With Labor Day approaching, many of us will get together with family and friends for a barbeque to celebrate the summer’s end. It’s important that we make sure to include our pets, but we must keep them safe as well. We’ve put together a few tips to make sure that your celebration doesn’t turn into a trip to your local veterinary emergency hospital.

  • In early September, there is still the potential for hot temperatures. Heatstroke is still a very real danger. Make sure your pet has plenty of shade and access to fresh water.
  • Make sure to keep your pet away from the grill area. Of course the grill itself is hot, but the potential for splattering grease is dangerous as well. I’ve heard of dogs stealing meat right off the grill. It’s easy to burn their mouths too.
  • Make sure you closely monitor what you and your guests feed your pet. If you’re like me, your pet gets to enjoy the food as well. I let everyone know that I’m the only one that gets to feed the dog (cats don’t usually participate).
  • Remember that dogs are very sensitive to certain foods and changes in their diet. Make sure that you only let them taste lean meats. Chicken and fish are best, but still in moderation. Pork and beef tend to have more fat in them. Dogs can’t handle as much fatty food as we can. It can cause a condition called pancreatitis, which can be fatal. As an alternative, grilled fruits (with the exception of grapes) are pretty safe, once again in moderation.
  • NEVER give you pet cooked bones. They can easily splinter and cause perforation in the intestine. This can be very painful and lead to serious infection.
  • Always remember that there are foods that your pet can never have. Onions, grapes, avocados, and chocolate are toxic to dogs. Some in even in small amounts.

With some basic common sense, we can make sure that we and our pets can enjoy Labor Day activities. Remember, your regular vet will probably be closed, enjoying the holiday as well. Emergency treatment can be expensive, so let’s be smart and have fun!