The Only Locally-Owned Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Minnesota

Grilling Safety

It’s finally grilling season again! We all love to have a nice dinner outside, but we want to remind pet owners of some hidden dangers around the grill. Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe during grilling season:

1. Corn on the Cobs

a. Corn cobs are tasty! So tasty that dogs may even scavenge them off plates or out of the trash.

During the summer, corn cobs are one of the most common causes of GI obstructions that we see in our ER.

A GI obstruction can lead to endoscopy or even surgery to remove the cob from the stomach and intestines.

So please save yourself an expensive vet bill and make sure all corn cobs are properly disposed of in the trash.

We recommend throwing the bag into your large trash bin right away just to be sure your dog doesn’t break open the trash can lid!

2. Grill Brush Wires

Watch out for stray wires when you’re cleaning your grill. Veterinarians are seeing more and more radiographs that have small wires in the abdomen.

These wires may migrate out of the stomach and cause some serious damage. There’s building evidence that these wires are the tiny wires in grill brushes that come loose as you’re cleaning.

3. Grease Spills

Speaking of cleaning, watch out for tasty grease spills or drips on the ground. Those delicious juices and marinades can even make sand, gravel, and wood chips seem tasty and tempting. If your dog swallows any of these, they can cause an upset tummy, sand impaction (like a horse!), or an obstruction.

Round bones can get stuck over a dog’s lower jaw and canine teeth.

4. Bones

Do NOT give your dog scraps containing bones. Bones can break teeth, get stuck over the jaw, or tiny pieces may even get impacted in the colon after scraping all the way through the intestines. Ouch!

5. Alcohol

Who doesn’t like to grill with a beer in hand? However, keep it in your hand. Dogs are often drawn to yeasty or fruity smelling alcohols. If your dog manages to drink an alcoholic beverage and gets drunk, it can lead to vomiting, aspiration pneumonia, or severe electrolyte shifts.

Please keep these safety tips in mind while grilling this summer! We hope you enjoy the sun, the barbecue, and the burgers with your family. If your pet does experience an emergency this summer, contact your family veterinarian! If your family veterinarian is unavailable, both our Oakdale and St. Paul clinics are open 24/7! Call us at (651) 501-3766. Have a safe summer!

By Erin Bequette, DVM

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