Can dogs eat barbecue food?

There’s a juicy kebab (or five) cooking on the grill. The burgers are piled high and the buns are loaded with ketchup, mayo and pickles. There’s a lump of cheese dripping over a sausage, and the picnic table is groaning under hot dogs, bowls of crisps and lashings of creamy dips and desserts.

And then, of course, there’s a pair of pleading puppy dog eyes following your every move. Desperate to get a lick or a sniff of whatever’s on your plate.

But before you give the dog a burger, let’s take a moment. Should pups be tucking into all that mouth-watering summer tucker? Follow our BBQ feeding tips and you won’t make your next BBQ into a dog’s dinner. 

Skip the sausage

Can dogs eat pork? It’s a brilliant protein, but not in sausage form! Sausages are so popular we even name a dog after them, but with their salt and fat content, they’re best avoided – as are the buns they come in. The same goes for the blue cheese on your burger, as too much cheese will upset their digestion and cause sickness and diarrhea.

Chips and dips

Can dogs eat potatoes? That dollop of potato salad is dripping in oily mayo. And those crisps from your sharing bag? They’re way too salty for his tummy. So it’s a no and no on chips and dips. Next!

Bin those bones

It’s a good idea to set boundaries with guests and little people before the fun starts. Scraps of food – as well as bones – might seem like an easy treat, but keep them out of reach. Chicken bones can cause obstructions and if swallowed whole, they can even perforate the intestine. Cooked bones will splinter much quicker than raw bones, so always keep an eye on them!

The naughty list

Beware the marinade and the dip. Citrus fruits, garlic and onions – even the avocado in that tasty guacamole – are all big feeding no no’s, and you don’t need us to tell you that alcohol and tobacco are way off-limits, along with raisins and grapes, macadamia nuts and chocolate. If you want to feed them something sweet, raw peanut butter (make sure there’s no Xylitol sweetener in it!) is best.

Salad days

Feed them corn – it’s in a lot of lovely dog food – but not the cob, which could get stuck. We often get asked can dogs eat cucumbers, and we say yes, but make sure it’s not got anything on it (see the naughty list). 

It’s not all doom and gloom, we promise! A little bit of chicken bbq’d plain is a lovely treat, guaranteed to make tails wag – and wag.

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