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10 BBQ Safety Tips for Backyard Barbeques Around Pets

BBQ Safety Tips for Pets

Hello, Summer! Bring on the swim parties, picnics, and the messy deliciousness of the backyard BBQ. But make sure your furry friends are safe and sound between the sticky ribs, tantalizing spices, and steamy outdoor temperatures. Before you fire up the grill, check out these BBQ safety tips for pets to keep your gathering furbaby-friendly.

Dog sitting in backyard

10 Tips to Pet Proof Your BBQ

The best way to keep your pet safe during your backyard BBQ bash is to put them in a comfy, cozy, secure spot (preferably inside the house). But, okay, they start giving you the sad, puppy dog eyes, and you can’t resist. Your sociable fur baby wants to come to the party.  

Does your pet interact well with guests? If your pet loves to be around people and is a well-behaved little furball, let them join the fun. However, not before you take a few precautions.

1. Block Off Pet Danger Zones

If your pet’s joining the party, set clear boundaries for them. Block off any dangerous areas, including the pool and around the grill. 

When blocking the grill area, create a wide enough berth to also protect your pet from bothersome smoke. Smoke inhalation can cause several unpleasant consequences, from respiratory problems to irritated eyes, nose, and throat.

If you have citronella candles around or other bug-proofing methods, keep them out of reach from your pets. Ask guests to apply bug spray away from your dog or cat. Also, use a pet-approved insect repellent on your furry friend to keep pests at bay.

2. Give Guests a Heads Up

Let your guests know ahead of time that you have pets. If any of them are allergic, scared of dogs, or have any concerns, they can let you know before the event. If so, the polite thing to do would be to keep your pets away from guests during the BBQ.

Nicely inform your guests that your pets also don’t eat any human food and ask them to please refrain from tossing any scraps. If you’re worried Great Aunt Bertha will do it anyway, tell her a little fib. Inform her that your pet is highly allergic to (insert name of every food here). 

Lots of traditional BBQ fare is either toxic or poses choking risks to pets, so it’s best to keep them out of reach of your pet. If you know you have certain friends or family that will do their own thing anyway, then keep your pet inside and away from guests.

3. Provide a Quiet, Shady Retreat for Your Pet

Summer is full of all sorts of fun in the sun, but that sun can get hot. The heat affects dogs and cats as it does humans, and in many cases, even more intensely. Also, depending on your pet’s size, coat, age, and overall health, too much sun can lead to some severe problems, like heat stroke.

Another great item to place in this special pet zen zone is a Neat-Lik treat mat. Spread your pet’s favorite soft treat onto the mat. As they lick, it helps them stay engaged (and distracted). The licking also releases endorphins, which can help your pet stay calm, just as they help reduce stress in humans.

4. Make Sure Your Pet Has Plenty of Fresh Water

Save yourself the hassle of repeatedly checking and refilling your pet’s water bowl by using a Giant Bowl for their water. Another great choice is a Polar Bowl which keeps water extra cold for thirsty, hot pets. Even better, set out both dishes so your dog or cat has options.

5. Don’t Leave the Gate Open

One of the big problems with hosting a party with pets is a guest unwittingly letting your precious pet out the door or gate. You’re likely used to watching for your pet when you go in and out of your backyard, but your guests aren’t.

Give everyone a heads up to keep the gate closed by placing a sign on each side reminding them to close the gate behind them. It’s also a good idea to glance that way regularly to ensure it's closed. 

If you can, set up a boundary of sorts between the gate and your yard to provide a buffer zone for your pets. Also, if you haven’t already done so, make sure to get your pet microchipped and registered.

6. Watch Your Pet

It’s your party, so you want to have a good time. But don’t forget to keep an eye on your pet. If you’re stressed that you won’t be able to monitor them throughout the party, it’s best to keep them in a secure place inside. If your pet gets anxious, or you’re worried they’ll get into trouble, remove them from the situation.

7. Skip the Fireworks

You’re about as likely to find a dog or cat that loves fireworks as you are to find a toddler that adores bedtime. Let your guests know that your BBQ is a firework-free zone. If neighbors plan to set off fireworks, bring your pet inside somewhere quiet. Play some music, turn on the television, or use a white noise machine to help drown out the booms and bangs.

8. Cover Trash Cans

Set out several trash cans to encourage guests to toss away their plates, chicken bones, etc. Make sure every trash can has a lid, and regularly check to make sure they’re secure. Placing a boundary around the garbage cans helps provide an extra line of defense between your curious companion and the tantalizing contents. It’s also worth scanning the ground routinely for carelessly dropped bones and bits.

9. Supervise Children Closely

These BBQ safety tips for pets also extend to the little humans at your gathering. Most kids love animals, and not all little ones know how to interact with pets properly. Watch kids and pets closely, and if your pet is not having a fun time with the tiny party guests, move them to a quiet room inside the house. 

Give your pet a comfy place to rest, food (if it’s their meal time), water, and a few toys. Play some calming music and remember to check on them. If you know that your dog or cat doesn’t get along well with kids, it’s best to set up this retreat beforehand to avoid any issues.

10. Get Active with Your Pet Before the BBQ

Stack the deck in your favor when it comes to your pet’s activity level with a bit of playtime and exercise before the party. Take your dog (or your cat) for a walk, play hide-and-seek, and engage your pet in a fun-filled play session. Giving them ample opportunity to blow off some steam before guests arrive will help them stay calm.

Check out the Neater Pets blog for more useful tips and resources on creating a smooth summer for you and your furry companions. Whether it’s outdoor fun, hiking, swimming, or things to do on a rainy day, we’ve got you covered.


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