You’re likely familiar with charcuterie boards – beautifully arranged meats, cheese, fruits and vegetables usually served on a wooden cutting board – but have you heard of barkuterie boards? These pet-friendly snack boards are gaining popularity with pet parents across the country.
The American Pet Products Association announced that American’s spent a record $103 billion on their pets last year, which will come as no surprise to any pet parent. Our dogs are more than just pets, they’re beloved members of our family, and we’re always looking for new ways to show them how much we care. One of the ways we do that is by serving meals that are healthy and fresh, which makes barkuterie boards a natural next step.
Our very own Freshpet vet, Dr. Aziza Glass, was recently interviewed by the New York times on the topic of barkuterie boards. She believes that this new trend could be “a great way for pet parents to become involved in the nutrition in the meal preparation of their pets.” Adding a few treats to the board is fine, but to avoid gastrointestinal issues Dr. Aziza recommends using plenty of pet-friendly crudités like carrot and cucumber strips, blueberries, bananas and strawberries, as well as a low-sodium turkey jerky.
We know that many pet parents already look for ways to spice up their pet’s regular Freshpet recipe for special occasions, like Thanksgiving. Trying out a barkuterie board as a new way to serve every day meals gives you the chance to test out new flavor combinations and learn more about the health benefits of individual ingredients on a regular basis. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to which foods to include on your board, take a look at our list of human foods your pet can enjoy as well.
If you love the idea of giving your pup a barkuterie board but don’t have the time to make one yourself, there are a growing number of small businesses dedicated to creating them. One such business is the Dallas-based Board Mama, which has been offering custom barkuterie boards since 2019. Due to their success, they even began donating a portion of their barkuterie profits to The Street Dog Project, a rescue operating out of Texas. You can find many other barkuterie businesses, as well as design inspiration if you want to assemble a board of your own, by searching #barkuterie on Instagram.
One last point that’s worth mentioning is that if you do decide to test out a barkuterie board, it’s important that your pet’s meals are still portioned correctly. If you want to go all out and create a big, beautiful board that’s wonderful, but when it comes time to serve, try making a smaller plate with a sampling of items from the board, similar to what you would do if you were eating from a charcuterie board. The good thing about this method is that you can treat your barkuterie as a sort of ‘meal prep’ exercise and make it last a few meals – of course, keeping it refrigerated between servings.