Everyone loves a good barbecue in the summer sun - including your pooch! However, you need to take a few precautions to make sure your dog doesn't suffer for joining in the family fun. After all, things like a lack of shade, extra heat from the barbecue itself and a poorly tummy from eating leftover scraps do not make for a happy dog.
Watch what your dog is eating
The smell of all that cooking meat is likely to encourage your dog to bring out his best puppy-dog eyes and beg for food. Don't be tempted to give in - while it's easy to think a small treat won't do him any harm, food that is too fatty or that he isn't used to can easily make him sick. Also, some items are actually very dangerous for dogs, such as corn on the cob, which can cause serious internal blockages.
If he's particularly pining for something tasty, why not prepare a special treat that won't upset his stomach before the barbecue begins? That way, he will be distracted from the barbecue food.
Watch your drinks, too - alcohol is also likely to make your pet very poorly.
Take care with rubbish
As well as not consciously feeding your dog scraps, you need to take extra care with rubbish, making sure it is in a secure bin your pooch can't reach. Everything from scraps of meat to foil and old skewers can find their way into your dog's mouth, and none of them will do him any good.
Keep your pet away from the BBQ
It may well go without saying, but keeping your dog away from those barbecue flames is absolutely essential. His fur can easily can, and of course the additional heat of simply being near it may overheat him.
Apply sun cream
Just like us, dogs need sun cream too! Be sure to get a cream that is suitable for dogs, and apply it before he goes in the sun. Remember to reapply as necessary to make sure he stays protected.
Provide plenty of shade and water
As well as applying sun cream, you need to keep your dog out of the full heat of the sun, so ensure there is plenty of shade available for him to relax in. Similarly, he will need more water than usual on hot days, so keep his water bowl topped up with a fresh supply.
Written by: Hannah Dyball