Living in Texas, we’re around BBQ a lot (we even wrote a book once called Texas Barbecue)…and we know that barbecue grills and dogs can be a dangerous combination. With summer days just around the corner, soon many dog lovers will be firing up the smokers so we wanted to pass along some tips on keeping your dog safe at a backyard BBQ!
Before the BBQ Begins
Safety begins before the meat ever reaches the barbecue.
Before you take the meat out to the grill, be sure to:
- keep any lighter fluid away from your dog
- keep matches away from your dog
- keep barbecue seasonings and rubs out of reach
- arrange a place for your dog to be during the barbecue. This might be his crate, a bedroom, or other area where he’s safely away from the grill and all the dangers it involves.
During the BBQ
- When you take the meat out to barbecue, it’s best to keep your dog in the house or otherwise completely out of the barbecue area. Some barbecue grills can be tipped over by a curious dog which could be disastrous not only for your dog but also create a real fire hazard.
- If alcoholic beverages are involved, keep these away from your dog–alcohol is toxic to dogs. Designate someone to pick up drinks so your dog doesn’t get into that abandoned but not empty beer.
- Barbecuing is a slow process, one that can involve as much as 20 hours for a brisket, so you’ll be in and out of the house quite a bit during the process. Make sure you know where your dog is after each trip in and out.
- If your dog is around as everyone enjoys the finished product, make sure every diner knows NOT to toss bones to your dog. Cooked bones like rib bones can splinter and be extremely dangerous.
After the BBQ
- Keep your dog away from the BBQ pit or grill until it cools completely; this can take a considerable amount of time.
- Be careful with barbecue utensils, from long forks to meat thermometers; before they’re cleaned, they’ll be very appealing to your dog…and very dangerous.
- If you’ve used wooden meat skewers, get them into a closed trash can right away; your dog will be tempted to chew them and the sharp ends present a real hazard.
- If you’ve used charcoal, empty all ashes into a metal can and firmly place the top on so your dog cannot reach the ashes. Remember, grease and pieces of meat will have fallen into the ashes so they’ll be all too tempting to your dog.