Teach your dog to be BBQ Safe
Especially when you’re visiting other people’s homes, you can’t always expect the BBQ to be 100% dog safe. Instead, start your dog off right by teaching them some BBQ Ground rules.
•Four on the Floor – Teaching your dog not to jump up is a gift for you, your dog and other BBQ goers. Making sure your dog keeps four paws on the ground ensures that they don’t jump up on any tables or worse the hot grill and that they don’t knock over guests who are trying to balance food/drinks in their hands. •Chillax, man – Teaching your dog a relaxation command can be hugely beneficial. Some people choose a “go to your mat/crate”, others are happy with a basic sit/stay. Whatever command you choose, a relaxation command is a great way to let your dog know that they need to get out of the action and lay down for a while. It’s also a great way to keep your dog away from a hot BBQ grill. •OFF! – I can’t tell you how invaluable this command is! When you have a food hound like Max, he needs to be reminded that his nose is not welcome on any serving trays or plates. Making sure your dogs has a bullet proof “off” command and that other party guests know that word, will help make sure your dog doesn’t eat anything they shouldn’t. •Umbilical Training – If your dog is young, still learning or can’t be trusted around food, consider umbilical training. Wrap a long leash around your waist or chest and clip it onto your dog’s harness. This ensures they are never more than an arm’s length away and you can reward or redirect behavior as needed. Just be careful, your dog’s safety relies on you keeping your head in the game. Make sure that you don’t accidentally drag your dog into things or force them into spots they are not comfortable. •Confinement – If none of that is going to work, it may be best to keep your pet out of the BBQ party. Crating or a nice movie in the bedroom could be your best and safest option.
Watch the food
The biggest hazard to your dog at any BBQ is the food. It smells delicious, it tastes fantastic and it can make your dog really really sick. Make sure you keep your dog safe by limiting access to things that can hurt them.
•Foods to Avoid – Use covered containers or covered plates to keep foods with bones, corn on the cob, grease (watch out for grease spills under the grill), sauces, desserts and all other dangerous foods away from your dog. Bones can cause your dog to choke or perforate their bowel, many other foods are toxic to dogs and corn cobs can cause a bowel obstruction. Chocolate is a classic dessert food and it can be fatal to your pooch. Even foods that are dog safe can cause harm when they’re hot off the grill. Nobody wants a burnt tongue! •Encourage safe snacking – Your friends have the best of intentions, but I guarantee, at some point, someone will slip your dog a secret treat that they should never have. Head ’em off by bringing a bowl full of dog safe snacks with a note encourage guests to share from that bowl. I love filling ours with carrots, potato chunks, lean chicken or steak, apples, watermelon or whatever your dog’s favorite low calorie treat is. •Your garbage is your dog’s “delicious treat” – Cricket is a total garbage digging dog. Make sure your dog keeps his nose out of the trash by using a closed top garbage can. If your dog is really persistent, consider one with a lock. •Don’t forget about BBQ Tools – A chewed up BBQ Brush, a BBQ skewer or a swallowed tin foil packet can cause just as much, if not more harm than elicit foods, make sure these are kept well away from your dog. •Just don’t do it – It is so tempting to hand them that bone when they look at you with those adoring eyes, but don’t give in! I would rather my dog be disappointed than have emergency surgery!
Keep them cool
The lazy hazy days of summer can be long and hot. Make sure your dog is protected from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Our older pups, pups with flat faces, heavy or dark coated pups, and those that are AC junkies and not used to being outdoors are the most at risk.
•Provide plenty of cold, fresh water – Consider sitting your dog’s bowl in an ice bath to keep it chilled longer or use a special frozen bowl. Change out the water often and consider offering flavored water for dogs who are reluctant drinkers. •Offer plenty of shade – If your yard doesn’t have trees to provide shade, consider using a deck umbrella or a simple canopy tent to provide your dog with a shady retreat. I guess your guests could use it too. •Help your dog Chill out with a pool of their own – There is nothing dogs love more than a cool spot to lay and Kiddie pools work great!