Memorial Day is right around the corner, and the unofficial start of summer brings back outdoor barbecues. If you’re entertaining and want to have your pup around, there are some things worth noting before you start the grill. The American Kennel Club offers the following tips to keep your dog safe at your next barbecue.
Secure your yard: If you have a gate to your yard, make sure it’s closed at all times – and that means guests going in and out should know to close it as well. If people are coming and going frequently, perhaps putting your dog on a leash or in their crate might be a better option. You can even appoint a family member to gate duty, making sure it stays closed when people come and go.
Keep your dog hydrated: Whether it’s peak summer or not, it’s extremely important to keep your dog hydrated with access to an area with shade. Signs of heatstroke are important to look out for: restlessness, agitation, vigorous panting, and bright red gums to name a few. If these arise, bring your dog to a cooler area and contact your veterinarian immediately. On very hot days, it’s best to leave your dog inside.
Don’t feed your dog from the barbecue: It’s tempting to give your dog scraps when they give you those puppy-dog eyes, but avoid giving your dog BBQ food, which is often too greasy for your dog’s stomach. Make sure your dog isn’t grabbing any food of the tables, and keep foods like avocados, onions, grapes, corn cobs and raisins far out of reach – these can be toxic to your dog.
Keep your dog away from the grill: No matter how aware your dog is, keep them away from the grill when it’s on. It’s very hot, which is dangerous to an unsuspecting pup, not to mention the open flame. Even after you turn it off, keep your dog away from the grill until it’s fully cooled down.
Apply sunscreen: Yes, you should be applying sunscreen to your dog! Especially in the summer and during the day, use a canine-appropriate sunscreen on your dog’s nose. This will prevent sunburn.
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