summer dog

Keeping Your Pet Safe at the Summer Barbecue

Summer is back in full swing again. It’s a time to break out the grill and have a fun barbecue with friends. But it can also be quite dangerous for your dog. New people, strange smells, tempting foods, and loud noises can all present hazards to your pooch. As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to make sure our four-legged family members stay out of danger during barbecue cookouts, too.

There are several steps you can take to make sure your barbecue isn’t just fun, but safe for your dog. Here are some tips to keep your pet safe at a summer time barbecue.

Safe BBQ Foods

  • Grilled Veggies: Dog-friendly grilled vegetables like bell peppers, asparagus, zucchini and sweet potato without any dressing, seasoning or oils are fine for dogs. Just make sure you cut them in bite-sized portions, so your pup doesn’t choke on too big of a piece.
  • Barbecue Burgers: Too much fatty meat is unhealthy for dogs, but you don’t have to settle for just veggies. A small amount of plain cooked unseasoned burger patty will not harm your dog.
  • Grilled Meat and Fish: Small portions of grilled meat and fish will be a welcome treat. So consider giving your pet plain, unseasoned, cooked, steak, chicken and cooked salmon but be sure that there are no bones in sight. Don’t forget to leave off the intense spice rubs.
  • Dog Desserts: These are essentially dog desserts that contain natural sugar, and there are plenty of them that are great for pups. Great examples are frozen watermelon, grilled peaches and apples, and frozen blueberries.

Unsafe BBQ Foods

  • Raw Patties and Meat for the Grill: Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets and humans. Some people love to line up extra patties and meat next to the grill, so that the next batch is ready to go when you need it. But, it won’t take long for your dog to catch a whiff and pounce to grab a bite when you least expect it.
  • Bones: Pets can choke on bones or sustain injury if the bone splinter becomes lodged in, or punctures, their digestive tract. BBQ basics like ribs and chicken wings are dangerous foods for dogs to get their paws on. Be sure meat bones are disposed of in a garbage with a lid that is out of your pet’s reach.
  • Condiments and Burger Fixings: Who knew that dangerous foods for dogs at your BBQ could also include ingredients that are commonly used in preparing burgers, salads and side dishes, like garlic, onions and chives.The toxicity causes a dangerous condition called hemolytic anemia. Ingestion can also cause less critical side effects such as gastrointestinal irritation.
  • Salty Snacks: Pretzels and chips are in abundance during barbecues. Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium-ion poisoning in pets. Salt toxicity clinical signs include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. Please avoid giving your pets foods that are high in salts such as potato chips or pretzels.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: This may seem obvious. Most cases are accidental, clinical signs of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. If your pet has ingested alcohol, see or contact your veterinarian immediately.

Dog-safe Burger Recipe


  • 1 pound of grass fed ground beef
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/8 cup organic flax seed meal
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 2 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • small amount of fresh, chopped parsley  


1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Form the mixture into patties and grill on medium heat for five minutes per side until they’re no longer pink. This recipe makes approximately 4 burgers.  

For just the humans, slather your favorite barbecue sauce on the patties and serve on a grilled bun with lettuce, tomato and cheese.

Also, remember to keep your dog cool and well hydrated. If you’re hot, your pet is hot , too. Make sure there is a shady resting area and that your pet always has access to a bowl of fresh water.

So go ahead and enjoy those barbecues! Just make sure that you are following our tips to keep everyone safe and healthy.

At Flexpet, we care about you and your pets. We want to help you keep them as healthy as possible. We have a fantastic and knowledgeable customer care team available to answer any of your questions about our joint supplement products and how they may help your dog or cat. If your dog has joint pain issues, we invite you to try Flexpet today and start your dog on the journey to playing like a pup again. Flexpet is so confident it is the best joint supplement for dogs and cats it comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. Our Flexpet joint care supplements have excellent reviews on social media. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or by phone at 1-800-505-0575.

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