It just wouldn’t be summer without grilling, barbecuing, and plenty of eating! Cookouts top the list of favorite summer activities for many families, and it’s no surprise that our pets want to be included in the fun.

Unfortunately, cookouts provide plenty of opportunities for our curious pets to become injured or get into trouble. Keep them safe from harm with these pet cookout safety tips from your friends at Maywood Veterinary Clinic!

Pet Cookout Safety Tips

  1. Keep your eyes on the food – Many common cookout foods and drinks can be toxic to pets, including alcohol, grapes, onions, avocado, chocolate, and anything made with the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Fatty meats and other greasy food items may not be toxic, but can cause severe stomach upset in pets and lead to an inflammatory condition known as pancreatitis. For your pet’s safety, don’t slip him or her any table scraps, and ask guests to refrain.
  2. Clean up quickly – Leftovers and trash items can be just as tempting to pets as fresh food. While things like corn cobs aren’t necessarily toxic, these types of indigestible items can cause a dangerous intestinal blockage in pets, which may require surgery or other emergency medical treatment. Pets may also be attracted to bits of aluminum foil or kebab sticks with leftover food stuck to them. Protect your furry friend by putting leftovers away immediately and keeping trash bins securely covered.
  3. Supervise your pet – Pets often find the smell of grilling food irresistible, but the dangers of flames, hot coals, and sharp utensils are all too real. Avoid grill-related accidents by keeping pets indoors or secured in a separate area while you’re grilling.
  4. Provide the proper ID – You surely do your best to protect your pet from escaping or getting lost, but in the hustle and bustle of guests coming and going it can be easy for a pet to slip out of a door or gate accidentally left open. Having your pet outfitted with a microchip, as well as a collar with current ID tags, is your best bet in being reunited should he or she become lost.
  5. Watch the temperature – The warm weather is part of the joy of summertime cookouts, but be sure to keep your pet’s comfort in mind when temperatures rise. Always provide a cool, shady place and plenty of fresh water for your pet.

Be on the lookout for signs of heatstroke.

Symptoms include:

  • Excessive panting/drooling
  • Pale blue or white gums
  • Rapid pulse
  • Stumbling or staggering
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Collapse

Bring your pet into an air-conditioned room and call us immediately if he or she experiences any of the above symptoms.

As always, if you have any questions regarding your pet’s safety this summer, or at any time, give us a call. Happy grilling!