What Foods Are Safe for My Dog to Consume at a BBQ?

Phoebe Cooper · May 31, 2022 · All

With Summer quickly approaching, that means that barbecue season is upon us, and our canine companions are as excited about this as we are because they’ll have the opportunity to stick their noses into some scrumptious foods, with or without permission. Furthermore, you can expect your pup to turn up the charm and tempt you with an eager, expectant gaze as soon as the food hits your plate, and how could you resist sharing with them? This blog seeks to answer the age-old question of “Uh oh…should they eat that?” when your professional scrap scrounger gobbles something down at your next warm weather gathering.

Below are some common dog-safe cookout foods that also have some health benefits:

1. Watermelon

Watermelon can be a refreshing reward for your pup on a hot summer day. A rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and composed of 92% water, this means that watermelon is both hydrating and nutritious. It is also low in fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol, so you can feel good about sharing this sweet treat with your pup. However, please be aware that not every part of a watermelon is safe for your dog to consume: the seeds and rinds should be avoided as consuming either may result in an intestinal blockage.

2. Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are also safe for your dog. Berries are known for their antioxidant- and nutrient-rich properties and may reduce cholesterol and inflammation while providing immune support. Only give your pups berries that do not have any sugar added to them and keep the portions to a minimum. 

3. Cantaloupe

As a relative of watermelon, it may not surprise you that cantaloupe contains a lot of water. It also supplies niacin, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin A which work to support digestive, eye, skin, and muscle health. Cantaloupe helps quench your pup’s thirst and offers them a sweet, wholesome, guilt-free treat, and because many people pick out the cantaloupe in their fruit salad, it’s a win-win!

4. Zucchini

Zucchini is high in fiber and provides your pup with antioxidants as well as vitamins A, K, C, and B6. As such, zucchini may assist in supporting skin, eye, brain, and digestive health in addition to a healthy metabolism and immunity. While zucchini itself is safe for your dog, this does not apply to seasoned zucchini. Seasonings may contain unhealthy amounts of sodium, sugar, or ingredients that may not be safe for your dog to consume, such as garlic and onions.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes provide your pup with fiber for digestive health, calcium and potassium for bone health, and beta-carotene which supports eye health and may reduce the risk of cancer for your dog. Avoid sharing sweet potatoes with your pup that have added sweeteners in them like sugar and syrup.

Another great way to give your dog sweet potato is with Natural Farm NatBones, due to be released soon, which contain real meat and superfoods for superior flavor and nutrition!

6. Meat & Fish

Meat and fish such as beef, pork, chicken, and salmon are fine to share with your dog so long as they are fully cooked, unseasoned, and completely bone-free. They are rich in protein and act as an essential source of vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc, and fish also provides omega-3 fatty acids which are great for supporting brain health and immunity.  

When you’re not cooking out or you would like to keep your dog’s interest off of your own food while you are, explore our full range of single and limited ingredient, all-natural dog chews which are protein-rich, delicious, safe, and nutritious! Our new Oceanic Treats, which are coming soon, are a wonderful way to provide your pup with protein and omega-3s. 

Important to Note:

Overall, these foods should only be given to your dog in small quantities and should never replace their normal diet. Avoid feeding your pup anything that has been seasoned. Seasonings often contain unhealthy levels of sodium and sugar, and they may introduce ingredients that are unsafe for your pup to consume, such as garlic and onions. Similarly, pay attention to your toppings. Even in small amounts, some toppings may be dangerous for your dog.

Don’t give your dog fruits or vegetables with pits in them as the pits can pose a choking hazard or result in an intestinal blockage (although some fruits and veggies are safe once the pits are removed). Some fruits and vegetables also contain substances that are toxic to dogs, like grapes and the green parts of cherries and tomatoes.

Do not give your dog any leftover bones because they can splinter into sharp pieces which could harm your dog. While some bones are safe for your dog to gnaw on, cooked bones are especially dangerous as they can break apart more easily.

Maintain your pup’s hydration: Have plenty of fresh water available to your dog as they scavenge and be sure they don’t get into any alcohol.

Establish some ground rules: We all know that our friends and family members love to offer their scraps to our dogs (how could you blame them?), so flip the script and train them to only offer your dog the good stuff.

It’s important to do your research before offering your pup an enticing, otherwise human treat. Always consult with your veterinarian who is familiar with your pup’s individual needs before sharing any new foods with your dog to ensure that they are a good and safe fit for them.

Now that you know about these dog-safe barbecue foods, you can include your dog in more of your summer festivities, worry-free!

Let us follow along! Tag #LetsChewNatural so that we can see your pups enjoying themselves at all your cookouts!