Is BBQ Bad for Dogs? What Dogs Can Eat at a BBQ

dog next to man standing by grill
BBQ is bad for dogs to consume as many common ingredients in barbecued and smoked meat is harmful to dogs, including barbecue sauce. Dogs can safely consume unseasoned boneless meat or fish in small portions. They can also eat some fruits and vegetables instead of BBQ.

Is BBQ Bad for Dogs?

Dogs should not eat most BBQ foods.

However, dogs can safely eat pork or chicken breast as long as there are no seasonings, sauces, condiments, or other ingredients that can be toxic to them. Barbecue sauces are toxic to dogs.

Although your dog shouldn’t eat foods with BBQ sauce at your cookout, there are some foods you can share so your dog isn’t excluded from the fun!

What Dogs Can Safely Eat at a BBQ

Pet owners can safely share a few human foods in moderation with dogs. Plain and cooked meat and fish are okay for dogs to eat. Stick to sharing meat off the bone with no sauce.

Cooked pork (plain) is safe for dogs, but they should only eat a small amount with no bones. Small bones can pose a choking hazard, so tear off a small piece of meat from the bone before sharing. Never feed your dog raw meat.

Be cautious because if they overeat, they may have an upset stomach. Tear off small pieces of meat to limit the amounts eaten.

Here are a few other foods that are safe for dogs to have in small amounts:

  • Blueberries
  • Grilled veggiesnot corn on the cob
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Salmon
  • Watermelon (seeds and rind removed)

Is BBQ Sauce Harmful to Dogs?

BBQ sauce is not safe for dogs to consume. It contains salt and sugar, which can contribute to kidney failure in dogs. BBQ sauces often contain xylitol and other artificial sweeteners that are poisonous to dogs. Consuming large amounts of xylitol can drop a dog’s blood sugar levels. This can result in anemia, and in extreme cases, death.

Many BBQ sauces also contain onion and garlic which can be toxic to dogs. Eating BBQ sauce will likely cause your dog to have an upset stomach, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. Dogs that regularly eat fatty foods can develop pancreatitis. This results in vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Are Dogs Allergic to BBQ?

Barbecue sauce can trigger an allergic reaction in some dogs. Some dogs are more sensitive to BBQ sauce than others. Even a few licks can be considered dangerous, especially if you don’t know what your dog is allergic to.

Some dogs have allergies to various ingredients, so be cautious about what you share with your furry friend. Avoid sharing sugary, fatty, and spicy foods. If your dog shows signs of an allergic reaction after eating BBQ sauce, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can Dogs Eat Ribs?

Rib meat that is taken off the bone that has been cooked without seasoning is okay for dogs to eat small portions of. However, dogs should not be given pork rib bones.

Cooked bones can splinter into shards that can cause your dog to choke. The bones can cause damage to a dog’s throat, mouth, or intestines. Raw bones are also dangerous and are more likely to be covered in salmonella and bacteria.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken?

It is okay for dogs to eat cooked chicken. Chicken is one of the most common ingredients used in dog food because it is a good source of protein.

Dog owners should opt for boneless and skinless chicken. Boneless chicken is more dog-friendly since chicken bones can be dangerous to dogs. It is also recommended to cut off excess fat before feeding chicken to a dog. Cooked chicken is safe to feed your dog every day since it is excellent for your dog’s health.

However, dogs cannot eat fried chicken. Fried foods are full of fat and oil, which are not safe for dogs to consume. The breading on fried chicken can contain seasonings that are toxic to dogs, such as garlic and onion powder.

Are Bones from a BBQ Bad for Dogs?

It is safer to feed your dog a raw bone instead of a cooked bone. Cooked bones are softer and therefore more likely to break into small pieces. Before giving a raw bone to your dog, disinfect it by leaving it in boiled water for 30 minutes. If your dog has digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it is best to avoid bones altogether.

Size matters when determining which bones are safe for dogs. Large and thick bones are the only bones that should be given to canine friends. Beef bones are the most recommended for dogs to chew on since they are naturally more durable than most other animal bones, making it more difficult for dogs to break them down. Never feed your dog pork bones, chicken bones, or turkey bones. These bones break easily and can be harmful to dogs.

Will Eating Hot Dogs Hurt Dogs?

Hot dogs are safe for dogs to eat, but they aren’t healthy. Hot dogs contain salt and processed ingredients which are not healthy for dogs to consume in large quantities. The circular shape of hot dogs is a choking hazard to dogs.

Be sure to cut a hot dog into small pieces before sharing it with your dog. Just like when sharing other meats with your dog, avoid any condiments. Ketchup and mustard are high in sodium, so don’t put these popular condiments on the hot dog when giving them to your pooch!


Whitney resides in Kentucky, where she enjoys cooking and grilling with her husband. She loves visiting restaurants and exploring different types of BBQ. She believes food brings people together and opens people to new experiences.

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