Any pet lover knows that your family wouldn’t be the same without a fur baby. If you are preparing your family for the summer season while always looking for something special – but basic—Which way you’ll love a little more on your pet, we spoke with an expert at Chewy.com to bring you everything you need to know to experience a great barking crap, and it’s all, really, really cute.
Taste of Home was recently used on “barkcuterie” boards, a concept that uses the Charcuterie board so beloved for the first time by humans, but in a totally fun and new way. Dr. Katie Nelson, Chewy’s Senior Veterinarian, spoke exclusively with Eat this, not that! To explain how this version of the dish can be extremely safe for your customers if you only have the right ingredients.
Follow these basic dog-safe steps to create the barkcuterie your friend will order — and if you’ve been following nutrition news for you, don’t miss popular foods that are wreaking havoc on your body, nutritionists say.
Although your dog may be adorable, sniffing it from a barkcuterie board can make it hard for him to stop once he’s chomped—so, says Nelson, “Think about what you’re offering. Dogs aren’t Always The best decision makers, they chomp or chew [the plate]. So be aware of the dish. “Choose a dish that’s safe for your dog, and you won’t mind getting a little rough (puffy?).
It might be a good idea to use something dishwasher safe if you’re concerned about disinfecting afterward, but Nelson says “whatever you usually wash things with” should be fine when the feast is over.
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It’s important to remember that this is not an epic human-sized cheese board, so be small. “It should be in proportion to your pet,” says Nelson. “Don’t put a huge amount in front of a Chihuahua unless you want to pay for the emergency room.”
And Nelson advises, just like humans, that if a dog is to enjoy a special meal, “all the calories for the day still need to be counted.” If you’re serving a barkcuterie plate, “be sure to pull a little of their food,” she says, to help keep their day balanced.
“If your dog has a solid stomach, that’s great and fun,” Nelson says, adding a point: If your pet has a sensitive stomach, some of these foods—particularly the high-fat options—can lead to pancreatitis or at least some Stomach upset and diarrhea.” Remember, she says: “Every dog is an individual.”
“The smaller the better when it comes to our pets,” says Nelson, referring to meat. Skinless chicken breasts, a bit of salmon or white fish like halibut or tilapia — again, skinless — plus low-fat ground beef (think 93% lean ballpark) or ground turkey are among the foods you can have. Safe for your dog. Consider shaping the ground beef into bite-sized meatballs, cutting the pie into bite-sized bites or whatever you think would be an “esthetically pleasing method,” says Nelson.
Also, make sure all meats are cooked through, as Nelson tells our pets, “Raw meat is not safe to sit around.”
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Peanut butter is a popular treat for dogs. For a barkcuterie plate, Nelson advises, “One teaspoon will be enough,” since it’s high in fat. She points out that the “other major summons” is that [peanut butter] should be regular, Not Sugar-free, Nelson says, “This is because sugar-free peanut butter often contains xylitol,” which can be toxic to dogs.
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Lots of dogs like some dairy—yes, says Nelson, even cottage cheese can be beneficial (here are nutritionists’ five favorite brands for humans)—but it’s important to follow these guidelines so you don’t upset your dog’s stomach: Yogurt should be dairy-free of flavors, and don’t go beyond “a few little bits of some low-fat cheese,” says Nelson, explaining that cheese should be served “very judiciously, because it can always be high in fat.”
Beans, sweet peas, and spinach are all great things for dogs, Nelson says, while her dog loves them when you wash and dry carrots well, chop them “a little more than a quarter,” she says, and freeze them. “My dog thinks they are mini lollipops, they are so cute and crunchy,” she says. She adds that pumpkin (while we admit it’s technically a fruit) is also a great choice.
Sweet potatoes are “very tasty and contain a lot of vitamins for our pets,” says Nelson. She recommends turning sweet potatoes into a “super fun masher,” by slicing them with a mandolin, or placing the slices in a dehydrator or “in the oven at 180 degrees for a few hours,” says Nelson. “This dries up [sweet potato] instantly and makes something beautiful for your board. “
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Not only does fruit make the chalkboard pretty, but if you know, you know: some dogs love fruit. Bananas can be sliced or smashed by mixing in some peanut butter (consider also freezing this mixture for a cold sweet treat), Nelson says. Apples can also be great for dogs, but in smaller doses, since they have a slightly higher sugar content. Not only are blueberries amazing for humans but are “tasty and delicious” for our dogs, Nelson says. Meanwhile, it’s interesting that cranberries can be good for dogs’ urinary health – but they’re tart, so perhaps all-natural cranberry sauce is the way to go. (Note that dried cranberries are not ideal, as they are high in sugar and usually contain added ingredients.)
Nelson knows very well that some dogs have specific nutritional needs, but that shouldn’t stop you from mixing them up from time to time…just don’t stray too far. “Don’t offer things outside of their diet if she’s on prescription food,” says Nelson. If you have a pet with a sensitive stomach, consider soaking his prescribed food in warm water and making a few crackers out of it, or cutting up his canned food and baking it — just like sweet potatoes, says Nelson.
As for specific dangers, “The big things that come to mind are grapes and raisins—stay as far away from them as possible,” says Nelson. Also avoid tomatoes and avocados, and while dog-safe peanut butter is fine, “stay out of the nut category.” Also, don’t include anything hot or spiced, garlic or onions because “large amounts can have toxic properties.”
And while pepperoni, salami, deli meats, and high-fat or smelly cheeses can be popular on the human charcuterie, since they contain fat and sodium, they’re not good for dogs. “We want to avoid these as much as we can,” Nelson says.
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