“As with any holiday, there are a lot of people and food, which means that people drop it or give it to dogs. These human foods can cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis) or, worse, can cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas),” Proietto explains. If your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have, symptoms can include severe abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea — and if left untreated, these conditions can become life-threatening. To keep your pet safe, advise guests against feeding your pup table scraps and make sure they watch their plates.
Corn on the cob, another favorite summer treat, can also be dangerous to a dog’s digestive health, and injuries are more common during particular holidays. “Corn cob obstructions are something we see more when there are picnic holidays. Dogs do not digest corn cobs well and if they swallow large chunks of them, they can get stuck in the intestines and cause an obstruction that will require surgery,” Proietto says.
Popular picnic foods such as raisins, grapes, chocolate, onions, garlic and sugar-free products can all be toxic to pets, notes the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), so if you have a dog around, take extra precautions with the menu. Pet owners can call ASPCA animal poison control for advice should their pup accidentally eat the wrong thing, and to avoid a pricey emergency vet visit, try to keep your dog off the picnic table.