Dogs, Bones and Barbecues

Yes! Dogs enjoy barbecues and tailgating parties as much as people do. They are very social creatures and, besides, there is food involved!

The problem with such gatherings is that there is usually so much going on that it can often be difficult to keep an eye on your pet. And dogs can be sneaky — especially when there is food involved!

If you are having a barbecue, it’s a good idea to get a family member to be the designated dog watcher, rather like the designated driver. The reason it’s necessary to have such supervision is because not only are a lot of foods toxic to dogs (such as onions and grapes) at these gatherings, but dogs are likely to steal food and leftovers when no one is looking. It’s a good idea to keep a behavior correction spray on hand to use when dogs are acting naughty.

Leftovers such as meat skewers and corn cobs are “lethal weapons” as far as a dog’s digestive tract is concerned. Spiked wood can get caught and tear intestines and corn corn cobs can cause a serious blockage.

It’s a really good idea to keep a garbage bag handy at a barbecue, whether it’s at home, in a parking lot or at the beach, and gather everything up as plates are emptied. Those plastic knives and forks are a danger, too. Don’t forget to clean up after Fido as well!

Another problem is clearing away the leftovers and not leaving them unattended in the kitchen. Pets will help themselves, and that even includes the family cat. A friend’s cat once helped herself to a complete chicken that was cooling in the kitchen and dragged it off down the passage. Fortunately, she was apprehended before she tucked in! One of my kitties once got hold of a pecan pie and got violently sick, leaving me to clear up the vomit. Keep pets out of the kitchen if food is being left on a counter to cool.

Chocolate, macadamia nuts, avocados, onions, garlic, chives, grapes and raisins are typical people foods that appear on a party table. They are also tops on the Do Not Give To Pets List, too. It’s a good idea to put the list on the side of the fridge — with a cute dog magnet to draw attention to it. And remember, alcohol can be dangerous to pets, too. It’s not even funny to make them drunk; they can get violently ill. Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and even death.

What are you planning to make for your next get together?

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