BBQ Dos and Donts

Summertime is filled with all kinds of wonderful dishes that our pets would just love to sample, and so out come the food-begging, heart-melting puppy and kitten eyes! But we are here to warn you & kindly ask that you don't give in. Be strong...don’t give in to the cuteness! With so many human foods being toxic to pets, even a small indulgent bite might lead to a trip to the emergency room. See below for the top people foods to avoid giving your pets at any upcoming backyard gatherings for the summer.
Puppy Dog Eyes


The most common and serious toxic foods for pets include:

Animal Bones & Skin
While it may be tempting to want to give your pet the leftover rib bones, chicken legs, drumsticks, or any other meat product, do not give them any. Why? The bones can shard in their stomach causing tears and rips in their digestive track along with choking concerns. Animal skin has tons of seasoning/excess fat and can cause harm to your pets.
Corn on the Cob
We all love a good ear of corn, especially one fresh off the grill - but corn can cause slowed digestion and lead to upset tummies in your pets. It can even affect their pooping schedule. It's best to save the corn for the humans.
Chocolate, coffee and caffeine. 
Ingestion in small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias. Dark chocolate and baker's chocolate are the most toxic, and even small doses of these can be fatal.
Alcohol. 
It’s probably not surprising that pets will act drunk if they lap up an alcoholic beverage, but our pets are lightweights who will go from stumbling and vomiting to severe symptoms, like coma and even death, on fairly little alcohol.
Grapes and raisins. 
Even one grape or raisin can cause kidney failure in dogs. That includes baked goods with raisins in them, like carrot cake. 
Onions and garlic. 
These flavor boosters damage the red blood cells of pets, especially cats. This is true for the raw vegetables as well as their powdered forms.
Sugarless gums and candies that contain xylitol. 
This sweetener causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure in dogs. If you keep gum and mints in your purse, don't forget to store it out of reach.
Macadamia nuts. 
Although most nuts are very fatty and can cause vomiting and diarrhea, macadamia nuts specifically will lead to weakness, tremors and hyperthermia.
Yeast dough. 
This will keep rising in your pet’s stomach, leading to bloat and ethanol production, which causes the same toxicity as alcohol.

Although not truly toxic, a few more people foods that can lead to trouble in pets include:

  • Fatty foods. Any food that has a high fat content, such as bacon or butter, can lead to severe stomach upset and pancreatitis.
  • Indigestible parts of foods: Our pets don’t always know to stop eating when they reach the indigestible parts of food. Bones, corncobs, peach pits and watermelon rinds are all common foods that cause obstruction. 
  • Milk. Believe it or not, some pets are lactose intolerant—even cats! Avoid giving your pet milk and dairy products to prevent diarrhea and an upset stomach.
If you believe your pet has eaten something toxic, call the Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680 immediately! (Information courtesy of VCA)
Nature's Select
And remember, when in doubt, stick to their regular healthy diet of Nature's Select Pet Food! Healthy pets are happy pets. Here's to a safe summer season of BBQs and fun ahead 🇺🇸