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Cautions for Pet Owners in BBQ Season

Summer Safety - Bothersome BBQ's

There’s nothing more wonderful in the Summer months than the sun coming out, dusting off the BBQ and inviting friends and family round for a social gathering.

Whilst we all love a summer soiree, it’s good to think ahead about the potential hazards that may be lurking for your pets.

Stranger Danger

Having a house full of people they do not know may cause upset and distress for some pets. Ensure they have a “safe” area that they can retreat to if they are feeling a little overwhelmed.

Put their favourite bed and toys in a quiet room away from the party, ensuring they have access to fresh water. Do not leave them unattended with chew toys as this may be a choke hazard if they are not being supervised. Make sure that you check on your furry friend regularly to ensure they are not too stressed.

Using a calming plug in, spray or collar can work wonders to calm your pet! There are different types available on the market – species specific ones such as Adaptil (Dogs) and Feliway (Cats) work by using a synthetic version of a natural calming pheromone emitted from the mother’s mammary zone during the nursing of their young. Where products such as Pet Remedy works by ensuring a calming, zen like effect on birds and reptiles, rodents, rabbits, rodents, horses, parrots and ALL mammals including cats, dogs, and even humans!

Dog Appeasing Pheremone (DAP) - These pheromones have a calming effect on the neonates; are odourless and are only picked up by dogs. These “comforting messages” provide a strong signal of comfort and security to the puppies but also have the same effect on dogs of all ages.

Feliway – Feline specific - A combination of “Harmony” hormones emitted by the queen when she is nursing her young kittens, and a “happy” hormone emitted by adult cats. When comfortable and happy, cats mark their territory as familiar by rubbing their face against corners, furniture, people, or other cats at home. By doing that, they release a “happy message”. When present in the environment, these “happy messages” provide reassurance to the cats.

Pet Remedy – This product works alongside neurotransmitters, which are the brain’s “natural messages” which signal calm or tell the body the get “fired up”. Pet Remedy is a special blend of essential oils, which is mainly valerian based and works alongside the natural relaxation pathway of the brain to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets.

Some like it HOT

The sausages are sizzling, the steaks are sumptuous, and the burgers are browning, but danger can be hidden beyond the BBQ.

Hot coals and ashes can cause nasty burns, as can hot oils and fats – make sure that pets are kept well away from the BBQ when you are cooking. Ensure you have a bucket of water nearby in case of any emergencies. Always make sure that the BBQ has completely cooled down before allowing pets nearby – especially inquisitive doggies! Some dogs are crafty and will sneak under the BBQ to lap up congealed fats that have gathered underneath the BBQ, with this they can ingest gravel which can cause damage to the digestive tract.

If you are using lighter fluid or fire lighters to start your BBQ – make sure that these are kept out of reach of any pets and children! Consider other poisons too such as alcohol, caffeine, garlic and onions

Troublesome Titbits:

We’ve all been guilty of falling for those big brown puppy dog eyes looking up at us from under the table; but some human foods can cause significant problems for our peeping pals!

  1. Sausages gulped whole can cause stomach ulcers and dehydration, foods high in fat can cause pancreatitis to develop which can be extremely serious and sometimes fatal.
  2. Cooked bones from ribs and chicken wings are an extremely dangerous addition to any BBQ, they can pose a choke hazard and they can also cause internal foreign bodies or intestinal perforation which may develop into grave circumstances.
  3. Corn on the cob is one of the most common causes of foreign body removal in dogs – they love the taste of the butter and corn – however they can very rarely chew and breakdown the entire cob into pieces small enough to pass through the digestive tract. This then causes a blockage which can be life threatening. Symptoms may not occur for a day or two and you may not be aware that your dog has ingested it or been given one by an unknowing guest. If your dog starts to develop signs such as vomiting, diarrhoea, dry heaving, straining to pass faeces, a painful abdomen and starts to show signs of becoming lethargic then please visit your vet immediately.
  4. Onions and garlic come from the allium family and can be fatal if eaten by dogs as they cannot breakdown and digest these in the same way that we do. They contain a toxin that could severely affect your dogs red blood cells if digested; this can be fatal.
  5. Crisps/Pretzels – dogs love them! But too many can cause an overdose of sodium leading to vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, seizures and in extreme cases, death.
  6. Fruit salad – the healthy option? Not if they contain grapes! Grapes are highly toxic to dogs and can cause irreversible kidney damage. Death due to kidney failure may occur after 3-4days of eating grapes or raisins.

See it, Grab it, Bin it:

Dogs are crafty at sniffing out where the leftovers and waste are – they have an incredible sense of smell, are naturally curious and some just LOVE to scavenge!

Kebab skewers can cause a real problem if they are eaten, as can aluminium foil, old food wrappers and meat netting.

Broken glass can cause cuts to a pad so ensure that it is swept up promptly, wrapped well in newspaper and discarded away from any nosy pooch.

We hope that this has given you a helpful insight on how to keep your pets safe during BBQ season, and that you have plenty of fun times this summer!

Team GR.

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