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Keeping your pet safe in summer: BBQ safety

Keeping your pet safe in summer: BBQ safety Keeping your pet safe in summer: BBQ safety
Posted 18 July, 2019

Keeping your pet safe in summer: BBQ safety

After a soggy start, summer has finally arrived and the weather is heating up. Many of us will be enjoying a barbecue or two with family and friends.

It’s great to share these special moments with our pets, who don’t want to miss out. However, it’s important to take a few precautions when pets are around to avoid potential barbecue-related disasters. Accidents can happen at any time, so remember to protect your pet for whatever happens next with Petsurance from PDSA.

Sadly, every year vets see pets with injuries from barbecues. Pets are brought in having swallowed objects such as corn on the cob cores or wooden skewers, suffering from burns if they’ve gotten too close to the coals. Heatstroke from being out for long periods in the hot weather can also be a danger.

Labrador-cross Mutley, needed life-saving surgery at Bristol PDSA Pet Hospital to remove a kebab skewer. He was out for walk with his owner when he stumbled upon a discarded barbecue and gobbled down two sausages on a skewer. Mutley was rushed to our vets and nurses, who operated before the skewer caused any serious internal injuries.


Here are PDSA’s top tips to ensure our pets enjoy summer gatherings safely and you avoid any unexpected vet bills:

  • Skip the scraps - eating barbecue scraps can upset pets’ stomachs.  Undercooked, unfamiliar or greasy, fatty food can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Bin it – make sure any leftover food and rubbish is securely and safely thrown away in a lidded dustbin well away from pets paws. A common barbecue-related problem seen by vets is pets who have eaten corn on the cob cores. These can cause a serious intestinal blockage and have to be surgically removed. Kebab skewers are also a risk as they can cause severe internal injuries when swallowed.
  • Don’t be a ‘fuel’ - lighter fluid can be dangerous, so keep it well out of reach of your four-legged friends.
  • Flamin’ hot –keep pets well away from flames, burning embers and hot ash. Always make sure the BBQ is cooled down quickly after use and never leave pets unattended while it is still hot. Be careful of the temperature of the patio or grass underneath your BBQ too.
  • Keep them cool – pets can suffer from sunburn and heatstroke just like us, so if you’re enjoying the sun, ensure your four-legged friends have access to shade and plenty of fresh water. Pet sun creams should be used on areas of your pet’s body that have no hair or areas of patchy white fur where pink skin is exposed – your vet can advise you about this.
  • Be prepared in an emergency – download PDSA’s FREE pet first aid guide today.


Protect your pet with Petsurance from PDSA. With a range of policies to choose from, including the Defaqto five star-rated Ultimate and Ultimate Plus policies, protect your pet for whatever happens next. Get a quote today.

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