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Every time you bring out your barbecue and tongs, and season a slab of ribs, your pooch’s mouth drips with drool. Your dog knows what these items mean—mouth-watering aromas from grilled meat will soon be wafting in the air—so they will lie in wait, hoping for a dropped morsel of fall-off-the-bone ribs, or a juicy barbecued chicken leg that’s dangerously close to the table’s edge.


While these popular barbecue foods might smell delicious, these are potentially hazardous for your pet. Here at Best Pets Veterinary Hospital, we have put together a list of tasty pet-safe alternatives to typical barbecue goodies for your furry friend to try!


  • Fresh vegetables — Plain, raw veggies are an excellent snack for pets, and many cats and dogs will give such healthy food options a shot. While dogs are less discerning in their vegetable choice, cats—as true carnivores—are a bit trickier to entice into eating fresh veggies. You can toss some vegetables, such as summer squash or sweet potatoes, on the grill, to give them a delicious smoky flavor, but ensure you avoid seasonings, and oil or butter. Remember that garlic and onion are toxic to pets, so keep these foods away from your furry pal, but most other veggies are safe. 


  • Plain grilled chicken breast — During your cookout, your pet is likely eyeing the meat, rather than veggies or side dishes. However, many types of meat cooked on the grill contain bones or are slathered in barbecue sauce or other seasonings. If you’d like to spoil your pet, cook a small piece of boneless, skinless meat devoid of any seasonings or sauces. Tiny bites of a plain grilled chicken breast will make your pet feel like they’re getting a special treat. 


  • Frozen treats — If you’re grilling out, it’s likely hot outside, so help your furry friend cool off with a special frozen treat. A rubber Kong stuffed with a tasty concoction of canned food, kibble, fresh veggies, yogurt, peanut butter, or your pet’s other favorites, and tossed in the freezer for a few hours, is an easy-to-make cool treat. 


By sticking to pet-friendly barbecue foods, you can ensure your best friend enjoys your cookout as much as you do, without an emergency veterinary visit. However, we’re here to care for your pet if they steal a slab of ribs, run off with the T-bones, or scarf down a pack of hot dogs, and develop a foreign body obstruction or pancreatitis—don’t hesitate to contact us for help!