BBQ for Dogs and You: Foods to Avoid, and Safe Alternatives
The world’s largest barbecue had over 45,000 people in attendance. It’s no wonder; barbecues of all kinds are synonymous with friends, family, and fun. With family in mind, dog-lovers would never leave out their best buddy. Dogs love barbecues too! The smell of grilling meat, the people ready to doll out treats – it’s a doggy dream come true. Just be sure that those treats are safe bbq fare for your pup; not all staples for cookouts are.
Some favorite staples at a barbecue are the side dishes, like cold pasta or potato salad. No doubt your dog would love these rich foods, but it’s important to be aware of the ingredients. Of course they deserve some canine-friendly treats, so with your dog’s wellbeing in mind, be sure to plan some healthy snacks for your pooch. Bits of plain sweet potato are tasty and good for your dog, as are plain regular potatoes, carrots, and melon. Avoid grapes, though, as they can be dangerous for some breeds. Apples, celery, cucumber, and berries are other fresh options.
In the same vein as side dishes, take caution when giving your dog bits of meat that has been marinated. Most of the marinades contain a lot of salt, sugar, garlic, onion, and other spices that aren’t good for your pup. Stick to plain varieties – the chargrilled flavor is ok, though! Natural marinades like lemon juice are also ok, just be sure you know everything that’s in it. Some herbs that are safe for dogs include basil, rosemary, parsley, and oregano. As for spices, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric are all doggy-safe. You can also use honey as a dog-safe flavor addition.
When it comes to the meat itself, there are still some to be careful with. Dogs are meat enthusiasts, and will eat whatever they can get their paws on. It’s common to assume all meat is safe for dogs, but that actually isn’t the case. You now know that lots of fat is dangerous for your dog, but did you know that turkey contains substantial amounts of it? Mark non-lean varieties off your dog’s dinner list. While some support a raw food diet for dogs, it’s risky, so you should also scratch off rare steaks and burgers. Raw or undercooked meat can harbor dangerous bacteria like E. coli that can become life-threatening. Play things safe by giving your pup thoroughly cooked, lean cuts of meat, chicken, or fish. Yep, fish – it’s not just for cats.
Barbecues are a great pastime and way to bond with others, not to mention the best way to have summer fun. Fun without your fur buddy? No thanks! With a little supervision and care, there’s no reason dogs can’t be included.