Every time you put on your grilling apron, grab the tongs and get ready to 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 patiently look up at you, hoping for a dropped morsel of fall-off-the-bone ribs.

It may be tempting to feed them a bite of your barbecue goodies, however, these are potentially hazardous for your pet. Instead, the team here at Gardner Animal Care Center has put together some pet-safe alternatives for them to snack on during the barbecue. 



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 meats cooked on the grill contain bones, or are slathered in barbecue sauce or other seasoning. 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 run off with the ribs while you have your back turned. Please contact us if you need help!