Got A Dog? Vets Need You To Listen To Their Stark Summer Warning

It can tempting to let your dog in on the summer fun – but this vet has a stark warning for you.
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The sun’s out at last and we’re spending as much time as we can outdoors (hey, who knows how long we’ll feel the heat for).

However, if you’re bringing your dog along for the fun, you need to be aware of the dangers posing your pet if you’re opting to fire up the BBQ with friends and family.

Animal expert and Vet, Dr Joanna Woodnutt MRCVS, alongside TrustedHousesitters, are warning UK pet owners of the potential dangers of barbecue season.

With 62% of UK households owning a pet and three in four households owning a barbecue, threats to pet safety are more prevalent. You might be tempted to toss your furry pal a treat from the BBQ, however, this could cause your dog some serious problems.

As cute as they look, you need to stay strong – especially when it comes to these four barbecue items.

  1. Onions and garlic

Onions, shallots and garlic all come from a group of plants in the Allium family, which are toxic to cats and dogs. If ingested, symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhoea, and a low appetite. Allium toxicity in dogs also causes damage to red blood cells and these effects are cumulative – so a small amount eaten regularly can be just as harmful as gorging several onions! Sausages and burgers can often contain traces of onions and garlic, so contrary to belief, you should prevent your pet from eating these too.

  1. Corn on the cob

Sweetcorn itself is not a danger to your pet. However, the inner cob is not digestible and because of the size and shape it can get lodged in the guts, causing an intestinal obstruction. This causes vomiting, lethargy, and abdominal pain that can become fatal if the cob is not surgically removed. Every summer, vets have to operate on dogs to remove foreign bodies caused by corn on the cob.

  1. Bones

When your dog is giving you puppy eyes as you finish your drumstick, it’s easy to throw them the bone, but this can be very dangerous for your furry friend. Cooked bones can easily splinter, causing damage to the gut and mouth. They can also lodge in the intestines and cause a blockage, just like corn on the cob!

  1. Skewer sticks

It goes without saying that if your pet chews or swallows a skewer stick, the wood or metal can cause serious damage to their insides. Be wary of leaving any barbecued kebabs around, as the meat will be enticing but won’t harm them, however the skewer can pose a serious threat. Dogs especially are likely to just swallow the whole thing, so keep them out of the way and make sure you have an eye on what your pet has sniffed out!

Dr Joanna tells of an incident she had with a dog around barbecue season:

“A lot of people think they’re doing their dog a favour when they let them have barbecue food, but that’s not always the case. Barbecue food is often very fatty, and one of the worst cases of pancreatitis I’ve seen was in a dog that had been allowed to finish up some of the scraps from human food at a party. Thankfully, the dog survived, but it was touch-and-go for a while.”

If you suspect your pet has swallowed any toxic foods or items, it’s important that you consult your vet straight away.