and temptations for dogs which are worth highlighting, so we’ve written some top tips for barbecue safety:

·        If your dog isn’t used to large crowds of people or loud music that may occur at a summer party, then allow them some refuge indoors so they are not stressed or forced into an uncomfortable situation.

·        If your dog is not used to children, please supervise any interactions between them. Children’s behaviour can be unpredictable and unfamiliar to dogs and could therefore lead to stress and fear or anxiety.

·        Be careful your dog does not have access to the barbecue itself whilst cooking as the tempting smells could encourage them to investigate too closely and get burnt or injured.

·        Always supervise the barbecue after cooking so it doesn’t become a fire hazard if your dog knocks it over. Preferably extinguish any coals or flames after use.

·        Food scraps and bones are a real temptation for dogs at barbecues. Be very careful to seal and dispose of leftovers so your dog can’t scavenge, and tell your guests not to feed them despite how much they plead.

·        Hazardous items or chemicals such as firelighters, lighting fluid, insect repellent and so on should be kept well out of reach of your dog as they could be toxic if ingested.

·        Certain foods on the menu can also be harmful to dogs so need to be kept out of reach. Chocolate, onions, avocado, citrus, mushrooms and garlic, as well as alcohol and tobacco, are toxic to dogs. Corn on the cob and cooked chicken bones can cause an obstruction or perforate the intestine if swallowed whole.

·        Finally, with guests coming and going throughout the day, be careful your dog doesn’t escape and get lost. Putting up a sign on doors and entrances that dogs are in attendance is a good reminder. Make sure your dog is microchipped and has a tagged collar with contact details.

Despite all the possible hazards mentioned, barbecues and summer gatherings are a great way to socialise your dog and give them plenty of positive attention from strangers. At our dogs are very much part of the family and team, so they always get an invite too.



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