Why The Bar-B-Que Might Not Be The Best Place For Your Puppy?

This summer, lots of homes will be grilling out with friends and family, and to be sure, your dog will be right there in the middle of it. You know that freshly grilled meat is probably okay, but what about the other stuff? Why is it that Bar-B-Que might not be best for your puppy?

Of course, the last thing you want to do is stop the festivities and rush your doggie to the vet over something they ate when they shouldn’t have. A couple of simple steps and close supervision can keep our dog from having a hard time with the Bar-b-que. 

While freshly grilled meat can be a delicious treat for a pet to eat, it might surprise you that there is a lot on the Bar-b-que table that your dog has no business devouring. Let’s look at some of the most popular foods that can keep your fido from feeling fine.

1. BBQ Sauce 

There are some things to know about basic sauces like BBQ, Ketchup, and other condiments.


The trouble with BBQ sauce is that many of them are made with molasses that contain sweeteners like Xylitol. This natural sweetener is derived from plants and fruits and is a preservative. Xylitol is found in sugar-free gum, pancake syrup, peanut butter, and most jams and jellies. While not harmful to humans, it is to canines. The reason is that the chemical stimulates a powerful insulin reaction in dogs that can seriously affect blood sugar levels. They suffer from an insulin shock to their systems. 

Here are a few BBQ sauces that are known to contain Xylitol.

  • Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauces.
  • Nature’s Hollow Honey Mustard Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
  • G Hughes Smokehouse BBQ Sauce
  • Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy BBQ Sauce
  • KC Masterpiece 816 Sweet Maple BBQ Sauce
  • Heinz Ketchup Products
  • Bachan’s Japanese BBQ Sauce

(Basically, anything with low sugar or sugar-free or sugar alcohol is likely to contain Xylitol. A word of warning, check the Ketchup bottle because several special kinds of ketchup contain it). A careful reading of the ingredient label can help keep owners informed. 

Onion and Garlic

Molasses and sweeteners are not the only things making up many sauces. Many kinds of ketchup and condiments contain large amounts of onion and garlic, which can also create digestive issues for dogs. These veggies are a part of the Allium family and include onions, leeks, garlic, and chives and contain N-propyl disulfide. The chemical affects red blood cell hemoglobin in your pet’s bloodstream. Even small quantities can create issues. 

Spicy Peppers in Sauces

The craze in BBQ land seems to be spicy sauces. While ordinary bell peppers are adequate for a dog’s diet, spicy peppers like habaneros or jalapenos are not. They can seriously upset a dog’s stomach, so keep the bacon-wrapped cream cheese-filled jalapenos away from dogs. (They will be attracted to the smell of the bacon and not realize that there is a pepper inside until it is too late).

2. Undercooked Meat 

If you want your furry friend to enjoy something off the grill, cook a different hamburger or piece of non-sauced or non-rubbed meat. Ensure that it is cooked through because undercooked meat can be an issue. Raw meat is likely to contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and/or E. coli. No responsible pet owner wants to give their dog a foodborne illness or bacterial infection. 

A word about bones might be in order here. Lots of meat have bones that can get lodged in the digestive tract or throat and cause problems when devoured by canines. Rib bones and chicken bones have soft cartilages that are prone to splinter when chewed. And if your dog has devoured the bone down to a knuckle, throw it away. A knuckle-sized bone can more easily be swallowed whole and get lodged in your pet’s digestive tract. 

3. Alcohol – Beer – Wine

Alcoholic beverages are for adults and not dogs. Wine is made from grapes, which contain tartaric acid, and are known to create significant havoc and even be fatal. The hops in beer can cause a dangerous temperature spike in dogs when ingested. According to the ASPCA, “unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what form hops come in, or if they have been used (spent) or not—they can all be dangerous and problematic for dogs.” With the advent of lots of folks brewing beer at home, the issue is only growing by the week. Alcohol consumption by dogs is not that common, but it can occur. Specialty sauces with bourbon or whiskey additives should never be given to dogs. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream of canines quickly, and the biochemistry of your pet simply cannot deal with it.

 4 Guacamole 

Avocados are a definite no when it comes to dogs, and since they are the primary ingredient in guacamole, you should plan on keeping the chips and dip up and away from your pet. Avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. 

5. Chocolate Desserts

Chocolate has a chemical substance called theobromine that is very toxic to dogs. Even though your puppy has gotten into some chocolate behind your back and seemed to handle it all right, the amount of theobromine varies in different applications of chocolate. The toxicity of their consumption of chocolate will depend on three things.

Since different amounts of chocolate have different levels of theobromine, owners should use care to avoid chocolate or cocoa. Baking morsels have high levels of theobromine, so no chocolate chip cookies. Even if your puppy does not ingest a toxic level of theobromine, it can cause diarrhea and vomiting. 

So, there you have it. Enjoy your grill time. Just keep an eye on your puppy so that your bar-b-que can be a happy occasion and not one fretting over losing the family pet.