Why I’ll Never Serve Shish Kabobs Again

Friday night, I had a barbecue with family. The weather was beautiful, the music and conversation carried on into the night, and the chicken shish kabobs were on point. They were tasty, tender, and filling. We piled leftovers on the counter in the kitchen, in case anyone wanted seconds. Well, someone certainly did: my dog Louie. He ate the entire tray of shish kabobs, sticks and all, in a matter of minutes.



Afterward, he continued to beg for food and run around playfully in the backyard. I guess the shish kabobs didn’t satisfy the dog with the iron stomach. Frustrated, I put away the rest of the food, far out of my dog’s reach.


But how bad was it really?


I hopped online and started googling “help my dog ate a skewer”, and “can dogs digest wooden skewers?”. I found everything from dogs passing them with minor upset, to a rare case that resulted in $13,000 worth of  vet bills, and surgery for a dog who ended up with a piece of skewer lodged in his heart.



In another case, Howie, a Chocolate Labrador swallowed a metal skewer whole. Luckily the vet was able to extract it without surgery.


Story after story popped up in the feed until I was upset and convinced that my dog was in for a world of trouble. Since my dog isn’t normally a food thief, I never thought of shish kabobs as dangerous. Even with years of experience working in the pet care industry, this was never the item we gave warnings about. Onions? Check. Fruit salads (because of grapes)? Check. Garlic and marinades? Check. Xylitol? Check. Shish kabobs? No warning.


Since my panic was on the rise, I decided to call my vet, and the emergency vet, for good measure. This is what I’ve been advised. Keep in mind, this does not replace direct veterinary advice, and I am not a veterinarian. If you think your dog needs a vet visit, then they do. 


What to Watch For:

  • Blood in stool
  • Blood in vomit
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Signs of pain (crying, wincing, etc…)
  • Pieces passing (this one is a good sign)
  • Food and water intake


If you notice anything alarming from the list above, it’s time for a vet visit, x-ray, and possible surgery. However, if your dog seems to be handling it like a champ, below are some home remedies for the meantime.


Home Remedies:

  • Pumpkin
  • Probiotics/Kefir (for dogs)
  • Doggy Laxatives (talk to your vet for dosage and recommendation)
  • Broth & Wet Food (for hydration)


For now, we are all on constant dog watch, waiting for signs to rush him to the vet if necessary. Thankfully, he is in the backyard chasing squirrels, as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened.


You have now been warned about the dangers of shish kabobs, so serve something else at your next barbecue. I wish someone would have warned me. It’s been a heck of a weekend.

Become an Insider

Desiree Mulkey

Desiree is freelance writer with a passion for pets. She has years of professional dog wrangling experience, and the stories to prove it. She's a Chicago native, and spends her summers at the dog beach or hiking with her furry companion, Louie.

Your inbox could be cuter.