It’s BBQ season here in the UK, in fact, it’s National BBQ Week! To make sure everyone has a safe and happy summertime the experts at Canagan have highlighted the 10 toxic barbeque treats to keep away from pets this summer.
In 2017, the UK was once again Europe’s leading BBQ nation, hosting over 135 million barbeques. With heatwaves and longer and lighter evenings, al-fresco dining becomes more appealing. The habit of feeding your pet leftovers also is seen to increase during this time, with one in three Brits feeding their pets directly from the table, however a number of popular BBQ favourites are toxic to pets.
Here are some of the foods you should keep out of reach to avoid any serious incidents:
- Kebab sticks
Most dogs will eat anything in sight in the hope it has the remnants of food on it. Dog owners need to be extra careful as serious damage to their organs and digestive system can be done by consuming wooden or metal kebab sticks. If you believe your pet has swallowed a wooden or metal skewer, visit your local vets immediately and make them feel as comfortable as possible.
- Ribs and bones
Chicken and other small bones should not be fed to your pet. They pose a choking hazard and may puncture your pet’s digestive tract if they are not kept out of reach or disposed of appropriately. If you notice a difference in behaviour after the BBQ such as appetite loss, vomiting, relentlessness or lack of energy then contact your vet straight away.
- Corn on the cob
Corn on the cobs are a BBQ favourite but a threat to our pets. If consumed by your dog it can cause them to choke or obstruct their throat or digestive tract due to the shape and volume. If you fear your dog has swallowed a corn on the cob contact your vet or an out of hours clinic for immediate assistance.
Many people relish the idea of their burgers and hot dogs topped with fried onions to give their food more flavour. However, shallots, onions, garlic and scallions contain a toxic called Allium that can harm your dog’s red blood cells if sufficiently ingested. Damage does not generally become apparent for three to five days after a dog ingests the food. If you suspect your pet has eaten any of the above, symptoms may include weakness, reluctance to move, fatigue and darkly-colored urine. Seek veterinary assistance immediately if you’re concerned.
Avocado may be a popular accompaniment, but it contains a toxic compound called Persin, which can cause stomach distress for cats and dogs if consumed. Naturally high in fat content too, pets who consume guacamole will easily exceed their daily intake, especially accompanied by their usual meal time. Additionally, the pit of the avocado can cause serious problems to your pet if consumed as it poses a serious choking hazard if it becomes lodged.
- Chocolate desserts
Most people are aware that chocolate is toxic for dogs and can make them very sick. The darker the chocolate, the more harmful it is to your dog. Sugar-free is no better as it is sweetened with Xylitol. Both chocolate and Xylitol have potentially fatal compounds. Chocolate poisoning can lead to heart arrhythmias, muscle tremors, and seizures. Ingestion of Xylitol can lead to a quick and serious drop in blood sugar levels, resulting in disorientation and seizures within a half hour of ingestion; some dogs may develop liver failure which can be fatal. If you want to make your pets feel included, treat them to something equally as delicious. You can try a mixture of safe and healthy treats such as banana pupcakes, sweet potato and apple pupcakes or game biscuit bakes by Canagan. Be sure to make your cat feel included with tuna and shrimp cakes.
- Raisins and grapes
Keep your fruit salad out of reach, especially if it contains grapes and raisins which are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Signs they’ve consumed raisins or grapes include vomiting, lethargy or diarrhoea within 12 hours of ingestion. As signs progress, dogs become increasingly lethargic and dehydrated, refuse to eat and may show an increase in urination followed by decreased or no urination in later stages. Death due to kidney failure may occur within three to four days, or long-term kidney disease may persist in dogs who survive the acute intoxication.
Dogs can be very sneaky when it comes to chewing on things that shouldn’t be chewed. Plastic is everywhere and may have tasty remains on it, but if eaten, dogs can’t digest it. Seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible if you think your dog has ingested plastic.
- Uncooked meat
Raw and undercooked meat can contain various bacteria and pathogens, such as salmonella and listeria, that pose risks to dogs and the people around them. This type of diet can increase your dog’s risk of nutritional deficiencies and illnesses. When putting raw meat on the BBQ, ensure that your dog or cat isn’t in close proximity to steal anything from your tongs, skewers or fork.
BBQ’s are the perfect occasion for a summer beverage. Whether it is an ice-cold cider or an Aperol Spritz, alcohol can hit your pet’s bloodstream a lot quicker than a human’s making it very dangerous if they manage to get their paws on some. Alcohol can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar and temperature, leading to seizures and respiratory failure.
Aside from the toxic dangers of BBQ food, feeding your dog human treats can have a serious affect on their diet and can lead to them becoming overweight or obese. Did you know that one hot dog for a 9kg dog breed, like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is the caloric equivalent of three hamburgers for a person?
Its vital to make sure you pet is a healthy weight and is getting all the nutrients they need. You can check the right weight range for your dog here to make sure they are not exceeding their daily requirements.