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  • BBQs & Dogs: How To Keep Your Cookout Safe

BBQs & Dogs: How To Keep Your Cookout Safe

June 26, 2023 | 3 min read

Updated October 4, 2023

By Sarah Milton


Summary: “Can dogs eat bbq?” Well, pet parent, in this blog we learn just that. We also discover what else should you consider when it comes to BBQs and dogs. Below you'll find how to keep your cookout canine-safe... 


When the sun is out, there’s nothing better than inviting loved ones over for a cookout in the backyard. However, how can you make sure the experience is just as fun and safe for your furry friend too...? 

Can Dogs Eat BBQ? 

Be Scrap Conscious 

 You should not share corn cobs, cooked bones, or greasy/marinated meat with your pup. All of these are not safe for a dog to consume. Cooked bones can shatter and harm their insides, corn cobs cannot be digested by a dog, and the flavorings present in the coating of marinated meat (spices or garlic) can be toxic to dogs. Provide them with dog-safe snacks or treats instead of giving them potentially harmful scraps from your plate and make sure you’re putting leftovers and trash (particularly sharp items like kebab skewers) in a secure trash can consistently while you cook. You could decide to feed your pup their usual meal separately while you eat your BBQ to avoid temptation! 

PetLab Co. Pro Tip: If you want to share some cooked, plain meat with your dog – this should be fine in small bitesize pieces, but make sure it’s cooled down. It will be far too hot for them to handle straight from the grill!  

Can Dogs Eat BBQ Sauce? 

No. Most BBQ sauce contains high levels of sugar and salt, and are flavored with onion and garlic which are all ingredients that are harmful for dogs.  

A close-up shot of a long rectangular BBQ which is ladened with chicken and vegetable skewers and sausages, which are charring well

Keep Them Away From The Grill 

 The grill is hot when it’s alight. Hot coals, food, and ash can all cause serious burns to both your four-legged friend and humans. Smoke can also be irritating to your doggo’s airways, so be sure they’re not directly downwind of the grill’s fumes either as well as an appropriate distance away.  

PetLab Co. Pro Tip: Using lighter fluid or firelighters? These should be kept well out of reach of your pet as they are poisonous to dogs! 

Protect Them From The Sun 

We tend to bring out the BBQ on the warmest days, but dogs are very susceptible to heatstroke so be sure to provide them with shade and have clean, fresh water readily available to them at all times. Allow them inside when it feels too hot, and it’s also advisable to wait until later in the day when it’s cooler to start your cookout.  

PetLab Co. Pro Tip: And hey, don’t forget doggy sunscreen, particularly if they have thin or white fur or exposed skin. You can purchase dog-specific sunscreen (never use human sunscreen on a dog!) which will help keep their skin protected.  

A cook-out is taking place (you can see a blurred collection of people stood on green grass in the background), and a pair of white male hands are flipping long hot dogs with a knife and fork. Another white male wearing glasses stands at the end of the BBQ in red shorts squeezing red sauce onto a hot dog. A pot of mayo and two beer bottles sit on the edge of the BBQ too

Keep Them Secure & Comfortable 

Make sure your yard is secure and safe, so your pup doesn't wander off. If you’re having lots of people over for your grill session, this might become overwhelming for your pet and they might attempt to get away. If they are seeming to be a touch stressed out, or hot and bothered, set up a cool, quiet place in your house for them to rest and encourage your guests to give them a break from any attention too.  

 A cookout can be an enjoyable and safe event for everyone present, including your pawsome pal. Just follow these tips and communicate them to all of your guests to ensure a safe and fun grilling session for everybody. 


“BBQ Safety: Top Tips For Pet Owners” PDSA  

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Thanks for reading


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Sarah Milton

Authored By

Sarah Milton

Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!




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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
*In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022