Pets are an important part of the family, and because they’re family, pet owners not only take their fur babies when they travel, but they also bring them to social gatherings and special events. Moreover, since 86 percent of pet parents feel welcomed at the homes of friends and family with their pets, it’s no surprise that dogs attend everything from game nights to barbecue parties with their owners. The latter, in particular, is a favorite among pet owners, as it allows them to socialize while their dogs get some fresh air in the backyard. A barbecue is the perfect way to spend some quality time with your fellow pet parents, and if you’re planning to have one, it’s important to make your environment safe for the dogs in order to avoid accidents and property damage. Here’s a quick guide to keep dogs safe at a barbecue party.
Mind where you set up the grill
To have a safe barbecue party, have your grill in a place that’s separate from the sitting or main area of the backyard – three feet of space is recommended around all sides of the grilling area. This will deter curious pets from getting too close to the grill so they won’t knock it down or sustain an injury. You can have your flat top griddle or electric grill in the patio or the gazebo, while guests and their pets can stay in the garden. If you don’t have these structures in your outdoor area, create a barrier between pets and the grill by temporarily enclosing the grilling area. Use a DIY dog gate or a movable pet safety gate barrier to surround the grill, making sure that there’s at least three feet of space surrounding the griddle or griller.
Keep these items away from pets
Dogs can get into everything, so keep things such as lighter fluid, matches and charcoal briquettes away from dogs, and never place them on the ground where pets can get to them. Also, keep cooked and uncooked food out of the dogs’ reach, as well as barbecue seasonings and rubs, wooden skewers, and grilling equipment. If you’re serving alcoholic drinks at your barbecue party, advise guests to never leave their drinks unattended, as dogs can knock over glasses and bottles, and may even try to drink the spilled liquid. Alcohol is toxic to dogs, so ensure that no one is leaving their drinks where a pet can reach them.
Consider creating a pet area
To enable pet parents to socialize and eat without having to worry about their companions, consider creating a pet area in the garden. Use temporary folding gates or fences to create an enclosed outdoor pet area, and then place a few toys inside to keep pooches entertained. Set this up on some turf so dogs can rest or take naps comfortably during the barbecue party, and make sure that it’s in a shady area so they won’t get overheated. Also, ensure that they have access to water so they can stay hydrated, especially on hot summer days.
Having a barbecue allows you to bond with your fellow pet owners and welcome other pets into your outdoor space. Try these tips to create a safe and enjoyable environment for dogs and pet parents at your next barbecue party.
Article by: Jane Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and dog owner