Foods to avoid feeding your pet

Summer Snacking and Al Fresco Dining – Foods to avoid feeding your pet this summer


With summer in full swing many of us are busy making the most of the opportunity for a little open-air dining, whether that be family BBQ’s, picnics in the park or ice-cream treats at the beach. Whatever the occasion, summer is a great time for all the family to get together but with so much food and drink flowing we are often a little more lax when it comes to feeding our pets from our own plates. A lot of foods suitable for humans can cause significant upset to our pet’s digestive systems whilst some are significantly more dangerous to our furry friends and can cause life-threatening toxicities.

To make the summer dining experience safe and enjoyable for you and your pets just follow our top tips:

Picnics and BBQs

We all love a picnic or a BBQ and yet we are all very aware that they can be a source of tummy trouble with the potential for undercooked meats and pesky flies feeding from the potato salad! But did you know that picnics and BBQ’s can pose even more serious dangers to our pets?

  • Many types of BBQ meats contain bones that are extremely hazardous to our 4-legged friends. Especially chop bones, chicken bones and fish bones which are often extremely sharp and have a high risk of splintering. The tasty meat aroma attracts dogs to bone remnants left on plates or in bins which, if eaten, can lead to choking as well as nasty injuries in the mouth and throat as well as more serious injuries to the stomach and guts that can be life-threatening!
  • Many BBQ sauces and relishes contain large amounts of garlic and/or onion both of which can be extremely toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Dips and salads are another potential source of toxicity to our furry friends, especially those that contain ingredients such as avocados, sultanas, chives, garlic and onions.
  • Undercooked/partially cooked meats are not only dangerous to us but can also cause significant tummy upsets for your pets.
  • Feeding foods that contain high amounts of fat such as chops, sausages and burgers have been associated with causing pancreatitis in dogs that are prone to developing the condition. This is a painful and potentially life-threatening inflammation of the organ known as the pancreas which can lead to your dog becoming extremely sick with a very painful stomach. Unfortunately, unless your dog has been diagnosed with pancreatitis previously, it is not possible to predict if they will be susceptible until it is too late.
  • Rich desserts containing creams, ice-cream and other dairy products are extremely tempting to our pets but most dogs are unable to process dairy products efficiently resulting in painful and potentially messy tummy troubles.


Top Tips:

  • Ensure all members of the party are aware that no food is to be given to your dog or cat. This is especially important for younger children who may inadvertently drop food or want to share a lick of their ice-cream with the family pet!
  • Provide plenty of bins so that left-overs can be quickly disposed of, less scraps lying around means less temptation for our furry friends!
  • Make sure bins are secured, out of reach of any pets and never left unattended – Dogs have amazing sense of smell and a plastic bin-bag holds little deterrence if it means a tasty snack might be on offer.
  • If you want your dog to feel included in the festivities you can prepare some healthy dog-safe treats that visitors can feed to your pet or invest in a treat ball to keep your pet entertained whilst the food is being dished up – Only use treats that your dog is used to and always in moderation.
  • Instead of feeding your dog ice-cream on a hot day you can make tasty ice treats using a little of your dog’s normal food, an old ice-cube tray and water. Pop them in the freezer and, voila! Dog friendly ice treats that can keep your furry friend entertained and cool at the same time.


Summer dining should be a fun experience for all involved and by following our handy hints and tips we hope that the experience will also be a safe one for your four-legged furry family members.



28th August 2018

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