Sum Sum Summertime! Summer is a human’s favorite season to cook outdoors. The windows and doors are open. The grill is hot. Friends are coming in and out visiting and chatting.
The smell of delicious meats fills the backyard. Your pup is right at your feet or trying to convince your BBQ guests you never feed them. You can see those lovingly glossy eyes I’m talking about— can’t you?
Well, what can dogs eat at a BBQ?
Great news about cookouts: As long as you are cautious— our fur babies can share a few of the same delicious offerings from the human table. With a few extra precautions, everyone is bound to have a doggone good time.
The Cookout Good-Goods
Plain lean hamburger meat in moderation is a safe and delicious snack. Too much fat or large servings can cause tummy upset. Avoid giving burgers with garlic or onion seasoning. As lean and plain as possible, please! Dogs do not mind, promise.
Hot dogs have a question mark here. Some of the top reputable sources conflict with this particular encased meat. Some say avoid hotdogs due to the sodium and potential choking hazard. Others say, as long as it’s 100% meat with no additives— dice it up and proceed in small amounts. If you have many meat choices that are less processed, stick with those.
According to the AKC (American Kennel Club), plenty of veggies are safe to share. Make sure there are no sugary sauces, spicy seasoning, or big pieces for choking.
Snacking on the following veggies has health benefits, and are totally safe.
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
- Spinach (might be a ruff sell)
Nothing is better than fruit on a hot day. Share the following fruits for furry friends to feel included. Frozen berries can be a cool reward too.
- Seedless Watermelon
Boneless Chicken and Fish
The same saucing rules apply to chicken and fish. Avoid any heavy sauces with spicy, sugary, salty, or garlic-y additions.
Chicken bones are very well known for the damage they can cause to dogs’ intestinal integrity. Make sure you are giving bite-sized boneless shreds or cubes that are lean and easy to chew.
Fish are another delicious protein and the same rules apply. According to an article by the AKC, the type of fish matters. Fish with shorter life spans have less likelihood of carrying mercury. Mercury is harmful to humans and dogs. Try salmon, whitefish, flounder, or herring. Avoid cooking fish with excess oil that can cause GI upset. And as always, NO BONES!
Delicious DIY Frozen Desserts
Everyone loves a frozen treat! Dogs have so many wonderful and safe fruit options. Knowing this, you can create yummy frozen treats with very minimal, inexpensive equipment and a short grocery list. Great for kids, too.
Foods to Avoid
Some little dudes have a strong beg game. Unfortunately, they do not know which foods are super unsafe. Some human grocery items will send your pup to the ER. This is never on the BBQ to-do list. Make sure to let your guests know about the house rules when it comes to table scraps.
FETCH by WebMD tells you exactly why below. Some of these foods may seem obvious to you. Yet, the reinforcement will have you ready to act if there is accidental ingestion.
- Xylitol— an artificial sweetener that can cause blood sugar complications and liver failure
- Alcohol— causes incoordination and liver issues (sound familiar?)
- Coffee, Tea, Cocoa— Caffeinated substances can be fatal for pups.
- Onions and Garlic— lowers red blood cells in dogs
- Grapes and Raisins— can quickly cause kidney issues or failure
- Avocados— contain persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea
- Macadamia Nuts—not even one. Symptomatic reactions can include weakness, vomiting, tremors, and fever¹
- Chocolate— even white chocolate. Dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate are the worst.
- Peach and Plum Pits— contain cyanide that is harmful to you and your doggo
- Fat Trimmings and Bones— Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis, and bones can cause tears and obstructions in the intestinal tract.
- Sugar and Candy— in excess can cause diabetes, also bad for teeth
“I Only Have Two Eyes!”
Vets take many phonecalls regarding kids feeding dogs dangerous foods unknowingly. Dogs always know exactly who to beg from, don’t they? ;)
Prepare a separate plate of bit-sized plain meats, fruits, and veggies to share with your dogs. Tell kids they can only give treats from the special plate. This will help avoid oopsies when you aren’t looking.
This also helps you to see with your own two eyes how much food your dog is consuming. Feel free to get creative! The plate can be a special color or shape.
Make DIY frozen treats ahead of time for the kids to share with their special animal friends.
Most Importantly, Have Fun!
The most important component for a safe BBQ with your dogs is SIMPLICITY. Many BBQ favorites in the USA have the green light. If you aren’t 100% sure, avoiding is best. A little bit of BBQ sauce falling off your famous pork ribs won’t hurt either. Just keep it all moderation for tummies and blood sugar.
Your beloved pet guests will be tail-waggin’ the day of the gathering and the day after with these guidelines.
Have a slobbery-sweet full-bellied BBQ!
The Woof + Wonder Staff