BBQ & Dogs: What You Need to Know

Summer is here, and that means it’s time for barbecues! While you’re grilling up burgers and hot dogs for your friends and family, you may be tempted to share some of your delicious food with your furry friend. However, not all human food is safe for dogs to eat. In this article, we’ll discuss the most nutritious and suitable food options for dogs, backed by scientific evidence. We’ll also compare various dog food types and brands, provide tips for maintaining dog health and wellness, and share advice on how to train dogs to foster a strong relationship between them and their owners.

BBQ & Dogs: What You Need to Know

The Best Foods for Dogs

When it comes to feeding your dog, there are a few types of food to consider: dry kibble, moist dog food, and fresh food. Each type has its pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the one that works best for your pet.

Dry Kibble

Dry kibble is the most common type of dog food. It’s convenient, easy to store, and has a long shelf life. Most importantly, it’s nutritionally balanced and provides all the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy.

When choosing dry kibble, look for brands that use high-quality ingredients and contain a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Avoid brands that use fillers such as corn or wheat, as these can cause digestive problems in some dogs. Instead, look for brands that use meat as the main ingredient, as this is the best source of protein for dogs.

Some popular brands of dry kibble include:

  • Blue Buffalo
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Wellness
  • Merrick
  • Orijen

Moist Dog Food

Moist dog food, also known as wet dog food, is another option to consider. It’s more expensive than dry kibble, but it’s also more palatable and easier to digest. Moist dog food is also a good option for dogs with dental problems, as it’s easier to chew than dry kibble.

When choosing moist dog food, look for brands that use high-quality ingredients and avoid fillers such as wheat or soy. Look for brands that use meat as the main ingredient and that don’t contain artificial preservatives or flavors.

Some popular brands of moist dog food include:

  • Royal Canin
  • Hill’s Science Diet
  • Purina Pro Plan

Fresh Food

Fresh food, also known as a raw diet, is the most expensive and time-consuming option. However, it’s also the most nutritious and provides the most natural diet for dogs. Fresh food is made up of raw meat, vegetables, and fruits.

When choosing fresh food, it’s important to work with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to ensure that your dog is getting all the nutrients they need. Fresh food should be made up of 70% meat, 10% bone, and 20% vegetables and fruits. It’s also important to ensure that the meat is of high quality and doesn’t contain any hormones or antibiotics.

Some popular brands of fresh food include:

  • Stella & Chewy’s
  • Primal Pet Foods
  • The Honest Kitchen

Foods to Avoid

While there are plenty of foods that are safe for dogs to eat, there are also some foods that are toxic and can be deadly. It’s important to avoid feeding your dog the following foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocado
  • Alcohol
  • Xylitol (found in sugar-free gum and candy)

In addition to the above foods, it’s also important to avoid giving your dog fatty or fried foods, as these can cause digestive problems and lead to obesity.

Tips for Maintaining Dog Health and Wellness

Feeding your dog a healthy diet is just one part of keeping them healthy and happy. Here are some additional tips for maintaining dog health and wellness:


All dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as walking, running, or playing fetch. Exercise not only helps keep dogs physically healthy, but it also helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Regular Check-Ups

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are important for keeping your dog healthy. Your veterinarian can provide vaccinations, perform routine blood work, and check for any potential health problems. Regular check-ups can also help catch any health problems early, when they’re easier to treat.

Dental Care

Dental care is important for dogs, as dental problems can lead to other health problems. Regular brushing and dental cleanings can help prevent dental problems and keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.


Dogs need plenty of sleep to stay healthy and happy. Aim for at least 12 hours of sleep per day for adult dogs and up to 18 hours for puppies.

Training Tips

Training your dog is important for fostering a strong relationship between you and your furry friend. Here are some tips for training your dog:

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog. This means rewarding your dog for good behavior, rather than punishing them for bad behavior. Rewards can include treats, praise, and playtime.


Consistency is key when it comes to training your dog. Make sure everyone in your household is using the same commands and rewards, and that you’re training your dog on a regular basis.


Training your dog takes time and patience. Don’t get frustrated if your dog doesn’t learn something right away. Instead, be patient and continue to work with them to reinforce good behavior.


Feeding your dog a healthy diet is essential for keeping them healthy and happy. Dry kibble, moist dog food, and fresh food are all great options to consider. Make sure to avoid feeding your dog toxic foods and prioritize their health and wellness with regular check-ups, dental care, and exercise. Finally, train your dog with positive reinforcement, consistency, and patience to create a strong bond between you and your furry friend.


Q: Can dogs eat BBQ food?

A: While it’s tempting to share your BBQ food with your furry friend, it’s important to be cautious. Some human foods can be harmful or even toxic to dogs. Avoid giving your dog any seasoned or spiced meats, as these can upset their stomachs. Also, avoid giving them anything with bones, as these can splinter and cause serious harm to your dog’s digestive tract. Stick to giving your dog plain, unseasoned meat or veggies as an occasional treat.

Q: Can dogs be near the grill?

A: It’s important to keep your dog at a safe distance from the grill, as hot surfaces and flames can cause serious burns. Plus, the smoke and fumes from the grill can be harmful to your dog’s respiratory system. Always keep an eye on your dog and make sure they stay away from the grill while it’s in use.

Q: What should I do if my dog accidentally eats something they shouldn’t have at a BBQ?

A: If your dog accidentally eats something they shouldn’t have at a BBQ, it’s important to act quickly. Call your vet right away and describe the situation. They may advise you on what to do next, such as inducing vomiting or bringing your dog in for an examination. Keep an eye on your dog for signs of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, and contact your vet immediately if you notice any concerning symptoms.

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