Minimize dangers to your pet when cleaning the grill
By Beth Crosby

When we think of grill safety and pets, burns come to mind.  Some summer dangers from our last blog  We often overlook the dangers of cleaning the grill.

Why are bristle brushes bad?
In the past few years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned about using bristle brushes to clean grills and grill grates. Both dogs and people have suffered from loose or broken bristles sticking to grill grates and transferring to food.

Eating food prepared on the grill can cause the detached bristle to lodge in the throat, puncture the intestines, or even press against the bladder, causing pain. Sometimes, the bristle will cause infection and abscess.  In one case, a human lost six inches of intestine to remove the infection. Often the small bristles are invisible on an X-ray and only an ultra sound or CT scan shows the offender.

Of course, pets cannot tell us where they hurt or describe the pain. In dogs, the symptoms can mimic pancreatitis. Animals, by nature, want to avoid looking weak, so they attempt to mask their pain. This delay in treatment increases the danger.

How do we protect our dogs?
The best option is to throw out grill cleaning brushes with metal bristles. But if you use bristled brushes, take these precautions.

1. Police what you scrape from the grill. Be careful when disposing the residue. If you toss the debris into a pile in the yard or an open trash can, dogs can easily get into the aromatic refuse.

2. Wash grates in soapy water after using the bristle brush to ensure no bristles remain.

3. Use a halved onion after you have turned up the heat to burn off charred food. Put a halved onion, cut side down, on the end of a long fork and scrape the grates to remove remaining residue.

What are some other cleaning methods?
1. Opt for coil brushes. These top the Good Housekeeping list. Sharon Franke, director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab in the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends Brushtec. The Institute also recommends Parker & Bailey BBQ Grill Cleaner and Degreaser for deep cleaning.

2. Employ scouring or abrasive pads. Alternatively, balled up aluminum foil is an option to scrape grates.

3. Try a pumice stone or the more environmentally friendly Grill Stone to provide exceptional cleaning.

4. Apply Carbona, spray oven cleaners, or cleaning agents (used in a well-ventilated area). But note: They take a bit of time and have chemical components that can be dangerous.

5. Several other alternatives are available at

At Fluffs of Luv, your pets’ care and comfort is our primary concern. Call us or visit today to schedule visits for your travels and daily visits.

Resources: (Promotes oven cleaner and bristles, but is thorough)

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