Pets and BBQs
THE holiday season is a great time to enjoy the warm weather, long days, time with family and friends and a barbecue.
Our four legged friends often reap the rewards of these barbecues or gatherings with leftovers, but be wary of giving into puppy dog (or cat!) eyes, and remember not everything we eat is safe for pets.
Sausages and other barbecue meats are full of fat which can lead to pancreatitis in dogs.
The pancreas is an organ that releases enzymes and hormones aiding in digestion of food.
High fat meals can lead to the pancreas becoming inflamed and cause abdominal pain, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and anorexia, which is potentially life threatening.
For the same reason, avoid throwing the cleanings off the barbecue where a dog could find it.
Left over Christmas ham may also cause gastrointestinal issues so should also be avoided or given in very small amounts.
Many people choose to feed bones, however cooked bones easily splinter when chewed and these sharp shards of bone can puncture the gut and require surgery and intensive care to treat.
Similarly, corn cobs are sometimes swallowed whole and can block the gut completely, requiring surgery to remove.
Hungry dogs will find food in things you wouldn’t think possible including empty meat trays and meat tray absorbency pads, used kebab sticks, and post barbecue garbage bins - so keep everything well locked up.
What’s a sausage without onions on top?
Onions may be delicious, but in our dogs they damage the red blood cells which provide oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells.
This causes clinical signs including pale gums, increased heart and respiration rate, lethargy and depression, and severe toxicity can require a blood transfusion.
A common accompaniment for a barbecue is a nice cold drink.
Alcohol is a definite no for pets, is rapidly absorbed and causes neurological signs such as difficulty walking, sedation, decreased mentation and decreased body temperature. In high doses it can be fatal. Ethanol, the toxic component in alcoholic beverages, is also found in uncooked bread dough and rotten apples, so for those who make their own bread, make sure the dough is well out of reach of hungry animals!
Enjoy your summer and the silly season, but remember to save the treats for yourself.