How To Host a Mouthwatering Dog Party
(or Birthday, or Playdate, or BBQ)

Barcuterie food platter for dogs
It’s a puppy playdate.
It’s your dog’s birthday.
It’s a barbecue at the park, dogs welcome.
It’s Sunday afternoon football at your house, everyone invited.
It’s a dinner party with friends – and their four-footed sidekicks.
No matter the exact occasion, you’ve just realized that in addition to your human guests, you’re about to host a small pack of hungry dogs, and you want to do something a little more memorable. Maybe even a little impressive.
We’ve got you.

Our pet experts have put together a collection of fun, dog-friendly party foods that can’t fail to impress even the most discerning doggy palate. Bone appétit!

Sundae Fun Day

Dog frozen yogurt sundae with treats

Dog party ideas don’t get much better than this. Special occasions call for special treats, and a doggy sundae definitely fits the bill. This treat substitutes doggy frozen gelato as our version of dog ice cream. By combining your dog’s favorite gelato flavor with pumpkin puree and oven-baked, organic, pumpkin cookies you’re giving them a variety of tastes and textures. And for those who like a meaty treat – garnish with a pork or beef pizzle twist!

Pro Tip:

Serving this dog dessert in a nice bowl will take it to the next level but remember to keep the portion at a suitable size for your dog – no need to completely fill the bowl!

Barcuterie Platter

Barkcuterie with dog treats, fruits, and vegetables

If you are already lucky enough to be familiar with a charcuterie board, then you know that this artful arrangement of meats, cheeses, fruits, and nuts is nearly impossible to resist. Just something about the decadence and abundance says, “keep nibbling until you’re stuffed…and then keep going.” So just imagine your dog’s reaction to a doggy version, jam-packed with all their favorites. A feast of smells and flavors, this assortment of dog-friendly treats makes for a display so pretty your human guests will be hard put to resist. And whether you spell it barcuterie, barkuterie, or barkcuterie, your canine guests will be barking for “M-O-R-E.”

Pro Tip:

Something this abundant is definitely for a larger group of dogs. You’ll also want to keep the platter off the floor, to monitor your pets’ intake (and remember to reduce their regular meal size to account for the extra calories).

Box of dog treats

Too Good To-Go!

Pack up your barcuterie platter and take it to-go. This travel friendly version of our platter is the perfect gift for someone who is also a pet parent! Choosing a gift to thank your hosts for their warm welcome can be difficult sometimes - you don’t know what exactly they want, but getting something random could mean that your gift ends up collecting dust in a corner. So instead, grab a bakery box and start putting together your barcuterie goodies! Your friends will appreciate the care that you put into it, and their dogs are sure to remember you as the person who brings the best gifts.

Flight of Bone Broth

A sampler of dog bone broths

A flight of bone broth for dogs is much like a flight of beers for humans, except without the alcohol. And much, much healthier. And it actually hydrates rather than dehydrates. And it improves digestion, is a great source of collagen, and helps out the immune system. So maybe not too similar, after all - although your dog’s enthusiasm might far exceed human levels, with these flights licked clean and possibly upended! Here, we’ve lined up pork, chicken, beef, and turkey broths so the pups can do a taste test for themselves, but chances are they’ll have trouble picking a single favorite.

Pro Tip:

Broth should be defrosted in the refrigerator about 36 hours before serving, but can kept refrigerated for seven days after thawing.

Gourmet Dog Cookies

Pretty platter of dog cookies

Whether hosting a party for dogs or humans, get-togethers can be a LOT of work, so timesavers may be a real blessing. Ready-made dog cookies with a little extra pizzazz can make this shortcut into a winner, however. And while they may look like people food, Pawsitively Gourmet cookies for dogs skip the sugar and salt in favor of yogurt, carob, and molasses, to make for a healthy treat. For pickier pets, these particular cookies come in a choice of sweet potato (the cupcake and donut options) or peanut butter (the flower and ice cream cone).

Pro Tip:

Feeling ambitious? Make your own dog birthday cake at home with dog-friendly recipes such as those at allrecipes.com or lovefromtheoven.com

Banana-y Best Friend

Fruit and peanut butter on dog chew

This new friend looks adorable and tastes even better! Sometimes it’s hard to eat things that are so cute, but your dog’s happy tail wags and drooly smiles will be worth the sacrifice. Just cut the Barky Bark chews in half, slice up some fruit, and open up a jar of dog peanut butter. The real fun begins after all the prep work has been done. Spread a healthy layer of Pawnut Butter onto one of the chews and start decorating! We’ve chosen to put together a little friend by using strawberries for some rosy cheeks, a wedge of kiwi for a smile, and some bananas and blackberries for eyeballs.

