Summer 2021: Tips and Recipes for a Dog-friendly Barbeque

Published: 6/24/2021

It’s grilling season again, and we bet your dog is just as excited about it as you are. But barbeques can be a dangerous place for pups. After all, you’re cooking with fire, and there are unsafe foods at every turn. But we’re here to prepare you for grilling season with dog-friendly foods and preventative measures you can take to ensure your pup has a good — and safe — time. First, let’s explore some tips to keep your pet as safe as "pawssible" when grilling.


Know what your pup can and can’t have

When throwing a dog-friendly barbeque, it’s important to know what dogs can and can’t eat. It can be tempting to give your pup unsafe foods, especially when they are drooling over a cooked bone. Stick with safe foods instead. Here are two lists to refer to when grilling out with your furry companions:

Safe foods

  • Diced hotdogs

  • Hamburger patties

  • Grilled chicken (off the bone)

  • Fish (deboned)

  • Steak

  • Zucchini

Unsafe foods

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Avocado

  • Cooked bones

  • Chicken bones

  • Grapes

  • Raw meat

  • Alcohol


Keep your pooch hydrated

Dehydration and overheating are significant risks during those hot summer days. Keep fresh water out for your fur-babies since the summer sun and added heat from the barbeque can quickly make a pup dehydrate. It might also help to fill up a kiddie pool so your pup has somewhere to cool off if they start overheating.


Keep grilling supplies out of paws' reach

We all know that cooking with an open flame can be dangerous, but some of your grilling supplies can be just as harmful as the grill itself. Matches and fire starters can both spell trouble for curious canines. The potassium chlorate in matchheads is poisonous to canines and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. Lighter fluid is just as or even more dangerous. Ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact with lighter fluid can all hurt a dog. For these reasons, you should keep your grilling supplies in a locking bin, where Fido can’t get ahold of them. 


Play it safe

Barbeques are a lot of fun for dogs, but they can also be dangerous to curious and hungry puppers. So make sure you keep your barbeque a safe environment for the two- and four-legged guests. Here are some quick tips for keeping pets safe while grilling:

  • Grills, especially small ones, can easily be turned over by an inquisitive dog. Prevent burns and fires by keeping Fido well away from the grill. 
  • Prevent gastric obstructions by keeping bones and trash away from your pooch. Rather than an open trash can, invest in one with a locking lid so Fido can’t go foraging if they get a whiff of something tasty in the garbage. 
  • Put grilling forks, skewers, and meat thermometers away when you’re done using them. These sharp utensils are often coated with delicious meat juices and may cause puncture wounds to hungry doggos. 


Dog-friendly barbeque recipes for summer 2021

What is a barbeque guide without a few dog-friendly recipes? These recipes are easy enough for the most novice of grill masters, but your pup will think of them as gourmet cuisine.


Hamburger steaks with cheese

Cheeseburgers are a cookout staple, but bread isn’t the best for dogs. So rather than giving Fido a bite of yours, why not cook them their own hamburger steak?

Ingredients

  • ½ lb of 90% lean hamburger meat
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • ½ cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1 egg
  • Cheddar cheese slices (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill. 
  2. Mix your meat, cumin, rice, and egg until well combined.
  3. Form your meat and rice patties to an even 1-inch thickness. This recipe should make about 4.
  4. Grill each patty for 3 minutes on one side, then flip and cook it for an additional 7 minutes.
  5. Use a meat thermometer to check to see if the burger is fully cooked (155 to 160° F).
  6. Remove the meat onto a plate and place the cheese slices on top. Let cool, then serve.


Frozen watermelon and berry pops

These popsicles are a great way for humans and canines to beat the heat! Not only are these delicious, but they're also packed with antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped watermelon
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries

Directions

  1. Blend your fruit until it reaches a smooth consistency.
  2. Pour your mixture into popsicle molds (or ice cube trays).
  3. Freeze your pops until solid (usually about 4 to 5 hours).
  4. Unmold and enjoy!


Hearty chicken and zucchini kabobs

These chicken and zucchini kabobs are as nutritious as they are delicious — for humans and puppers too! Plus, these have breath-freshening parsley and rosemary, which boast added vitamins and nutrients.

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Wooden skewers (pre-soaked in water)

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill.
  2. Slice your zucchini in ½-inch rounds and place on a sheet pan.
  3. Cut your chicken in 1-inch chunks and place on the sheet pan with the zucchini.
  4. Drizzle your chicken and zucchini with olive oil and mix to coat.
  5. Sprinkle your herbs on the chicken and zucchini mixture.
  6. Skewer the chicken and zucchini, alternating meat and veggies as you skewer. 
  7. Cook your skewers for 5 minutes on each side.
  8. Pull your skewers off the grill when the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165° F.


Salmon skewers

Salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids for dogs, not to mention it tastes great!

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb salmon fillets cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp dill 
  • Wooden skewers (pre-soaked in water)

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill.
  2. Prepare your salmon by removing the skin and cubing it in 1-inch pieces.
  3. Drizzle your salmon cubes with oil and sprinkle on the dill. Rub to coat.
  4. Grill your skewers for about 3 minutes per side, for a total of 6 to 7 minutes.
  5. Let your salmon rest on an aluminum foil-covered plate for 5 minutes.


Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs are a traditional side dish for barbeques, so why not make them canine-friendly so everyone can enjoy them?

Ingredients

  • 5 boiled eggs
  • 3 tbsp of sugar-free mayo (no xylitol, please)
  • 1 ½ tbsp of yellow mustard

Directions

  1. Cut your eggs in half.
  2. Scoop out the egg yolks and place them in a bowl.
  3. Add your mayo and mustard into your egg yolks and mix until you reach a creamy consistency.
  4. Using a spoon or a piping bag, dollop the egg yolk mixture back into the eggs. 
  5. Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve cold.

Want more summer safety tips for dogs? Check out these 7 safety tips for outdoor barbeques.