PDSA warn public to be pet safe during barbecues

The weather in the UK is well and truly hotting up and vet charity, PDSA are raising awareness of the hazards of BBQs for pets.

As many of us will be enjoying a barbecue with friends and family in the coming weeks, the vet charity warns pet owners that they should take extra precautions to ensure their pets stay safe while cooking Al-fresco.

The PDSA explain that by taking simple precautions, owners can ensure that their pets enjoy the occasion as much as they do. Their tips include:

Skip the scraps – eating barbecue scraps can upset your pet’s stomach. Under cooked, unfamiliar or greasy fatty food can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Bin it – make sure that any leftover food and rubbish is securely and safely thrown away in a lidded dustbin well away from pets. A common barbecue-related problem seen by vets is pets that have eaten corn on the cob cores. These can cause serious intestinal blockages and have to be surgically removed. Kebab skewers are also a risk as they can cause severe internal injuries swallowed.

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

Flamin’ hot – accidents near a barbecue can lead to severe burns, so pets should be kept well away from flames, burning embers and hot ash. Always make sure the BBQ is cooled down quickly after use and never leave pets unattended while it is still hot. Be careful of the temperature of the patio or grass underneath your BBQ too.

Keep them cool – pets can suffer from sunburn and heatroke just like humans, so if you’re enjoying the sun, ensure your four-legged friends have access to shade and plenty of fresh water. Pet sun creams should be used in areas of your pet’s body that have no hair or areas of patchy white fur where pink skin is exposed – your vet can advise you about this.

PDSA vet, Olivia Anderson-Nathan, says: “It’s nice to invite friends and family round for some food and, weather permitting, sit outside in the garden with the barbecue going. It’s also great to spend time with our pets and for them to get some fuss and attention too. However, it’s important to take a few special precautions when pets are around barbecues to avoid potential disaster.

“Sadly, every year vets see pets with injuries directly associated with barbecues. Pets are brought in having swallowed objects such as corn on the cob core, suffering from burns if they’ve gotten too close to the barbecue, and can also come in because of the heat stroke after being out in the hot weather.”