Pro Tip:

Pro Tip: This DIY dog treat is something that you can get creative with! Go the extra mile and use some fun cookie cutters on larger fruit slices to give your Banana-y Best Friend some accessories.

Perfect Pupsicles

Goat's milk dog popsicles with chicken sticks

Let’s face it: you don’t want to share your ice cream. This healthy dog popsicle means you won’t have to (which is also good because ingredients frequently found in ice cream – like xylitol, sugar, or chocolate – can not only be unhealthy but also toxic to dogs). Instead, keep your dog cool, hydrated, and happy with goat’s milk dog popsicles that have a chicken “popsicle stick” that’s also edible. Not only are these frozen treats easy for your best buddy to digest, they are packed with nutritional value. Do keep portion size in mind, though. You only need one pupsicle to equal one happy pup.

Pro Tip:

Since goat milk for dogs is often sold frozen, this dessert will take a little planning. Allow time to defrost in the refrigerator, then pour into your molds and insert the chicken stick, before freezing again. (Trust us, it’s worth it!)

BowWow! BBQ Plate

Keep your ACTUAL barbecue foods safe by having this dog-safe BBQ platter run interference. Dogs will enjoy all the meaty flavors of a backyard celebration without any of the people food additives. The combination of Bark Burgers and Chickly Links will make this dog party food platter something to remember. An added bonus to this palatable pet-friendly plate is how low maintenance it is – just open and serve! Still want to go above and beyond? Add a “condiment” of pumpkin puree to keep that doggy digestion happy. Now your own plate of food will be safe…for now.

Wooden box full of dog treats

Take a Plate Home

Nothing says a successful backyard BBQ like having some leftovers to bring home! Whether you’re packing up remaining Bark Burgers and Chickly Links or preparing some doggy bags for a party you’re traveling to, the canine guests will appreciate having a meaty snack that’s ready to eat. For individual sized doggy bags, a simple brown paper bag with the pup’s name written on it can suffice. But if you’ll be serving a few more dogs, using a memento wooden box will ensure that your guests have somewhere to put their goodies in for years to come.

Berry Good Frozen Bars

Plate of frozen kefir bars with fruit

Good things come to those who wait, which means that your dog is in for a very, very good thing with these fun treats that take a little more preparation. Ideal for a hot day or a puppy playdate, frozen kefir is defrosted in the fridge, then poured into a casserole dish. Add a variety of dog-friendly fruit, freeze, then slice into appropriate portions. With bright colors that have a real bow WOW factor, both you and your dog will be impressed. And since these are kept frozen, they’re easy to divvy out over time (particularly whenever your dog is being extra cute).

Pro Tip:

Make sure to double check that the fruit you’re using is dog safe, as some people foods can be unhealthy or toxic. Strawberries, blueberries, banana, and kiwi are all safe, but steer clear of grapes or rhubarb.

Canine Canapes

Garnished dog biscuits with cucumbers

By sheer luck (and a little flair) occasionally some healthy and delicious things just happen to also be beautiful. Such is the case with these doggy hors d’oeuvres, which are the ultimate dog party treats. Start with a base of flat, round dog biscuits, then layer on a slice of cucumber, before finishing it off with a garnish of dog-friendly toppers. Whether that topper is liver paste, awesome squash, omega mussels, or super greens, you’ll find it’s a good thing these treats are so easy to make, as they are certain to disappear fast – a pity, since they’re just so pretty!

Doggie Goodie Bags

Dog party bags with dental treats

Every good party has to come to an end, but you can keep the good times going with these fun doggie bags. And giving some attention to dog dental care seems like the perfect antidote to all those treats - plus Whimzees dental chews are so good dogs won’t even realize they’re doing something healthy. To make dog party bags, just fill gift bags with a couple dental treats, and then tie shut. If you want to keep everything orderly (and double-impress your guests), attach a custom-made ID tag with the pet’s name on each bag. These ID tags will make your puppy party live on, long after the last tail is out of sight.

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Backyard Recreation

Dogs playing with toys in the yard

You may be hosting a get together in your house, yard, the local park, or even a dog-friendly public park, but no matter the locale, your dog will want you to remember the fun and games. After all, you can’t have dog playdates without the “play.” For water-lovers, kiddie pools don’t have to just be for kiddies. For fetch-lovers, tennis balls, Frisbees, or footballs are classics. And for tug-of-war-lovers, a good rope toy can be hours of fun (unfortunately for your tired arms). The more toys, the merrier!

The Big Picture

Trays of frozen dog desserts

Your special occasion may be a dog birthday party, a playdate, or a human get-together that includes your four-footed friends, but including some dog-friendly special treats are sure to make it extra celebratory, no matter what the situation. Plan on giving any of these ideas (or some of your own) a try? Please share with us on social media by tagging us @petfoodexpress. We can’t wait to see what you do!

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