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Seven summer barbecue foods that are dangerous for your dog

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If you’re like most people, summertime means BBQs, pool parties, and spending time outdoors with your family and friends.

And of course, that includes your dog.

But before you let your dog indulge in all the deliciousness that comes with a summer BBQ, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

There are many barbecue foods that your dog should never eat, even if he wants to. Some human foods contain additives and flavourings that can cause health issues and there are certain fruits and vegetables such as garlic, onion, grapes and more that should always be kept well away from your dog.

Seven summer barbecue foods that can be dangerous for dogs

Here are seven summer barbecue foods that can be dangerous – even deadly – for your dog.

Hot dogs and sausages

Hot dogs and sausages are staples at many summer BBQs, but they can be dangerous for your dog.

Many hot dogs and sausages contain onions and garlic, which can cause anaemia in dogs.

They also often contain high levels of salt and other artificial flavourings and additives, many of which can be potentially lethal for a dog if eaten in quantity.

In addition, they often have fat content which can cause weight gain, upset stomachs and even more serious illnesses such as pancreatitis.

Chicken bones

Chicken bones can splinter and puncture your dog’s digestive tract.

If you’re feeding your dog table scraps from the BBQ, make sure to remove all the bones before giving them to your pup.

Seven summer barbecue foods that are dangerous for your dog
There are some barbecue foods that can cause problems for dogs

Corn on the cob

While corn on the cob is safe for dogs to eat, the cob itself can be dangerous.

If your dog swallows a whole cob, it could block their intestines. In addition, the sharp edges of the cob can cut your dog’s mouth or throat.

Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even a small amount can be poisonous, so it’s best to keep these snacks away from your furry friend.


You might not think twice about enjoying a cold beer at a summer BBQ, but alcohol can be dangerous – even deadly – for dogs.

If your dog ingests alcohol, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even seizures.

Garlic and onions

Garlic and onions are commonly used to add flavour to barbecue food, but according to experts, about 7 in 10 dog owners are unaware that garlic and onions can be harmful to their pets.

Both garlic and onions are highly hazardous to dogs and can irritate their stomachs, causing nausea, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea in many dogs.

In severe situations, it might cause organ damage that is potentially fatal, so if you believe your dog has eaten one of these items, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Many of us will use garlic and onions as seasonings on our barbeque meals and both foods are also used in our homes on a regular basis, so if you have a hungry dog around, be careful with foods that contain these.

Kebab Sticks

If you’re grilling a kebab on the BBQ, wooden skewers are convenient.

However, these sticks usually have a sharp point which can potentially cause all sorts of problems if eaten.

They could harm your dog’s teeth, cause choking and even pierce digestive tracts or cause internal injuries.

Used kebab sticks are often the biggest risk as people leave them lying around and, because they will smell strongly of the meat that was on them, the dog will go searching for them – this includes in the rubbish bin.

So take care to dispose of them properly so that your dog cannot get to them.

Seven summer barbecue foods that are dangerous for your dog
Do you know which barbecue foods are dangerous for your dog?

What should you do if your dog does eat something harmful?

If you believe your pet has eaten anything that could be harmful to them, The Pet Health Hub at the PDSA say “If you have an emergency, try to stay calm and avoid panicking”.

“The ideal solution is always to contact the veterinarian as soon as possible, even if it’s late at night or at a weekend”

“If your dog’s condition is treated promptly, most of them will recover” they explain.

“As a result, informing your veterinarian as soon as you discover the problem is critical since he or she will be able to help your dog quickly, which, some cases could save it’s life”

What barbecue foods can my dog eat safely?

If you’re looking for a dog-friendly food, plain pork, beef, chicken, and salmon that have all been thoroughly cooked without any flavourings or seasonings are fine for him to eat.

Grilled vegetables are also a wonderful treat for your four-legged companion, including fully cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes – avoid raw potatoes since they include solanine, which is dangerous.

Fruits in moderation, such as apples, pears and strawberries are beneficial for your dogs.

Bananas, oranges, pineapple or mango are all also excellent choices.

Grapes, plums, peaches, raisins and apple seeds should be avoided though as these can cause serious health problems for your dog if eaten.

With all cooked food make sure it has cooled before giving it to your dog.

Final Words

As you can see, there are plenty of safe foods that your dog can enjoy at your next BBQ.

Just be sure to keep them away from anything that might be harmful – like skewers, garlic, and onions – and they’ll have a great time.

And don’t forget to pack some doggy treats for when the meal’s over.

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