The Safest Way To Enjoy Summer BBQs With Your Dog

As the UK temperature rises, the season of BBQ-ing everything and anything is upon us. Brits don’t need much convincing to gather our friends and family soak up the sun in our gardens, local parks and nearby fields. That said, it’s not always a safe space for our pooches so here are some things to look out for when doggo is in tow.

Richard Setterwall, General Manager at dog walking and sitting service, says: “If anyone loves BBQs more than us, it's our dogs. The chance to bound around outdoors, lie in the sun, combined with the excitement of more people to play with and receive pats from, make for hound heaven.”

“Providing we remain alert and cater to their varying needs, there’s no reason that they can’t enjoy the odd sneaky snack under the table!”

Play around with recipe ideas

A lot of common barbecue foods that we enjoy are in fact toxic to dogs. All dog owners know what it's like trying to pry a dog's mouth open to remove a dangerous chicken bone...but there are less obvious dangers like avocados, grapes and onions, that often find their way into the side dishes, stretched across the garden table. There are however several alternatives that your four-legged friends can munch on. Some of these include:

  • Grilled veggies like courgettes and sweet potato

  • Lean meats such as home-made hamburgers or a small amount of steak

  • Small pieces of chopped hot dog

This home-made burger recipe is a dog-friendly treat that your pooch will delight in:

  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as Schwartz Steak Seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • 6 small round dinner rolls, split

Monitor their behaviour

In the same way that we can over-indulge when faced with barbequed sausages and juicy burgers, dogs can also get carried away! Dogs need about 30 calories per pound per day to maintain their weight - this is, of course, dependent on breed and how much regular exercise they receive. Therefore, it’s all the more crucial to monitor their intake and ensure these treats only accompany their regular, nutritious meal plan, and are not offered as a substitute.

Important things to remember to do:

  • Ask guests not to feed your dog scraps from their plates

  • Supervise kids around dogs

  • Give your dog a break in a quiet, indoor space if they appear tired or hot

  • Dogs don’t sweat, so overheating isn’t obvious to spot - make sure to keep them hydrated. A fun trick for this is using ice cubes to create ‘pupsicles’

Create a safe space

There are certain behaviours and rituals that you may be used to doing, that unintentionally, negatively affect the animals around you. This could be anything from spraying a little room spritz to mask the BBQ odours that have started dominating the environment, to leaving items on the floor, at dog level. All of these should be an easy fix providing you remain mindful of your environment and think like a dog!

A few tips on keeping your furry friends clear from harm:

  • Avoid using toxic insect sprays or sun-creams

  • Cover rubbish bins to avoid a dog rummaging

  • Use lidded containers for foods with bones that might splinter and hurt their mouths or cause internal damage

  • Make sure to keep the barbecue lid down, where possible, to prevent curious pups from burning their paws on a hot grill

  • Keep lighter fluid, charcoal, and matches well out of reach

  • Keep your pooch away from oil trays that will upset their tummies

If you’re venturing to a BBQ that’s a little further afield, why not enjoy peace of mind in the knowledge that your dogs are embarking on their own little adventure with a qualified Rover sitter. Long car journeys can be very uncomfortable for dogs, and they would more often than not be much happier staying local to their homes, in the company of a fun dog lover. is a dog walking and boarding service, bringing dog owners and trusted sitters together. For more information or to sign up either as a walker, sitter or owner, please visit:



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