Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and for those champions of the backyard BBQ, nothing can be as exciting as firing up the grill. From ribs and steaks to chilling on the deck with a cold beverage, cookouts are indeed America’s holiday pastime.
However, for those of us with pets, Memorial Day weekend can also smell like trouble. The grill may not seem like a matter of concern, but many burned paws and food toxin emergencies have resulted from the unsupervised curiosity of our furry friends. To keep your pet safe this summer, take a moment to learn about some precautions you can take to ensure a great time for all.
5 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe During Memorial Day Weekend
- Mind the grill. When you’re cooking up something delicious on the grill, you’re sure to have one (or more) four-legged fans. Unfortunately, the grill can be a hazard when pets get too close. Burns are often the result of close encounters with hot coals, ashes, or gas grills. Since grills contain a number of meaty, fatty, greasy foods, it’s unlikely your pet can resist the temptation, so keep him or her away until the grill is cool and everything has been stowed away.
- Where there’s food, there’s a possible pet toxin. Several of our summer snacks and food items can be poisonous to pets if ingested. These include alcohol, raisins and grapes, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, avocados, and the sugar substitute Xylitol. Several rich, fatty foods can also cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can also lead to a serious inflammation of the pancreas (i.e., pancreatitis). It’s best to leave the people food for your guests, but if you must give your pet a treat, try a few steamed carrots or a bit of skinless, boneless, cooked chicken.
- Get rid of trash and scraps right after eating. Trash bins piled high with foil, kebab skewers, ribs, and other table scraps don’t stop being a temptation once the party’s over. Some items can be toxic, and some can be a choking risk or possible GI obstruction. Be sure to use a trash bin with a cover, including any compost buckets, and take out the trash right away. Place bags in a secure trash can to discourage any scavengers.
- Protect your pet from warm weather and too much sun. Although spring may seem a little premature to worry about pets and warm weather safety, it’s a good idea to monitor how much time your pet spends in the sun. Surfaces like decks can become hot and burn paw pads, and warmer temperatures can quickly dehydrate an active four-legged pal. Always keep plenty of water in your pet’s bowl, and make sure he or she takes frequent shade breaks.
- Supervise your pet at all times. As you can imagine, gates and doors can accidentally be left open during parties and gatherings, making a pet escape a real possibility. Keep an eye on your pet when he or she is outside or find a comfy, secure room in the home for those times when you cannot supervise. Also, be sure to keep your pet’s microchip and ID tag current.
We hope you’re looking forward to Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and all those other fantastic holidays and barbecue feasts. With a little planning, you can enjoy it all while keeping your pet safe.