10 tips for a safe Labor Day barbecue with your pets

While fun for people, barbecues can causes many problems in pets. Here is a quick list to keep your pets safe today.

10 tips for a safe Labor Day barbecue with your pets

10 tips for a safe Labor Day barbecue with your pets

1. Lighter fluid is toxic to pets.

2. Trimmings and fatty food can cause pancreatitis (inflammation or irritation of the pancreas). Pancreatitis causes vomiting and severe belly pain.

3. Bones can be dangerous! Despite what many people think, bones are potential foreign bodies. I’ve removed many bones stuck in the stomach, the intestine or worse, in the esophagus (the tube between the mouth and the stomach, usually in the part inside the chest…)

4. A corn cob fed to a dog, while it seems to amuse some humans, can get stuck in the small intestine. This is a classic and serious (and potentially deadly) condition. It has a specific pattern on X-rays, but it may be barely visible and therefore very difficult to diagnose.
In addition, it usually stays in the GI for days before a diagnosis is made, which may mean that part of the intestine will need to be removed during surgery.

5. Fruit salads. Although healthy and refreshing for humans, fruit salads can contain hidden dangers for pets. Grapes (and raisins BTW) are toxic to pets’ kidneys.

6. Secure all trash cans. Even the best-behaved pet may have a hard time resisting the sweet smell of leftovers in a trash bag or a trash can.

7. Guacamole. Many of us love a good guacamole dip. Unfortunately, it contains 3 toxic ingredients for dogs: garlic, onion and avocado!

8. Hot barbecues, oil and food can cause serious burns to curious pets.

9. Sugar-free food. You or your guests may have used a preparation with an artificial sweetener called xylitol. This is extremely toxic to pets, who can have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or even liver failure because of it.

10. Chocolate. This is another classic: chocolate is toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate, the worse it is for pets.

Bonus 11. Having guests over means that somebody at some point may forget to shut the door or the gate, which may be an opportunity for your pet to run away, get lost, and possibly get hit by a car. It may be safer to lock your pets away to avoid a disaster that may spoil the day – at best.

Keep in mind that the advice above also applies to kids and guests. They may have good intentions, but that can lead to serious trouble!

Follow this simple advice, don’t end up at the veterinary emergency room and enjoy your barbecue!

Until next time,

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling veterinary surgeon in Pennsylvania & New Jersey. An award-winning author, he loves to share his adventures in practice along with information about vet medicine and surgery that can really help your pets. Dr. Zeltzman specializes in orthopedic, neurologic, cancer, and soft tissue surgeries for dogs, cats, and small exotics. By working with local family vets, he offers the best surgical care, safest anesthesia, and utmost pain management to all his patients. Sign up to get an email when he updates his blog, and follow him on Facebook, too!