Barbecues–pet owners urged to keep pets safe

With some hope of warmer weather ahead many of us will be stoking up the barbecue!

But while this is great fun for us, it can be a very different experience for our pets, warns PDSA.

Elaine Pendlebury, a PDSA Senior Vet, says: “Every year PDSA vets treat hundreds of pets with injuries directly associated with barbecues. Everything from burns and heat stroke, to items like corn husks stuck inside them. But with a few simple precautions we can still enjoy ourselves, and keep our pets safe and happy at the same time.” Here are Elaine’s top tips:

Skip the scraps – eating barbecue scraps can upset your pet’s stomach. Undercooked, unfamiliar or fatty food can cause vomiting and diarrhea, plus the extra calories can have a detrimental effect on their waistline.

Bin it – make sure any leftover food and rubbish isn’t left lying around. It should be tied up in a bag and thrown away in a securely lidded dustbin. A common barbecue-related problem seen by PDSA vets is pets that have eaten corn on the cob cores. These can cause a serious intestinal blockage and have to be surgically removed.

Don’t be a ‘fuel’ – lighter fluid can be dangerous if drunk – keep it well out of reach.

Flamin’ hot – playing around a barbecue can lead to severe burns, so pets should be kept well away from flames, burning embers and hot ash, and keep pets away until the fire is completely cool.

Slap on the sun cream – pets can suffer from sunburn and heatstroke just like humans. Make sure your four-legged friends have access to shade and plenty of fresh water. Pets with light or thin fur may need extra protection from the sun, particularly on vulnerable areas such as their nose and ear tips. You can buy special pet sun creams from good pet stores, or ask your vet.

Drink responsibly – make sure that glasses and drinks are not within reach of thirsty pets. Alcohol can be toxic to pets.