4th of July is here. Summer is officially in full swing, the weather is beautiful and BBQ/cookouts are a weekly event with friends, family and our favorite drinking buddies. While most of us will be kicking back, relaxing and enjoying the long 4th of July holiday weekend with friends, family, fireworks and BBQ cookouts, there are a few things to keep in mind for our four-legged friends. While having them around makes us the most popular people at the party, their excitement and curiosity of sneaking in to food and other items that are no good for them can turn a happy holiday BBQ into a potential doggy disaster.
Here’s a quick and easy need to know on 7 common cookout foods that are dangerous for your pup and need to be kept out of reach;
1. Potato Chips: Ummm GUILTY. Yes, you, me, him, her…we’re all guilty of forking over a few loose cheetos, goldfish, or chips to our best friend as a treat from time to time, but when you’re hosting or a guest at friends place, make sure the rest of the bag(or bowl) is out of reach. Chips are loaded with sodium which reeks havoc on your dog. While a few chips may not hurt, getting into the whole bag, combined with natural dehydration from the heat, can cause excessive thirst, urination and in worst cases sodium ion poisoning.
2. Avocado: I don’t know about you but I love me some avocado and guacamole at a BBQ. Whether I’m dipping chips with guac or adding it to a burger, what’s delicious for you and me is super toxic to your pup. Avocados contain a toxin known as persin. A healthy chunk of avocados can quickly lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
3. Onion: Besides making grown men cry AND tasting delicious on a burger, hot dog or whatever you fancy, onions can lead to some serious stomach problems for your dog. Whether it’s a plate of raw onions or concentrated doses (like soup mix or powder) which are a greater risk, onions contain compounds that can damage dogs’ red blood cells if ingested in sufficient quantities.
4. Undercooked/Raw Meat: Don’t be mistaken. Undercooked or raw meat is very different from a “raw diet” and can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli making Fido sick as a dog. You can be sure, at some point your pup will be digging into the trash or looking for scraps so best to make sure you properly care for and dispose of unused meat.
5. Bones: Though it may be tempting to throw bones under the table after you polish off grilled wings or ribs so your dog can eat the scraps, don’t. It’s a terrible idea to feed dogs any type of bones from people foods. Cooked bones can easily splinter and cause internal bleeding and all kinds of stomach problems. Plus, overindulging on bones can lead to a serious case of canine constipation. Big bones can also break a dog’s teeth.
6. Alcohol: Queue Captain Obvious here……Where there’s a BBQ/cookout there’s beer, wine and whatever delicious alcoholic bev to pour down our throats. While we might be looking to get a little buzzed and lubricated, dogs can easily get drunk just like hoomans. However, not only can they get tipsy pretty quickly, but they can also find themselves in a coma or die from ingesting too much. Us hoomans have a tendency to leave floaters around, put glasses down or the dog gets on the table. Dogs have a tendency to drink beer readily as well cream based drinks like white russians. Since almost all alcohol exposure for dogs is accidental, try to make sure your guests are as conscious as you around the booze.
7. Ice Cream: The mere fact that dogs can’t crawl up into a ball and eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s is simply a tragedy. Like many hoomans that are lactose intolerant, dogs don’t have the critical enzyme that allows them to binge eat and digest a significant amount dairy products. Like your friends that sneak a few bites of cheese here and there, a few licks won’t hurt them but anything more will likely lead to an upset stomach and a clean up mess no one wants to deal with. An alternative, make yourself a DIY frozen treat for your pup that is sure to cool them down and settle their stomachs.
When in doubt, keep it simple: dog food is for dogs, people food is for people! Have a wonderful, safe and Happy 4th of July!!!!!