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Labor Day barbeques can be a lot of fun, but there are some safety tips that you should always follow to ensure your pets’ safety during these kinds of get-togethers. These include things like being careful when discarding food waste, keeping your pet away from hot foods and surfaces, and taking action to prevent dehydration and heat stroke.
The most important thing to remember is to always make sure that your pets are being fully supervised. If they are not being supervised by you, then they should be supervised by someone that you trust during events like barbeques.
In this article we discuss seven Labor Day BBQ pet safety tips.
Keep Food and Drinks Away from Your Pets
Many foods and drinks can be toxic to pets and make them sick. As a result, you should always keep the delicious foods that your guests are enjoying away from your pets.
Here are some foods that can be common at barbeques that are toxic to dogs and cats:
- Sugar free gum and candies
- Macadamia nuts
- Pitted fruits like cherries and peaches
- Coffee and tea
Although not all foods are toxic to dogs and cats, some other foods can still make pets sick or pose a choking hazard. Here are some additional foods that you should keep away from your pets:
- Junk foods like chips, pretzels, and cookies
- Salty and/or fried foods, such as french fries and fried chicken
- Foods with a lot of sugar such as cakes and ice cream
- Meats with bones (chicken, fish, etc.)
- Any kind of dairy or grease
Take Care When Discarding Food Waste
Since there are a variety of different foods that can be dangerous for your pet, you should be very careful when it comes to discarding food waste. This includes grease, bones, and uneaten foods. This safety tip is especially important for those who have dogs as they are more likely to eat food from surfaces and the garbage than cats.
Keep Pets Away from Hot Items and Cooking Surfaces
Foods that are fresh off the grill or other cooking surfaces can easily burn our pets, so it is important that we keep them away from these things whenever possible. This is especially true for cats and the stove, as sometimes they may walk across a stove top.
In addition, shorter grills can be particularly dangerous for some dogs as the surface and cooking meats have the potential to be right at nose and mouth level.
Keep Dogs Away from Water if They Can’t Swim
Some dogs love to swim, but that doesn’t mean that all dogs do. In fact, there are some breeds of dogs that tend to not be able to swim at all due to their body structure. These include brachycephalic breeds (dogs with short snouts) and dogs with short legs. Short legs make swimming difficult for dogs, and short snouts can easily lead to water getting up a dog’s nose.
Here is a short list of dog breeds that (usually) cannot swim:
- French and English Bulldogs
- Shih Tzus
- Bull Terriers
- Boston Terriers
- Basset Hounds
Even if your dog is not on our list above, you should keep your dog away from large bodies of water if they have a short snout, short legs, are a small dog, or have not swam before. It is recommended that you have a fence or gate around your pool if your dog shouldn’t be swimming. In addition, you should always keep an eye on your dog when there is a large body of water nearby.
You should always keep proper water safety tips for your pet in mind when you’re around water, whether it be an ocean, lake, or pool.
Always Give Your Pets Access to Fresh Drinking Water
Although our pets always need access to clean and fresh drinking water, they especially need it on hot days. This is because hot summer days tend to put dogs and cats at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated, especially if they are spending time with us outside. Always providing your pet with clean, cool water can greatly reduce their chances of becoming dehydrated.
Some of the common signs of dehydration in both dogs and cats include, but may not be limited to:
- Skin tenting (pinch your pet’s skin lightly – if the skin stays up, then they are dehydrated)
- Dry, sticky gums
- Reduced appetite
- Panting (in cats) or excessive panting (in dogs)
If you notice signs of dehydration in your pet you should give them some water right away. However, if your pet won’t drink water or is exhibiting severe signs of dehydration then you should take them to the emergency vet immediately.
Always Give Your Pets a Way to Cool Down
Heat stroke is an extremely serious condition in both dogs and cats. As a result, you should always make efforts to prevent this condition from developing in your pets.
You can do this by providing dogs and cats with an area to cool off in such as an air conditioned room, a shady area, and/or a kiddie pool that is filled with cool water. It is important for pet owners to know the signs of heat stroke in dogs and cats.
Here are the common symptoms of heat stroke to look out for in your pets:
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Excessive drooling
- Excessive panting
- Pacing and other restless behaviors
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Increased heart rate
- Having difficulty walking
You should always call your emergency vet immediately if you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke. They will be able to walk you through any emergency first aid that you may need to do before going to the emergency animal hospital.
Keep an Eye on Your Pets
The best way to prevent every item on this list is to always keep an eye on all of your pets. This way you can prevent or stop a situation before it actually occurs. If for some reason you cannot keep an eye on your pet for any amount of time, you should designate someone that you trust to watch them to ensure their safety.
Contact Us for More Labor Day BBQ Pet Safety Tips
Labor Day barbeques can be very exciting events for you and your family, but they can also lead to potentially dangerous incidents with your pet. By keeping these Labor Day BBQ pet safety tips in mind when planning and during your gathering, you can help prevent anything from happening to your pet and can enjoy the day with the whole family. For more information, or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact any of our VEG locations. Our team is here for you 7 days a week to help guide you in the best direction for your pet.