Be Careful About Giving Foods From Your Fourth of July Cookout to Your Dogs, Experts Warn

Grills, food, and the family are a classic Fourth of July combo, and your dog appreciates an invite, too. He or she can certainly have a treat or two from the holiday feast, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure they have a safe holiday.

Tractor Supply is among the companies from which people purchase their grills, as well as essentials for their dogs. Kyle Murphy, VP of Merchandising for Pet and Pet Services at Tractor Supply, is reminding dog owners of one of the possible hazards when pets and grills meet.

White dog tilts her head
PHOTO: PIXABAY / ELMER L. GEISSLER

He says a “food to be cautious of is onions. While it’s a tasty topping on a burger or chopped up on a hot dog, onions contain n-propyl disulfide and thiosulfate, which are toxic to our canine friends. It’s also a good idea not to share any burgers, chicken, or other meats that may be seasoned with onion or garlic powder with your dogs to help prevent them from ingesting anything toxic to them.”

If you want to share some of your cooked meat with your pups, plain, un-seasoned chicken and lean beef are okay. Just be sure to remove bones, skin, and excess fat. If your cat’s around, you can also share plain cooked chicken with her, prepared in the same safety conscious way.

Meat cooking on the grill
PHOTO: PIXABAY / PHILIPP T

There are plenty of sweet treats both can enjoy, too. Seedless watermelon makes an appearance at quite a few barbecues, and bite-sized chunks of that are perfect for both dogs and cats. Strawberries and blueberries are A-okay, as well, just keep them to a minimum, as too much sugar isn’t the best for our furry friends. Grapes are a no-go, though, and there’s another sweet to really watch out for.

Murphy says, “Chocolate is a big no-no, as it contains chemicals such as methylxanthines and caffeine, which are toxic to dogs. Even just a sprinkling of chocolate may be dangerous and could lead to vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, and large quantities can cause heart palpitations, seizures, and death. So keep your pups away from any desserts that may be out.”

Though they may not be as sweet, some veggies are less damaging and may appeal to your dog or cat. Those on the safe list include bite-sized pieces of cooked carrot, cooked broccoli, and cucumber.

Border collie licks his lips
PHOTO: PIXABAY / RAY SHREWSBERRY

If your dog or cat manages to get to something that’s not on the safe list, though, Murphy reminds you to keep calm and take them to the vet.

For a more comprehensive list of safe foods for your pets, click here!

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