Tips for a Picnic with Your Dog

What better way to enjoy a warm, hazy summer day, than a picnic?

Many people love to involve their animal friends on summer away-days, too, and here are some tips for making the outing a time to remember.

  1. Bring everyone a blanket. Most pups really want to feel included and do everything the same as mom or dad. Having them share your blanket can be almost too much to bear for some, because it puts food (that’s already on the ground) right in the line of temptation, and risks setting him up for failure by snagging your snacks, before the fun has even begun. Instead, bring your dog his own blanket (one he’s familiar with and sleeps on at home will help to calm an anxious pet) to he can feel part of the action, but slightly separated from the feast.
  1. Have your dog carry his own gear so he feels more included in the participation. A backpack from Ruffwear will be roomy enough to include his own small blanket, travel bowls and water.
  1. Make some picnic snacks ahead of time and bring them along for your pup to enjoy. Below are some delicious make-ahead, picnic-friendly recipes.
  1. Keep unsafe people foods and drinks out of reach. Some popular picnic foods can be problematic for pups. Grapes, raisins, chocolate and alcohol can cause toxicity, and bones (for example from a chilled roast chicken), can present a fatal choking hazard. Be sure to keep these foods in an enclosed container.
  1. Take a toy. A Frisbee or tennis ball can make for a wonderful pre-picnic game for everyone. An interactive puzzle toy loaded with small treats like Quickies, can help to keep your pup occupied for a prolonged amount of time, while the humans enjoy a leisurely lunch.

Recipe: Summer Pupcakes

These delicious mini cakes will be sure to make the summer days extra special for your pup and her friends!

Ingredients

  • 2 packets Pro Bloom™ instant goat’s milk
  • 1 cup Force™ dehydrated dog food
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • Optional: 1 packet cream cheese and additional berries for decorating
  • You’ll also need a 12 count cupcake pan and 12 cupcake liners.

What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Insert a cupcake paper into each spot of the pan.
  3. In a bowl, combine the contents of the two Pro Bloom packets with the Force and blueberries.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, honey and applesauce, and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon. The blueberries will break apart slightly.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 10 minutes and carefully remove from the pan.

Optional: using a knife, spread a small amount of cream cheese into the top of each cupcake and decorate with a couple of blueberries.

Recipe: Drool-worthy Picnic Bars

These savory treats are unbelievably simple to prepare!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Honest Kitchen Keen™ dehydrated dog food
  • 2 cups warm water
  • ½ cup cream cheese (room temperature)
  • ½ cup fresh raw ground turkey
  • ¼ cup grated raw zucchini
  • 2 free range eggs

What To Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9” square, deep baking pan
  2. Hydrate the Keen with the warm water in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to form a thick ”batter.”
  4. Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until slightly crispy on the top.
  5. Cool thoroughly and slice into individual bars before serving.

You can store picnic bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Meet the Author: Lucy Postins

Lucy Postins is founder of The Honest Kitchen as well as its Mother Hen and CEO. She is a companion animal nutritionist who started The Honest Kitchen in her kitchen in 2002. She is passionate about advanced nutrition and holistic health including complementary modalities such as herbalism and homeopathy. Considered an expert in her field, Lucy frequently writes articles for local and national media, conducts radio interviews and educational spots, and occasionally holds educational seminars for pet owners on the importance of good nutrition. She also recently authored Dog Obsessed, a guide to a happier, healthier life for the pup you love.

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