Barbeque Dangers for your Pet

Summer in the Okanagan brings with it lots of fun outdoor activities. After a fun day of activity it is time for a cookout with family, friends, and your pets. Pawsitive Veterinary Care is your vet in Kelowna and wants to ensure you and your pet have a fun summer.

There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy living in Kelowna. From swimming in the lake, paddle boarding, hiking, cycling to sitting back enjoying a cool beverage take in the day.

Part of the fun activities is firing up the barbeque to cook up some of your favorite summer foods. Although your furry friends are part of the fun activities, it should not include the tasty food we enjoy. A lot of the tasty treats our pets smell is not the best for their digestion. Even condiments left on the picnic table such as onions, pickles, tomatoes, and mustard can be lethal. Dogs and cats curiosity and incredible sense of smell are like radar to these foods. Dogs especially have an intense sense of smell. Consider when putting these or other foods out they are safely stored in tightly sealed containers.

A few food culprits to keep an eye on and avoid for your pet health safety


Chips, pretzels, cheezies are all chock full of salt. An excess of snack foods like these can activate extreme thirst and urination in your pet. Exercise caution when snacking on these foods by putting them away in sealed containers your pet is not able gain access. If your dog does get into your containers and indulges too many of these snacks, it can cause sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms to watch for if your dog has binged on these type of snacks include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and in extreme cases, death.


Leftover ribs, steaks or chicken bones can be a hazard for your dog’s mouth as well ingestion problems. Cooked bones splinter easily and if swallowed can create puncture wounds inside your dog’s mouth, stomach or digestive tract. Bones can also lead to obstructions or other health hazards. For the safety of your dog, make sure you have a designated disposal container everyone at your cookout is aware to use.

Fruits and Dessert

Fruits are high in sugar that can cause blood glucose issues. Most fruits are toxic to dogs and cats digestive systems. Mainly because of the seeds, pits and stems. Grapes and raisins are the main culprits because they are known to cause serious kidney issues and in some cases death from dogs consuming them. Desserts especially types with chocolate or Xylitol (natural sweetener) are big no-no’s for dogs as they prove fatal quickly.

To learn more what is Xylitol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol

Choking dangers

Cookouts have the potential for many choking dangers for your pet. From bones to cobs of corn, they are all capable of getting lodged in your dog’s esophagus or intestine. Watch for signs of your dog choking. Kebab bamboo and wood skewers are another tempting danger for your pet. These types of skewers when chewed splinter and snap creating pointy ends that can potentially cause puncture wounds internally or externally.

Safe snacks for your pet

Chopped up Carrots, frozen fresh green beans, peas, and zucchini provide nutrients and are safe to feed your dog or cat as a snack. Roasted bar-b-que vegetables with no butter or other additives for example green peppers are also a nutritious snack. For fruit, apples slices without the core is safe for your dog. Remember, moderation is key when giving your pet a snack.

Food safe for your pet

Cookout are about having fun and enjoying food. Include your furry friends by bringing treats made for their digestion to the cookout. If you insist on giving your pet a ‘treat’ think moderation and bite-size to avoid choking or your pet getting sick.

Your pet might make a fuss and whine a bit not being able to partake in all the goodies on the bar-b-que buffet. In the long-run your pet will appreciate not having an upset tummy. Enjoy the great outdoors with your pets and all the Okanagan offers in our backyard.

If your pet shows any signs as described above, Pawsitive Veterinary Care is your vet in Kelowna has all the necessary equipment. Contact us by phone 250-862-2727 or for emergency 250-215-0547. Or come by our Kelowna Veterinary Clinic.

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