With the sun shining and beautiful warm weather upon us – who can resist a picnic or barbecue with friends!?

It is a wonderful opportunity to spend time outdoors and the perfect chance for your pet to come along for some quality time together.

If you are taking your furry friend along to picnics and barbecues, there are many hazards to watch out for!


Barbecue and picnic foods can present several issues for our pets. Some key foods to keep your pet away from include:

  • Onions(and other members of this family – garlic, shallots, scallions, etc.) are toxic for dogs when ingested and can cause serious health complications
  • Sausages are very high in fatand often, ingestion can lead to pancreatitis
  • Salty foods like chips, pretzels, and crackers contain high amounts of salt that can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Alcohol should not be shared with pets – their livers struggle trying to break down alcohol and can lead to damage which can be fatal
  • Cooked bones such as ribs, t-bones, and chicken wings can splinter and become stuck in your pet’s throat or gut, leading to serious health problems requiring surgical intervention
  • Corn cobsare not safe to be ingested as they will not be broken down in your pet’s stomach, often leading to fatal bowel obstructions
  • Skewersfrom kebabs and other foods can lead to serious puncture wounds in your pet’s mouth and gut, often requiring surgical intervention
  • Seafood shells(prawns, mussels, oysters, etc.) can lead to internal damage if ingested and can not be digested, which can require surgical removal


Keep your pet away from barbecues altogether to avoid burns from splattering oil or direct body to hot-plate contact! To help train your pet to stay away from the barbecue, never feed them scraps or food from the barbecue. Always ensure the barbecue is supervised, and if it has a lid, consider closing it to protect your pets. If your pet does burn themselves, cool the burn site with cool, running water and call us immediately.



Always ensure you clean up your rubbish or food scraps when you are ready to leave the picnic or barbecue site. Leftovers may cause harm if ingested by other pets or local wildlife visiting the area.



Before heading to your picnic or barbecue location, be sure to check:

  • Fresh water and shade are easily accessible for your pet
  • That the local council permits pets (on or off-leash) to be in this area
  • Your pet is adequately socialised and will not become anxious meeting new people and potentially other pets
  • Your pet’s vaccinations and parasite protection is up to date, especially if you are visiting an unfamiliar area
  • Your pet is appropriately and safely restrained when being transported to your destination


If you have any questions or concerns or would like some more safety and first aid advice, give us a call on (07) 543 0026 or book a consultation with our friendly team by emailing reception@barkesvet.co.nz or booking online.