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BBQ time: Keep your pets safe in Norwich

May 23, 2019

It’s time for a grilling on BBQ pet safety

 Things are heating up at All Creatures Healthcare in Norwich… As the weather gets better and the temptation to warm up the BBQ is reaching new heights, we’re here to remind you about a few things for BBQ pet safety.

After that, we’ll probably get the aprons on ourselves… Those burgers won’t cook themselves.

What should I keep in mind if I’m planning a BBQ?

Well, if you imagine the checklist you’d normally make when you decide to have a BBQ, that’s a good way to remember the areas that could also affect your beloved pets most:

  • Food
  • BBQ supplies
  • Good weather

Let’s go into more detail on each of these.

 What BBQ food can’t my pets eat?

Onions and garlic

Why: A common addition to BBQ food and two items that are surprisingly toxic to dogs. These foods decrease the amount of red blood cells in dogs and can cause anaemia.

Symptoms: Red urine that smells like onions, loss of appetite, and generally not seeming ‘themselves’.


Why: Avocados, though all the rage for humans, are again very toxic to dogs. They contain ‘persin’, which can cause heart failure. Plus, they have large stones in the centre which, if eaten, can cause a blockage in your dog’s intestine that only surgery can resolve.

Symptoms: Keep an eye out for vomiting, diarrhoea, and difficulty breathing.

Corn on the cob

Why: As one of the main reasons for emergency treatment during the summer, we know what we’re talking about when we say, “Hide those corn on the cob!” The centre of a corn on the cob cannot be digested, meaning that it travels through to the small intestine and can create a bowel obstruction.

Symptoms: Common signs are vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty passing faeces, and abdominal tenderness.

Turkey skin

Why: The skin on a turkey, though delicious to humans, is known to cause acute pancreatitis in canines. In severe cases, this can even be fatal.

 Symptoms: If your dog has eaten some turkey skin, you might expect to see a hunched back, repeat vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, dehydration, weakness, or fever.


 Why: While bigger, raw bones are often a treat for precious pups, small, cooked bones – such as those found in chicken or turkey – can be extremely dangerous. Cooked bones may splinter when chewed, lodging themselves in your dog’s throat or intestines. Again, this can be very painful and require surgery.

Symptoms: Your dog may show signs of gagging, vomiting, drinking excessively, pacing anxiously, or even have difficulty sitting down comfortably

 What BBQ supplies are dangerous to pets?

Skewers – The little wooden sticks, often used for cooking and eating kebabs, can be incredibly dangerous to animals. When eaten, they may still be sharp enough to puncture their throat, stomach, or intestine. It’s hard to even think about, so best to avoid entirely.

Tin foil/cling film – In their haste to grab some tasty BBQ food, animals can easily miss small bits of tin foil or cling film still attached. In doing so, they risk an upset stomach and difficulty passing faeces.

Sharp objects – This one is obvious, but BBQs often come with lots of sharp devices for poking, prodding, and flipping the food to perfection.

Make sure to keep them out of your pet’s reach where possible, because chances are they’ll be sniffing around for some scraps and may not be aware of the danger.

Is BBQ weather dangerous to my pets?

Sunburn or heat stroke – Animals can also get sun burnt or heat stroke, so always make sure that there’s a shaded area for them to escape to and plenty of fresh, cold water. Sun screen for dogs and cats is also available, so if they’re short-hair breeds, consider buying some in preparation.

Sheds and greenhouses – When looking for a shaded area, pets can become trapped in sheds and greenhouses, which rapidly heat up on hot days. Ensure that these are locked ahead of your BBQ and always double-check that you’ve not been followed if you needed to grab something from inside.

You’re ready to get the BBQ fired up…

So, keep your pets in mind when you’re planning for a BBQ in the sun, otherwise you risk their happiness and health for a couple of burgers – and we’d have to give you a real grilling.

If you need any reminders before getting the apron out, download our infographic on BBQ pet dangers.



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