FOOD: HOW DOG OWNERS CAN AVOID THE PITFALLS OF A SUMMER BARBECUE

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If the smell of sausages sizzling on your barbecue makes your mouth water, think what it must be like for our dogs. Their noses are around 40 times more sensitive than ours, amplifying all those delicious aromas.

 

When barbecue season comes around, who doesn’t let their guard down a little? As you relax in the sunshine, you might not notice that your pooch has helped himself to a chicken leg or that one of your friends has given him a titbit on the sly.

 

So how do you keep your dog safe during barbecue season, while ensuring they do not miss out on all the fun? We spoke to the team at favourite pet food brand HiLife to see what dangers might be lurking.

 

Know your onions

 

We all love fried onions on top of our burgers and hot dogs, but unfortunately they are poisonous to dogs, both raw and cooked. Onions, along with garlic and leeks, can cause stomach irritation and damage red blood cells in dogs, resulting in anaemia, organ damage or even death, so always put them out of harm’s way. If your pet starts to appear lethargic, has an upset stomach or is unsteady on their feet, contact a vet immediately.

 

Stay away from the booze

 

You might have heard of ‘Pawsecco’ for dogs and cats, but remember this is not the same as the human version! In fact, alcohol is seriously toxic for dogs and could lead to convulsions and respiratory problems. It may also be fatal, particularly in smaller breeds. Watch out for your dog trying to sip your drink and don’t forget to provide them with plenty of fresh water to prevent dehydration.

 

Give a dog a bone

 

Contrary to popular belief this is actually a really bad idea. Bones can easily splinter or obstruct the digestive tract, leading to choking and breathing problems. You might think that uncooked meat is not a problem for dogs – especially given the recent trend for raw food diets. But in some cases, it harbours harmful bacteria that can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs and humans.

 

Pick the right snacks

 

Always keep those crisps and tortilla chips out of reach since too much salt will leave your dog dehydrated, and may even lead to sodium ion poinsoning. Opt instead for a snack especially developed for dogs like rawhide chews or a pig ear and keep those human treats out of reach.

 

Don’t forget . . .

 

It’s not just barbecue food your dog needs to avoid – there may be other hidden dangers around the garden, including rhubarb leaves, lilies and sweetpeas. Slug pellets are also poisonous.

 

Nobody wants to dampen the fun of a British summer (especially when it can be so short!), but by looking out for these dangers, you and your pooch can really make the most of being outdoors.

 

For more details on HiLife’s range of high quality dog food and treats visit www.hilifepet.co.uk.

 

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