Sausage boards are high on the list of many human foodies. A selection of artfully presented cold cuts and a selection of cheeses, olives, nuts and other delicious foods. They’re among the darlings of pandemic food and have been the subject of a lot of social media posts.
So we’re not surprised to learn that a version for dogs is also trending on Instagram, Pinterest, and similar places. As a recent article in the New York Times Style pointed out, these “barware” boards – brightly colored, dog-safe fruits and vegetables, artisanal dog biscuits, homemade dried meat, and other delicious dog snacks – offer us a new way to pamper ourselves our dogs at a time when uncomplicated joy is sometimes hard to come by.
Many of the boards contain food cut into shapes that, let’s face it, entertains us more than our dogs, who are all about function – shape, not so much. The same goes for the color balance, textures, and canine equivalent of the high-end restaurant coating, or the layout and decoration of the food. Still, why are we indulging in some fun? Our dogs enjoy the snacks and the attention, and we’re happy to offer them both.
Barware boards, which you can assemble in your kitchen or order from a growing number of suppliers, are almost infinitely variable. Does your dog love bananas but hates carrots? Crazy about jerking, but more like dried liver treats? Or maybe she has a sensitive stomach. No problem. Leave out what she doesn’t like, focus on what she loves. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with expanding your taste buds a bit by including a novel (for you) dog-safe food.
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These puppy-facing boards can be humble (a couple of slices of banana or cucumber, a strawberry or two, a couple of peas, a couple of blueberries) or elaborate (bone-shaped homemade cookies, dehydrated fruit, a shamrock-shaped green, pepper slice, frozen goat’s milk bites) . The only real limit is how much time you want to invest in putting the selections together.
And, oh yes, one more limit: the number of calories your dog should comfortably consume in a day must be considered. Like all the extras in a dog’s nutritional plan, these snacks need to be included in their daily intake rather than stacked on top of them. Finally, while it probably goes without saying, we’ll say it anyway … Barkuterie is an occasional treat, not an everyday or even weekly event. (Of course, nothing says you can’t replace a meal with a barkuterie board, maybe one that includes part of your regular dinner.)
Whatever you choose, and however often you choose to have this fun meal, one thing is certain: it will be “fun” for both you and your dog.
Check out an oh-so-cute TikTok video showing a dog’s spa experience at home with massage and bartender.
The DIY Barkuterie Board recipe list of the bark
Something for every dog.