Summer is the perfect time to get together with friends and family, soak up the sun, and enjoy the warm weather outdoors with your pets. The kids are out of school, everyone’s making memories, and truly enjoying the joys of the summer months. Pets can take part in all the fun too, but there are some extra precautions for pet owners–to make sure pets stay safe, healthy, and happy during summer festivities such as barbecues and other gatherings. Follow these pet BBQ safety tips from our team at  Bayside Animal Hospital to ensure that summer barbecues are safe and fun for every member of your household, including your beloved pets.

Keep Pets Away From the BBQ Grill

dog laying on the ground near a barbecue firepit

Charcoal is poisonous to both cats and dogs, and BBQ safety for pets begins with keeping them away from any potential contact with charcoal. Gas grills are also dangerous for pets, as heat emanates from them long after you’ve made your favorite meals. If your pet is sniffing around a hot grill, they can be burned badly–requiring immediate emergency veterinary care. Any open flames, including backyard bonfires, should be inaccessible to unsupervised pets. Here are a few additional grilling safety tips for pets:

  • Keep pets away from grease or oil
  • Don’t give dogs raw or cooked bones to chew on
  • Keep your pet at least 3 feet away from the grill at all times

Avoid Food That Could Harm Your Pets

Another important summer barbecue pet safety tip for pet owners is to not feed pets people food. Human food that’s toxic to cats and dogs can include onions, garlic, grapes, and many other foods we eat regularly and would never think of. It’s also important to politely remind any guests at your gatherings to not feed your pets table scraps. 

Be Mindful of Pets and Pools

black and white dog swimming in a pool with his owner in a pool, with a ball in his mouth

Large bodies of water aren’t safe for unsupervised pets. Please don’t assume that your dog can swim well or get themselves out of a pool. Summer barbecue safety for dogs includes ensuring they’re always accounted for and supervised. Even if your pup likes to splash about, make sure you’re always with them and can immediately intervene if they show signs of struggling.

Avoid allowing your dog to dive and play fetch underwater. Although it’s an impressive feat, it can lead to them swallowing too much water. This can cause serious injury or death long after they’ve gotten out of the pool. Watch out for warning signs of dry drowning in dogs, and seek emergency veterinary assistance if you notice strange behaviors or issues after a pet’s swimming session. 

Make Sure Your Doors and Gates Are Kept Closed

When guests are coming in and out of the house, remind them of one of the most basic pet BBQ safety tips, which is keeping entry and exit points fully secure. Sometimes, the best BBQ safety for pets might be having them rest safely in a quiet, comfortable space (such as a bedroom) while humans enjoy the outdoors without the risk of pets getting loose. Provide pets with water, some toys, and a cozy place to lie down–this will easily prevent any opportunity for escape.

It’s also very important to update all pet collar tags and microchip information with your current information, just in case pets do get out. Keeping contact information updated takes minutes, and helps them to be reunited with family quickly.

Take Measures to Calm Anxiety During Fireworks Displays

scared white dog hiding behind wooden fence planks

It’s a tradition to watch a beautiful display of fireworks on July 4th, but these can be extremely traumatic for pets. It’s very common for pets to have anxiety during fireworks, as they aren’t able to understand the cause of the loud noises happening outside. Pets who are outside when a show takes place may get so scared that they’ll take off running, putting them at risk of injury or being hit by a car. More pets escape on the 4th of July than almost any other holiday, as they commonly bolt out of sheer terror. 

Keep pet anxiety and pet noise aversion in mind as part of your summer barbeque safety plan, especially around Independence Day. Take added measures to keep your pet calm on any days neighbors may be setting off fireworks. Dogs are particularly sensitive to fireworks.  Keep them in a safe, quiet space, turn on a TV or radio to muffle the sounds, and avoid taking them outside when anyone might set off fireworks nearby.

Contact Bayside for a Safe Summer With Your Pet

We are always happy to chat with you about grilling safety for pets and other measures you can take to protect them during the summer months. From outdoor events to hiking and swimming, the Bayside Animal Hospital team is here to help you and your pet make the most out of summer together.

Please contact us at any time with any questions you have, and we’ll be happy to help. We wish you a wonderful summer with your furry friends.