Picnic: food and pet safety

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Picnics can be amazing family fun, great neighborhood gatherings, and spectacular celebrations. It’s natural to include your beloved pet on a picnic, barbecue, or camping trip, but a picnic can be dangerous for cats and dogs. Understanding these dangers is an important first step in ensuring the safety of your four-legged friends and family.


Picnic food may be toxic to pets

Many of our most popular picnic foods can be dangerous for pets, even in small quantities. These items should not be provided to animals, even small snacks.


Roasted meats-The spices, abrasives, marinades, and sauces used in many roasts include seasonings that are harmful to pets, such as onions, garlic, and salt. In addition, discarded fat crumbs can cause indigestion, and cooked bones are brittle and sharp, which may cause internal injuries if pets eat them.


Potato salad-a staple food for picnics, potato salad is a mixture of several foods that may be toxic to pets. Mayonnaise, garlic, and mustard can all harm pets, and different ingredients such as onions can also harm pets.


Fruit Salad-Different types of fruits, including raisins, cherries, rhubarb, grapes, and citrus fruits, all contain compounds that are harmful to pets. Seeds, skins, and pits can also pose a choking hazard or poison to cats and dogs.


French fries and pretzels-Excess carbohydrates, salt and any seasonings in these quick and simple picnic noodles are dangerous to animals and can quickly disrupt the digestive balance of cats and dogs.


Drinks-Only fresh, clean water can be given to animals. Different chemicals in alcohol and milk, and high levels of caffeine or sugar in tea and other picnic drinks are dangerous for pets.


Desserts-Chocolate is deadly to many animals, and other common ingredients in desserts such as macadamia nuts, almonds and pistachios are also dangerous. Even in healthier desserts, it is important to note that sugar substitutes can be fatal to pets.

General picnic food safety

Of course, any improperly prepared or improperly handled food is dangerous not only to pets but also to all picnic guests. Raw meat and dairy products, including salads or sandwiches containing butter, mayonnaise or sour cream, must be kept at the proper temperature to ensure food safety. Use a cooler and plenty of ice to refrigerate food, or if possible, use a nearby kitchen to properly store cold food until needed.


Meat should be thoroughly cooked to an appropriate internal temperature, and should not be allowed to stand and cool to a low temperature that may promote the growth of bacteria. Cooked meat should not be placed back on the same surface where the original meat was placed, such as a plate or cutting board.


Anyone who handles food should wash their hands thoroughly before and after cooking, and everyone should wash their hands before eating. After meals, tableware should be properly handled, and leftovers should be quickly stored under safe conditions.


Keep pets safe during picnics

There are many simple steps that pet owners can take to ensure that their animals are safe during the picnic.


Train pets not to beg for leftovers and not to feed them from the table.

Feed your pets before a picnic or during meals to prevent them from eating inappropriate food.

Keep all food out of the reach of pets, including ambitious anti-surfers.

Do not leave any food in unattended places or places where it may fall or spill.

If any food is accidentally spilled, please clean it up immediately to prevent pets from getting it.

Cover the serving plate tightly or use a weighted dome to protect the food from curious pets.

There is a tall and heavy trash can that can be used to store disposable plates and debris to prevent pets from touching them.

If the pet does eat inappropriate food, watch the animal closely for signs of illness or pain, such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, dizziness, bloating, or swelling of the mouth. If these or any other abnormal symptoms occur, please contact the emergency veterinarian immediately for help.


Picnics can be fun, but putting your beloved pet in danger is not fun. By understanding the hazards of picnics to pets, it is easy to take measures to protect their safety.