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PET SAFETY MONTH: 30 tips in 30 days that can save your pet's life - Tip #20

Barbecues are for you, me and pups too.

Steaks, hot dogs, ribs, veggies all cooking over glowing coals are one of the great joys of spring and of summer.

If you are taking pup to a pubic space, such as a park for your barbecue be extra vigilant especially as you arrive. Some unthinking barbecuers could have dumped their hot ashes openly and if they have the delicious smell of grease that dripped on them some pups might just burn their snouts in pursuit of yums.

What goes on in your own barbecue can have its pitfalls when you are in the company of a pup on the verge of starvation (aren’t they all?) First and most important is to make sure pup and bones…. Never the twain shall meet. That goes for all cooked bones for even a cooked rib bone can splinter and cause damage in pup’s mouth, throat, stomach or intestine. If you want to treat him happy, bring along a raw bone and one of substantial size. The AKC recommends a beef or a ham bone which is at least as long as pup’s muzzle. You can alsobuy a safe bone in a pet store. A number of companies including Merrick produce and sell them. The ACK recommends taking the bone away as it gets chewed down.

Never chicken or turkey bones, even raw!

Hot dogs are fine. As is steak. Ribs off the bone. Any veggies. And most of the sides we eat, but please, in moderation. No grapes. No chocolate.

But barbecues aren’t just about eating. So put pup on a long leash and play, play, play. Chase each other. Chase a ball. Tug on a rope. Find hidden treats. You’ll both have a great time and it’s better for your waistline. And pup’s.

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