• The Doggy Dojo

4 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe at Your Summer BBQ


Source: Peter Reid via Flickr.com


Nothing says “summer” like a backyard barbecue. The sun is shining (ideally), the grill is sizzling, and the conversation is flowing. After the winter and spring we’ve had, we totally deserve this. Our dogs included!

While backyard barbecues are the perfect way to celebrate everything good about summer in Chicago, they can also be really dangerous for our four-legged friends. Just think about all of the tasty, discarded food morsels lying around (corn cobs and peach pits, we’re looking at you). These items as well as inedible objects like skewers, string, and foil can cause serious gastrointestinal problems in dogs, and in some cases, death.

To ensure you have an enjoyable feast al fresco while keeping your pup out of harm’s way, read up on our tips for keeping your dog safe at your summer barbecue.

  1. Teach your dog barbecue manners Set your dog up for success at your backyard barbecue by teaching her some ground rules. A few good ones to start with include teaching your dog not to jump up, teaching your dog a relaxation command, and teaching your dog the “Off!” command. These skills will help your pup stay safe around a hot grill and hazardous food items.

  2. Keep dangerous food away from your dog Speaking of hazardous food items, barbecues are full of them. Use covered containers or covered plates to keep foods with bones, corn on the cob, onions, sauces and dips, and desserts away from your dog. Keep in mind – even foods that are safe can hurt your pup when they’re hot off the grill.

  3. Encourage safe snacking Your friends and family surely have the best of intentions, but at some point someone will probably slip your pup a tasty treat she shouldn’t have. Prevent a potential disaster by filling a bowl with dog-safe snacks (we like carrots, sweet potato chunks, apples, and pieces of lean chicken) with a note to encourage party guests to share from that bowl instead of their own plates.

  4. Keep your dog cool We all know Chicago summers can get pretty steamy. Make sure your dog is protected from heat exhaustion and heat stroke by providing him with plenty of fresh water and shade. Check out our other tips for keeping your dog cool this summer including freezing your dog’s toys and making frosty homemade treats.

Do you have any tips for keeping your dog safe at your summer barbecue? Share with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!

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