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Keep your dog busy and entertained with these fun Barkuterie Boards! Easy to make and uses ingredients on hand – here's how to make it!
Barkuterie Board – Great for Dog Enrichment!
Have you seen the fun viral trend of creating charcuterie for dogs – aka a Barkuterie board? We think it's just adorable and a great way to spend about 5 minutes of prep that yields hours of entertainment for your furry friend.
These Barkuterie Boards can be made a few different ways. We've seen some cute version that look just like charcuterie for humans but use dog treats and other foods on a wooden board. Perfect for a doggie birthday party??
Our favorite style of Barkuterie focuses more on dog enrichment – an activity that gives dogs a “job”. Dog enrichment encourages mental and physical stimulation.
What is a Barkuterie board?
This style of Barkuterie uses foods and treats you probably already have on hand added to a muffin tin and mixed with a liquid and frozen solid. Your dog will love the sensation of the frozen item and will spend SO much time trying to get to whatever is inside!
Laura, here! I used a silicone muffin tray for this so that I could easily pop out each little frozen muffin and store it in the freezer to have on hand. I have seen some versions online where the dog owner gives the dog the entire muffin tray at one time but this seemed like a lot of food and treats at once so I opted to take out half the cups and gave my pup the half-full tray to enjoy.
P.S. My dog is 7 months old so he has lots of energy and this kept him occupied for 45 minutes straight. If you've had a puppy you know that is such a win!
To make your Barkuterie Board, add little bits of food or treats to each muffin cup. Then, add in a little bit of liquid until the cup is about half full. Freeze until solid for your first layer. Then, top it off with additional food or a different liquid until it is full, and freeze again for layer two.
Supplies for Dog Charcuterie Boards:
For this board, I used some of my dog's kibble, a two different kids of treats, dog-safe peanut butter, pure pumpkin, plain Greek yogurt, banana, blueberries, carrot shavings (I peeled carrots for a veggie tray and just saved the peel!), low sodium beef broth, and water.
Dog-Safe Barkuterie Board Ideas:
Although a dog's main diet should be primarily dog food, there are lots of “people” foods that have great nutrient benefits for dogs and these Barkuterie boards are a great way to incorporate those items into your dog's diet in moderation.
- Carrots – high in vitamin A and good for immune system, skin, and coat health
- Blueberries – great source of fiber and antioxidants
- Bell peppers – high in vitamin A and C (just skip the spicy peppers!)
- Bananas – high in potassium and magnesium
- Apples – great source of vitamins A and C and fiber, which can help regulate a dog’s digestion
- Green beans – plain beans (no seasoning or butter) are a great source of protein and also contain calcium, iron, and vitamin K.
- Peanut butter – contain healthy fats and protein (make sure there is no xylitol in your PB as this is toxic to dogs!)
- Meat – Cooked meat and fish are an excellent protein source for dogs. Avoid seasonings and condiments.
Foods that are NOT safe for dogs:
Steer clear of these foods that are not safe for dogs to eat.
- Grapes and raisins
- Citrus fruits
- Raw meat and eggs
- Xylitol (a sugar substitute)
- Onions, garlic, and chives
- Macadamia nuts
For more information on your dog's nutrition and safe vs. unsafe foods – check out the American Kennel Club's Nutrition page.
Other Dog Enrichment Ideas
Another fun option that my dog loved is a hollowed-out bell pepper. I put a base of Greek yogurt and stood half a banana upright. Then, I poured in some of his kibble and filled the rest with beef broth. I then froze the pepper completely and offered it to him whole. He loved slowly chewing on it and carrying it around with him (he even took it outside for a potty break) and ate the rest in his bed.
There are lots of great options for dog enrichment toys and slow-feeders that give your dog just a little bit more of a challenge but don't require much prep work. Here are some options we found:
Snuffle Mat (put kibble inside and your dog has to “forage” for it)
Do you have any other ideas you've found for Dog Enrichment? We'd love to hear about them!