With the possibility of more warm weather around the corner, you might be planning a barbecue with friends and family. Our pets enjoys being out in the garden with us too, so we need to take extra precautions to ensure they stay safe.

PDSA vet, Olivia Anderson-Nathan says; “Weather permitting, many people will be out in their gardens and getting the barbecue going this weekend. It’s also great to spend time with our pets outdoors and for them to get some extra attention too. However, it’s important to take a few special precautions when pets are around barbecues to avoid potential disaster.

“Sadly, every year vets see pets with injuries directly associated with barbecues. Pets are brought in having swallowed objects such as corn on the cob cores, suffering from burns if they’ve gotten too close to the barbecue, or because of heat stroke from being out in the warmer weather.”

By taking a few simple precautions, owners can ensure their pets enjoy the occasion as much as they do.

Olivia added: “Leftover food and rubbish can cause problems. Keep objects like kebab skewers and bones away from curious paws, as swallowing them can be very dangerous. Corn on the cob cores can block the intestines, while kebab skewers can cause serious internal injuries.

“Feeding barbecue scraps can cause problems too, as greasy, fatty or unfamiliar food can lead to tummy upsets in our pets, even if the food is well-cooked. Extra calories can also lead to weight gain, so keep food treats occasional and remember to cut down their main meal to compensate.

High temperatures – both from the barbecue and the sun – also pose big risks to pets.

Olivia said: “Pets can suffer from sunburn and heatstroke just like we can. So, if you’re enjoying the sun, ensure your four-legged friends have access to shade and plenty of fresh water. Pet sun creams can be used on hairless or thin-coated areas of your pet’s body where pink skin is exposed – your vet can advise you about this.”

Flames, embers and hot ash all pose risks of severe burns if pets are able to get too close. Once cooking is finished, quickly cool the barbecue down before leaving it unattended and store any leftovers safely away.

Olivia concluded: “With a little extra care, our pets can safely enjoy the fun of a gathering with friends and family too.”