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How to Keep Your Dog Safe at Summer Cookouts

By Langley Cornwell

Summer is here and the time for cookouts has begun.  For those of us who have dogs, this can mean attempting to keep the dog safe while still enjoying your company.  As a last resort, you can keep Fido in the house but where’s the fun in that?  You want your dog to be a part of the party, so you need to know how to keep your dog safe at summer cookouts. You might be surprised by how many things out there can be a danger to your pooch but with these tips, you can keep him safe and happy while enjoying a summer cookout with friends and family.

People Food – Make sure all of your guests know that you do not want your dog to have people food.  A wholesome, quality dog food like CANIDAE has all the nutrients your dog will ever need; there’s no need to supplement with table scraps. Additionally, beware of bones such as chicken and pork bones. They can splinter and cause severe intestinal damage.  The barbeque sauce can be too spicy for a dog’s stomach too, so just keep all people food away from the pets.

The Grill – Make sure the grill is always being watched by someone so the dog does not go near it.  The smell of cooking meat can be too much of a temptation for your furry friend and they could attempt to get into the grill.  This can cause severe burns which can be torment to your dog.  It is so easy to avoid this by having a human manning the barbeque at all times or to have the dog inside when there is no one to monitor the grill.

Booze – Never allow your guests to give your dog any type of alcoholic beverage because this can be toxic for your dog no matter how “cute” it may seem.  The hops in beer are poisonous and can cause a wide variety of health problems.  You also have to make sure your dog doesn’t have the ability to drink out of cups of alcohol left sitting around.

Garbage – Clean up the cookout garbage as you go along and don’t leave garbage bags where your dog can find them.  If you have a dumpster, put the garbage in it as soon as a bag is full or you can put it in your bin supplied by the trash company. This takes away the temptation from the smells of the food that was thrown away. (And it will save you a mess to clean up, too!).

Shaving Your Dog – You may want to shave down your dog so it is cooler for them when they are out in the sun all day with you.  This is alright if your dog has only one coat and would normally be groomed this way.  If your dog has an undercoat, like Huskies or Golden Retrievers, then you should not shave them at any time.  This undercoat not only keeps them warm in cold weather but acts as insulation in hot weather to keep them cool.  If you have a mixed breed dog and are not sure if they have an undercoat, take a comb and separate their hair.  If you see a fuzzy down, like ducks’ down, then there is an undercoat.  If instead you see skin, then it is alright for you to shave your dog.

Cookouts are a great way to spend time with friends and family during the summer.  If you want your dog to be a part of the festivities, then you need to know how to protect them and keep them safe.  Following these tips is the best way to keep your dog safe at summer cookouts so you can all have fun!

Photo by Steve Depolo

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