Tips for a pet safe BBQ

Time to read: 5 mins

Barbeques are popular over the summer months and enjoyable for all the family. However, we need to be aware of the potential dangers they can pose to our pets.

Is it safe to feed my dog or cat barbeque food?

  • Meat from the barbeque isn’t the best food for our dogs and cats
  • Undercooked and overly fatty food like chicken, sausages, and burgers can really upset their digestive systems
  • If you do decide to slip them a treat, check the ingredients first. A lot of barbeque food contains onion and garlic. These ingredients can be highly toxic to dogs and must always be avoided
  • When it comes to feeding your dog or cat bones, they are a definite no. They can be very harmful, especially when cooked
  • Corn on the cob can be particularly dangerous, as dogs find them very difficult to digest and can cause major problems
  • Understandably, barbeque food also gets very hot so keep a close eye on your pet in case they get tempted to jump up and snatch a sausage or burger straight from the barbeque.

How to stop guests from feeding your pets

  • Resist the temptation to give in to those puppy dog eyes and make sure you and your guests have some dog treats or a dog-friendly chew bone to hand!
  • Try and make sure your guests appreciate some of the dangers that barbeque food can pose for your pet
  • If all else fails, it may be best to put your pet away while eating, and when the food is all cleared up, they can re-join you at the party

What are the dangers of the barbeque itself?

  • Understandably, the barbeque itself can be extremely dangerous! Along with hot coals, ash and food, there is a real risk of severe burns
  • Make sure to keep your pet well away from the barbeque. If you can’t ensure they’ll keep a safe distance, it is best to put them safe inside
  • When first lit, the smoke the barbeque produces is toxic. Pets and humans alike should avoid breathing it in
  • Try where possible, to make sure the barbeque is set up in an area well away from your party and guests

What are some of the other risks I should consider?

  • Pets will try to take advantage of plates and leftovers lying around. Try to keep an eye on your pet and make sure to tidy up and keep any tempting leftovers out of reach of your pet
  • There are also several choking hazards we need to be aware of such as kebab skewers, corn on the cob cores and meat bones
  • Keep a look out for any drinks, such as alcohol or even sugar-free drinks, which can also prove dangerous for our pets.
  • If you’re having a barbeque, there’s a fair chance it will be hot weather! Always ensure your pet has plenty of fresh drinking water to hand and that they stay well hydrated and cool. Look to make sure there are areas of shade for them to rest in
  • Whilst your dog will want to join in all the fun, try to ensure they take breaks. Some dogs may become stressed or over excited with all the guests in attendance. Make sure to give your pets a safe space to escape when they need it


Keeping everything safe will make your barbecue is fun and relaxing. Try to take a moment to think about your pets, and they can join in the fun too!

If you have further questions or any other pet health enquiries, call the Scratch & Patch Careline to speak to one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses.

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