Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Planning a cookout? Summer food guide for dogs

Fourth of July is a big food holiday (as are most American holidays).

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."
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

    C. Bones. You should stay away from giving dogs most bones, as they can splinter. Some beef bones are ok. Especially thick beef rib bones.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Vegetables -- Put it this way -- avocados, mushrooms, onions. Dogs can't eat those. Everything else is pretty much fair game.
  7. 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.
Have questions about other foods? Here are a couple great websites with huge databases:
And, here's some other great tips for cookouts from Petfinder.com. Enlarge it to get a better look:


  1. Yes, be extra careful with the corn. Watermelon are the best for hot hot summer days. Happy Tasty Tuesday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  2. Giz will be snorkeling for treats at our BBQ but i monitor carefully Happy 4th!

  3. Good advise. I need to investigate the char-broil thing cos we love grilling with charcoal and I'll be sure to check out those huge databases to see if I'm missing anything. Thanks.

  4. Cook outs are so good for scavenger pups. LOL, KOly always snaggs a great snack of 10 at a cook out. We finally started putting out a dog bowl, which I filled with meat pieces, veggies etc that people were encouraged to share just to keep the bad stuff from being secretly shared.

    I have NEVER heard of peaches being toxic to dogs? Where on Earth did you hear that?? The seed of anything is dangerous that much I know, but the peach fruit?? Really??? You've peaked my curiousity now! I'm going to have to dig our my nutrition text book and check...I'll have huge guilt. Koly LOVES grilled peaches (with the seed fully removed, of course!)

    1. One of the websites I listed. Apparently it causes tummy aches.

  5. That picture of Lulu and the watermelon just made me laugh at loud, and I had to show the hubby! He just shook his head. :)
    Great advice....we try to do everything in moderation, and mostly just let the dogs lick our plates after meals. Sometimes they get one nibble of whatever we had (how silly are we that both hubby and I will leave three bites of something on our plates...one for each dog?)

  6. Hello! Just stopping by from the Petfinder blog hop! Thanks for sharing! Have a great holiday!


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