How many of us have dreamed of creating a romantic picnic with your partner complete with wine and cheese, beautifully packed into a lovely wicker basket under the perfect tree with gorgeous weather? Now, as an adult, I have the picnic basket with real plates & wine glasses but have never used them because it just seems like a lot of work. As a newly married pet parent, the thought of adding our furry friends to the mix sounds even more unrealistic and daunting. Never fear, I’m here to make planning a picnic with your partner and pups a breeze.
Picnics are supposed to calm us down, not stress us out. With that in mind, I have created a “Top 5 Tips” list for the purrfect picnic along with a fido-friendly menu. You will enjoy a fun and stress-free picnic with your pups at the park if you follow these simple steps.
- Practice at home first BEFORE you go public. This might sound silly, but you will thank me afterward. Why not have a picnic in your own yard (unless you don’t have one) or in a friends yard.
- Check the forecast ahead of time. You don’t want to go through all the trouble of preparing food, packing the car with all the essentials just to realize it is going to rain 5 minutes after you have set up.
- Find a shady spot for you and your pups. Dogs get hot fast because they don’t sweat, so avoid direct sunlight for them and go whenever it’s NOT the hottest time of the day (another good reason to watch the forecast beforehand).
- Pack plenty of water and don’t pack foods your pups shouldn’t eat. Creating a straightforward menu with limited items will be very helpful. I’m here to help “keep it simple” by offering a few of my favorite outdoor recipes. This will help you to ensure a healthy and happy time for all. If you must have your own food, keep it away from your dog.
- Tether your dog while eating. You want to make sure you arrive and leave safely with your dog. So keep them close by when you are eating with the dog tie out system (a spiral stake that goes into the ground with a short cord. All dog stores carry them).
Picnics with your pups can be fun and healthy. Follow my top 5 tips and use my handy checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything like your dog’s collar and water bowl. See you at the park!
Puppy Picnic Recipes
Canine Chicken Salad
- 10 oz. of canned chicken
- 1 hard-boiled egg finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons of shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped green apples
- 1 cup of plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 teaspoons of dill
- 2 teaspoons of lemon
- 1 dash of turmeric
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl then separate into two containers that are clearly marked, one for you and one for Fido. Once separated, you can add other ingredients like salt & pepper to yours. Do NOT share with your pup.
- 2 cups of seedless watermelon
- 1 cup of coconut water
- 2 tablespoons of fresh mint
Puree all ingredients then pour into a cute bone-shaped freezer mold (or ice cube tray.) Freeze for 3 hours and DO share with your pups!
OMD! Did You Know?
CARROTS contain beta-carotene, which helps improve your dog’s coat color & eyesight.
DILL is known as an overall digestive aid helping with gas.
MINT is a natural flea repellent and in small amounts is suitable for your dog to consume.
Neither Melinda nor CincyPet Magazine are veterinary experts and as such you should always consult your vet before introducing anything new into your pet’s diet.
MELINDA KIRK STENGER is CEO of Lucky Paws, LLC and creator of the award-winning PetCakes & YumYum Bones, healthy cake and ice cream for dogs and cats. Melinda has been cooking for over 20 years for her fur babies and sells thousands of dog and cat birthday kits a month on Amazon.com and Chewy.com. She is the author of the canine culinary cookbook Brunch & Bitches.