Friday, July 29, 2011


The weekend is almost here! In the dog days of summer, every weekend either entails a trip to the beach or a summer barbecue gathering with friends and family. Cold glasses of lemonade, juicy burgers, and bowls of cole-slaw are enjoyed in the backyard. Nobody wants to miss these delectable warm summer get-togethers but when you have a fuzzy friend at home it can be hard to leave them alone. Here are some tips for deciding whether or not to bring your furball to the barbecue and what to keep in mind if you do.

To Bring or Not to Bring Fido

Determine how your dog acts with groups of people and crowds. If your dog is fearful or aggressive, you should leave your canine at home to guard the house while you are away. If your dog is a jumper or a barker they can cause party mishaps like spilled drinks and guests screaming to be heard above the yaps or howls of Fido. Furthermore, if your dog has a tendency to beg for food or even steal food out of people’s hands, a barbecue is the last place you want to bring your pal. With all that juicy meat around, it’s hard to resist!

Food to Stay Away From

If your darling dog does not have any of the attributes listed above and you already checked with the barbecue host about bringing your pooch, there are some small things to be aware of before affixing Fido’s bib and setting a place for him/her at the picnic table. Beware of the fruit salad if it contains grapes! Grapes are highly toxic to dogs even in small doses. They can cause vomiting and diarrhea and even kidney failure if a significant amount of grapes (or raisins) are ingested. Make sure that alcoholic beverages are not lying on the ground or the edges of picnic tables within easy reach of your curious canine. Any type of alcoholic beverage is potentially poisonous to pets. Other foods you should never let your canine ingest are chocolate, and onions which can be poisonous to dogs. Since the grill will be fired up and an abundance of meat will be around, protect the food from prying wet noses with mesh food tents that open up like an umbrella to fit over wide platters of food. Tell guests to keep food scrap feeding to a minimum so that your dog does not get sick from too much grub and indulgent food that he or she is not accustomed to eating on a regular basis.
Photo Courtesy of Florin Gorgan

Mind the Garden

Though Lilies are absolutely beautiful to look at, for dogs they are an unlikely threat. According to Stephanie Rogers from Mother Nature Network, “The peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, lily of the valley, autumn crocus and the common houseplant, giant Dracaena or palm lily, are all deemed dangerous to dogs by the ASPCA. Ingestion of lilies can cause gastrointestinal upset, depression, loss of appetite and tremors.” Check with your host to see what plants and flowers they grow in their garden and around their property.


If their is a pool, make sure there is always a lifeguard on duty to watch youngsters and water-loving dogs. Some dogs can be excellent swimmers but can have trouble finding their way out of the pool or may wear themselves out. Investing in doggie life jackets is always a safe and excellent idea. Also, make sure to bring a water bowl for your dog and keep your pup well hydrated.

Do you bring your dog to summer barbecues? What tips can you give us?

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