And sure, we try to keep our dogs away from human food on a daily basis. But we all know it's tough to keep a dog from great smelling food when there are a lot of people around, and outdoor cookouts make it even harder.
So here are some summer foods that you don't have to worry about falling on the floor -- or a child sneaking to them -- or annoying relatives/neighbors/party guests feeding to the dog because they think it's "cute."
- Watermelon -- As you can see from the picture, Lulu loves watermelon! And it's great on a hot day, it's very juicy and it's cool-tasting. The only thing you really need to worry about are the seeds. They can be hard to digest, plus some fruit seeds contain cyanide. So watch out for that.
- Meat -- Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, ribs. Protein is always great for dogs. Here are some things to consider though:
A. There are a number of studies out there that suggest charbroiled food has cancer-causing agents. One way to get around that is to pre-cook the meat, or marinading it. Just be careful. Some marinades contain things that dogs shouldn't eat: garlic, onion (or onion powder), chives and salt. Also, artificial sweeteners like xylitol found in sugar-free foods.
B. Many cookout meats are very fattening. Dogs can get pancreatitis from eating a fattening meal and table scraps. So do it sparingly.
- Mayo salads -- Macaroni salads, potato salads, egg salads, cole slaw, etc. Dogs can have mayo but sparingly. It goes back to the whole pancreatitis thing. Plus, mayo and heat don't always mix.
- Ice cream or frozen yogurt -- It's a timeless treat in the summer. Lots of people give their dogs ice cream or frozen yogurt. But don't forget that dogs and cats are lactose-intolerant, so these treats can lead to stomach problems and diarrhea. If you can choose, frozen yogurt is always better. And while we are at it: no chocolate ice cream allowed, or sugar free.
- Corn on the cob -- It can be an occasional treat, so no concern if the dog eats it. Just don't let them eat the cob itself.
- Vegetables -- Put it this way -- avocados, mushrooms, onions. Dogs can't eat those. Everything else is pretty much fair game.
- Fruit -- Same thing -- Grapes (and by extension raisins) and peaches are the only fruit dogs can't eat. Still, be careful. Some fruits shouldn't be eaten in abundance.