The summer is finally upon us! With the warm weather comes outdoor cookouts and other chances for friends to gather (and maybe catch a fireworks show). Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your backyard bash.
Make sure your dog can’t escape.
It only takes one guest to leave a door or gate open for your pet to get loose. Make sure visitors know you have a dog, and if people are coming and going frequently, consider putting him on a lead or in a bedroom or crate.
No hot dogs, please.
If your party is outdoors, be sure your pet has plenty of water and access to shade. On especially hot days, it may be best to leave your dog inside. If he starts showing signs of heatstroke (restlessness or agitation with vigorous panting or bright-red gums), bring him to a cooler area and contact your veterinarian immediately.
Or the other kind of hot dogs.
Remind your guests not to give your dog any people food. Barbecued food, especially, can be greasy and upset your pet’s stomach. Keep an eye on the food tables to make sure your dog does not grab anything. More importantly, certain foods such as onion, avocado, grapes, and raisins can be toxic. (Here's a cheat sheet of foods that dogs can and cannot eat.)
Fan the flame.
Safety first. Keep your dog away from the grill while you are using it. The open flame is very dangerous. Your dog should not be allowed near the grill even after you have finished cooking, as it stays hot for a while.
Prevent a fireworks freak-out.
Many summer holidays call for fireworks, much to the dismay of our skittish four-legged friends. Remember that dogs don’t understand those loud explosions are only for fun. Many dogs each year run away from home after being spooked by these loud sounds. Playing recordings of fireworks accompanied by treats in months ahead can help desensitive dogs to the sound of fireworks. Otherwise, confine him in safe place, offer him treats during the show, and/or talk to your veterinarian about medication options.