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Summer Pet Safety Tips – Toxic Barbecue Foods

Barbecues are a big deal in Arizona – not just in the summertime, but all year round! It’s important that everyone have a great time and stay safe; including your pets!

Do you know what common backyard barbecue foods are especially dangerous for your furry friends? AZPetVet’s Dr. Elizabeth Glicksman shares some valuable insights about pets and barbecues with the Your Life Arizona viewers. Check it out!

Potential Food Hazards For Pets

Corn on the Cob – while it seems like a natural treat, it poses a choking hazard.

Hot Dogs – another hazard for dogs! They are OK in very small amounts, but remember the preservatives and salt are not good for Fido’s tummy.

Potato Chips & Pretzels – these crunchy human treats have far too much sodium which can cause excessive thirst and urination in both people and pets. For pets, the worse case scenario: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever, seizures, or death.

Ribs, Steak or Chicken Bones – yes, we all love barbecued ribs and other savory treats, but resist the urge to throw your dog a bone. All bones – especially when cooked – pose a danger to pets so any sort of bone treat requires strict supervision. From choking hazards, to splintering and causing a puncture to the digestive tract, there are too many dangers to pets. Bones can also break teeth – so always keep a close eye on your dog when chewing bones of any sort.

Fatty Foods – these are very hard on a dog’s intestines and can cause all sorts of tummy upsets, diarrhea and other icky things you do not want to have to contend with – the biggest danger of all is inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis – so skip the fatty stuff!

Guacamole – Avocado contains a toxic compound called persin that is very dangerous to birds, rabbits and horses, much less so for dogs, but enough to put it on our banned food list. It’ll cause tummy upset. Guacamole also contains garlic and onions which are toxic for dogs.

Grapes – while many fruits and veggies are fine for pets, grapes and raisins have been connected to dogs developing kidney failure. While some dogs can eat them and be fine, others might eat just a few and develop a life threatening toxic condition.

According to the ASPCA, dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicosis usually show symptoms like vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. Untreated, dogs will become increasingly lethargic and dehydrated and refuse to eat. They may also increase urination for a period, followed by decreased or no urination in later stages. Death due to kidney failure may occur within three to four days. Dogs who survive acute raisin or grape toxicosis are likely to suffer long-term kidney disease.

Chocolate Desserts – chocolate can be fatally toxic to dogs, especially when it’s the sugar-free variety. Both chocolate and Xylitol have potentially fatal compounds. Chocolate poisoning can lead to heart arrhythmias, muscle tremors, and seizures. Xylitol can lead to blood sugar levels dropping rapidly within a half hour of ingestion, which can lead to disorientation, seizures or liver failure which can be fatal.

Alcoholic Drinks – just a few ounces of beer or wine can be poisonous to a dog or cat, so be sure to clear away drinks that pets (or children) could get into.

If you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t – give your vet a call. If it’s after hours, call an Emergency Vet location or the Pet Poison Hotline, which is open 24/7: 855.764.7661

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