With temperatures rising in the UK, many of us are organising family barbecues to take advantage of the hot weather.
If you have a furry friend at home, it can be tempting to feed them some tasty treats from the grill – but lots of human foods are actually toxic to pets.
Canine Cottages has partnered with vet and animal nutritionist Dr Charley Webb to uncover the top five BBQ foods most harmful to pooches.
The research carried out examines how our dogs are affected by toxic foods and what dangerous ingredients pet parents often feed their pets.
Corn on the cob
Nearly nine out of 10 pet owners don’t realise that corn on the cob is dangerous to pets – but it’s a BBQ staple that should always be avoided.
Although corn itself isn’t a cause of danger, the cob is a choking hazard for dogs and can cause an intestinal blockage which can be fatal.
Although it may seem obvious, over half of pet owners don’t realise alcohol is toxic to dogs.
Ethanol (the intoxicating agent in alcohol) and hops (used to brew beer) can cause dogs alcohol intoxication, causing vomiting, disorientation, muscle tremors and even seizures – so it’s important to keep those summer Pimm’s and beers away from pooches.
Garlic and onions
Garlic and onions are some of the main ingredients used to season our BBQ food, including burgers, but they are highly toxic to dogs.
Approximately seven in 10 owners don’t realise garlic and onions can cause harm.
However, these ingredients can trigger an stomach upset (including nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea) and in severe cases can lead to major organ damage which could be fatal.
If you’re cooking a skewer on your BBQ, keep the evidence away from your pets.
Wooden skewers can cause damage to our dogs’ mouths and digestive systems, or can even become lodged and cause choking, which can be fatal.
If your dog chews on a wooden skewer, in many cases they are able to digest them when broken down, but if your dog starts to vomit then seek help.
When prepping a BBQ, make sure to keep raw meat and fish away from the hungry mouths of our dogs.
Raw or undercooked meat can contain bacteria such as salmonella and listeria that are harmful to dogs, so keep a close eye on them.
What BBQ foods can my dog eat?
When it comes to foods that are safe for our pooches, the following are all canine-friendly:
Plain pork, beef, chicken, salmon (properly cooked, no seasonings)
Some fresh fruit (avoid grapes, plums, peaches, raisins or apple seeds – stick to bananas, oranges, pineapple or mango)
Potatoes and sweet potatoes (fully cooked, as raw potato contains solanine, a compound that is toxic to dogs)
Dr Webb, from VetChef.com, says: “If you think your pet has eaten something that might be dangerous to them, stay calm and try not to panic.
“The best course of action is always to call the vet for advice right away, even if it’s the middle of the night or on a weekend.
“Most pets recover fully if treated rapidly so it’s important to tell your vet as soon as you know that it has happened, as this can prevent them from causing serious harm and in some cases could save their lives.”