If you plan on having your four-legged friend at the July 4 party, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start grilling.
The American Kennel Club offers the following tips to keep your dog safe at your next barbecue:
— Make sure your yard is secure. Be sure to keep the gate to your yard closed. Make guests aware that your dog is there, and if people are coming and going frequently, consider putting him on a leash or in a crate. You may even want to designate a family member to stand by the gate when guests are arriving and leaving to make sure your dog doesn’t get loose.
— Keep your dog hydrated. Be sure your dog has plenty of water, and if the party is outdoors, also make sure he has access to a shaded area. If he starts showing signs of heatstroke (restlessness or agitation with vigorous panting or bright-red gums), bring him to a cooler area and contact your veterinarian immediately. On especially hot days, it may be best to leave your dog inside.
— Don’t feed your dog from the barbecue. Remind your guests not to give your dog any human food. Barbecued food is often greasy and can upset your dog’s stomach. Keep an eye on the food tables to make sure your dog does not grab anything. More important, certain foods such as onion, avocado, grapes and raisins can be toxic and should be kept far away from your dog’s reach.
— Keep your dog away from the grill. Make sure your dog isn’t near the grill while it’s on. It is very hot and the open flame is especially dangerous. Your dog should be kept away from it even when you’re done using it, as it stays hot for a while after it’s turned off.
— Apply sunscreen. If your barbecue is during the day, don’t forget to apply canine-appropriate sun block on your pup’s nose to prevent a burn.