Temperatures are rising in Gilbert, which means it’s time to fire up the grill! Cookouts in the backyard are a great way to spend time with your family, including your pets! Kick back with a cold drink while cheeseburgers sizzle on the grill and Fido runs through the yard. Our team at Anasazi Animal Clinic encourages you to take note of a few important pet safety measures while grilling out. While you relax, make sure to be aware of the various toxic hazards that can present themselves to your pets in the event of a cookout—so you and your furry friends can have a safe and fun time!
Cookout Items to Keep Away From Your Pets
Many of the foods we enjoy during a cookout are not good for our fur babies. Cookout foods are often served family-style, which means platters of grilled food or bowls of guacamole are left out and within reach of dogs and cats. Here are some of the more harmful items to keep out of reach of your pets:
- Snack Foods: Snacks like potato chips, tortilla chips, and pretzels are loaded with sodium that can lead to excessive thirst and urination in your pet. If your dog eats too many of these kinds of snacks, it can lead to sodium ion poisoning. The effects of sodium ion poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and death.
- Hot Dogs: While it’s common knowledge that hot dogs are not the healthiest food for humans, did you know they aren’t good for pets either? In fact, hot dogs are even worse for our pets. Because they are full of salt and preservatives, hot dogs can cause diarrhea and indigestion in animals. If you must treat your pet to a bite of hot dog, make it a very small bite. It’s best, however, to avoid them altogether.
- Fruits and Vegetables: The beautiful fruit salad included in your cookout spread can present dangers to your pets. While fruits, in general, are too high in sugar for pets, there are certain fruits that are just plain toxic. Grapes and raisins are among the most dangerous because they can cause potentially lethal kidney issues in dogs. You will also want to make sure raw onions (and side-dishes like guacamole, which include raw onion) are not reachable.
- Bones: The leftover bones sitting on your plate from ribs, steaks, or chicken can be very tempting and also very dangerous for your dog. If a bone splinters in your pet’s mouth and is swallowed, the splinters can cause puncture wounds in your dog’s mouth, stomach, or intestinal tract. There is also the possibility of a GI obstruction. It is best to dispose of any bones immediately after eating so your pets can’t access them.
- Desserts: After-dinner sweets that involve chocolate or sweeteners (especially Xylitol) are toxic to dogs. Be sure to check ingredient lists carefully.
- Alcohol: Even a small amount of your alcoholic beverage can be very dangerous for your pets. Drink glasses are often left sitting around—make sure you are intentionally keeping them on high surfaces, away from the pets.
- Various Choking Hazards: Be aware of potential choking hazards like hot dogs, discarded bones, and corn cobs that can get lodged in your dog’s airway.
Common Symptoms of Pet Poisoning
You might not always know when your pet has eaten something poisonous, so it’s important to know what to look for. Some of the most common signs include:
- Nausea/loss of or decreased appetite
- Any abnormal behavior
- Increased thirst or urination
What To Do If Your Pets Eats Something Toxic
The best way to prevent pet poisoning is to keep toxic foods and alcohol out of reach of your pets. Keep emergency contact information easily accessible at all times. This should include the number for the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661), the phone number for Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert (contact us), as well as the name and location of a local 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital. If you believe your pet has ingested something toxic, call the Pet Poison Helpline immediately and do not hesitate or wait for signs and symptoms before taking your pet to see your vet.
Give us a Call
Contact Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert online if your pet needs medical attention. Our veterinary doctors and staff are expertly trained and equipped to handle any urgent care needs your pet has. We are here for you and your pet during business hours Monday-Saturday. Emergencies can include poisoning, car accidents and chocolate ingestion.
If you ever feel that your pet needs emergency treatment, do not hesitate to call or come in immediately. We are also available for urgent care or if you feel your pet needs to be seen before you are able to get an appointment. When you arrive for urgent care, our team will assess your pet’s condition and get him or her in for treatment as quickly as possible. Pet safety and wellbeing is our number one priority. Of course, prevention is the best medicine, so have fun and be safe this spring!