What to do on a rainy weekend afternoon when you don’t want to run the dog in a wet park? Create a charcuterie board for the dog, of course. Why not? We’ve got everything else. And it’s kind of fun to design a visually pleasing array of dog treats, chews, and the occasional slice of people food.
DYI Charcuterie for Dogs
Just don’t expect a lot of appreciation for your efforts, though, at least not in the form of restraint and compliments. Instead, most dogs will dive right in – hovering the ‘best stuff first’ (goodbye sliced turkey) then the entire board in likely less than the time it takes for your cat to curl up in a nearby chair.
However, when providing your pup a charcuterie board (affiliate link), it is kind of fun to see what order the dog devours in. Mine ate all her favourite things first, then her next favourite bite … so she spent a few seconds furrowing like a starved pig for the best stuff. But everything disappeared – very quickly.
Maybe she thought the cat would get it.
Dog Charcuterie Board Attempt #1
My first attempt at a charcuterie for dogs – or barkuterie – included mostly small batch treats I’d bought from vendors at various markets and pet festivals: First, I started with some Benny Bullys, popular dehydrated beef liver, as the foundation semi-circular squares. Then I added the following:
- Pivot Dog Biscuits, cheese-flavoured sticks we found at a pet festival in Niagara Falls’ Heartland Forest (great place to visit with the dog)
- Max’s K9 Kitchen Porketta we found at the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Sudbury, Ontario
- Peanut butter Lakeside Dog Biscuits from Kingston, Ontario – somewhere I’d like to revisit with my current dog
- Jack O Bites homemade dog treats we found at a Kitchener, Ontario dog festival – and would love to know how they created these great ‘I love you’ cutouts.
Where did I get the board? That too is handmade – find them here at Kefi Life Greek Gift Baskets .
Dog Charcuterie Board Attempt #2
My second attempt – not on the same day – included some turkey luncheon meat slices I never have in the house but thought my pup desired a special treat. The slices got eaten first. Then she chomped down the following:
- Loving Pets Chicken Breast tenders, that we received from the company at SuperZoo. These less expensive chicken breast treats aren’t sliced dehydrated chicken breast, but U.S.-sourced chicken pressed into a jerky with a slight smokey flavour. These chewy treats were equally loved as dehydrated chicken.
- Blue Dog Bakery’s Ruffy’s All Day Breakfast are exceptionally fun, especially on a project like this one. The bag of ‘All Day Breakfast’ contains crunchy treats in three flavours and shapes – eggs, bacon, and waffles. The waffle shapes were my favourite – the bacon flavour was my dog’s preference. But most Sunday morning brunch, everything was consumed.
Barkuterie on the Menu
If creating a charcuterie board for your dog falls into the category of ‘a bit too much, ‘then why not buy him a board when you’re out at the winery? That’s right, many dog-friendly patios at breweries and wineries in Southern Ontario, Canada have ‘barkuterie’ on their dog menu. Hey, is anything really too much for your pup?
Here’s a list of dog-friendly places that offer ‘barkuterie’ or charcuterie for dogs:
Vineland Estates, Vineland, Ontario
Vineland Estates Winery in Ontario’s Niagara Region is partially dog friendly. Even though they participate in the Muddy Paws Dog Trail annually, dogs are not allowed in either the Restaurant or on the patio. But there is a ‘dog pound’ area near the wine shop.
However, they make up for the lack of a dog-friendly patio with a path from the vineyards through the forest that takes you to Featherstone Winery. Even better, Vineland Estates offer a Barkuterie option in the dog pound for $12 every summer. 3620 Moyer Road, Vineland, Ontario
Marynissen Estates Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Marynissen Estates Winery started as a family-owned winery decades ago, and today this boutique-style winery is open 10 am to 6 pm daily and offers flights: wine flights and sangria flights for people and … they call their barkuterie option ‘a Dog Treat Flight’ in-keeping with the theme.
Well-behaved dogs on leash are allowed on the patio and in the vineyard tasting room. 1208 Concession 1 Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Lock Street Brewing Co., St. Catharines, Ontario
One of the region’s favourite dog-friendly breweries and host to many dog events, Lock Street Brewery offers flights of beers brewed on-site, of course, along with a menu of starts, apps, and sandwiches. Best of all, there’s a Dog Menu by Poochable offering an impressive Barkuterie Board of dehydrated beef, chicken, salmon, sardines, sweet potato, a protein bone, and cheddar cheese cookies all for $20. 15 Lock Street, St. Catharines (Port Dalhousie), Ontario
If you know of a place offering barkuterie, or its equivalent, let us know in the comments, and we’ll add it to the list.
Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and a travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria. All written content is original, written by a person, and based on experience and research.