How to Make a DIY Charcuterie Board for Dogs

This article was brought to you by our pals at NutriSource. Pup’ll drool over their Jerky Treats, made from meat-rich and nutrient-dense ingredients. 

There comes a time in every dog’s life when they realize: The things that are for humans are actually for them. Fashion-forward outfits? Those are for them. Backyard playgrounds? Yup, for them. Breweries and patios? Those are definitely for them. And charcuterie boards? I mean, come on. It’s a platter of snacks. That’s a dog’s domain, baby!

Over the last few months, dogs—and their slow-on-the-pickup human counterparts—finally realized that charcuterie, which already caught on as a trendy and Instagrammable treat for folks on two legs, is also a perfect treat for pups. Thus: barkuterie boards were born. What is a barkuterie board, you ask? It’s a DIY charcuterie board for dogs! Just with a cute name! They’re trending so hard that even the New York Times reported on them earlier this month. 

Building Your Barkuterie Board

You don’t “need” any fancy, highfalutin, frou frou, foodie stuff to make your very own barkuterie board. All you need is a handful of different snacks and a hungry dog—and you’ve definitely got one of those, right? 

Here’s what we do recommend: 

  • Use some of your dog’s favorite treats—this is their special dish, after all.
  • Make sure any traditionally human foods (like fruits and veggies) are safe for canines.
  • Portion appropriately, or provide paper plates if this is a big pup get-together.
  • Pair jerky treats and dried meats like salmon or beef with fresh, dog-friendly fruits and veggies like sliced apples or strawberries.
  • Consider adding in proteins like a hard-boiled egg, some sliced turkey, peanut butter, or cottage cheese.
  • Have your camera ready!!!

From there, it couldn’t be easier to make your barkuterie baby’s day.

two large dogs eating DIY charcuterie board for dogs
Some people wanna see their name in lights. Me, I’ve always dreamed of cheese. | Bryan Frank

Step 1. Get Organized

First, you want to track down a dog-friendly board (or paper plate, or silver platter) to organize all this stuff. Make sure you don’t mind getting it slobbery! If you’re dealing with wet or gooey ingredients, like peanut butter or Greek yogurt, it might help to have some smaller bowls and dishes to avoid making a big ol’ mess—leave that to the dogs.

Now, let’s talk snacks. Like humans, pups prefer an array of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. (We asked them.) This’ll also make it easier to figure out where to plate and how to fill in open spaces you might have after some of the bigger snacks are arranged.

Here’s what went on our barkuterie board:

  • NutriSource Jerky Strips (Woodlands Select and High Plains Select recipes)
  • Three Dog Bakery Soft and Chewy Double Rewards
  • Finley’s Baked Dog Treats with Apple and Cinnamon
  • Nutro Mini Bites
  • Heart to Tail Medium Original Dog Biscuits
  • Turkey
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Blueberries
  • Apple
  • Cucumber

It looks like a lot! But the whole thing came together in less than 15 minutes, and most of these are pantry and produce staples you probably have sitting around the house already.

two large dogs drooling over DIY charcuterie boards for dogs
We call this the splash zone. | Bryan Frank

Step 2. Get Plating

Once you’ve gathered your goodies, it’s time to get cooking! (Relatively speaking, that is. A great thing about barkuterie boards is that you in no way have to turn the oven on.) 

We started here by getting the berries in one bowl and making an artful little PB swoosh in another. Those seemed most likely to make a mess, and it made sense to get them out of the way. Next came the apple slices and NutriSource Jerky—we went with the High Plains and Woodlands Select varieties for some color and flavor contrast. 

From there, you’re just filling ‘er in! It can help to work from big to small, that way you can make sure you get everything you want on the board. This can also make it easier to layer, as you’ll want smaller treats on top of bigger ones for maximum snack display-age. For example, we plated Heart to Tail’s medium biscuits first, then piled the slightly-smaller Finley’s treats on top, and sprinkled the teeny-tiny Nutro Mini Bites on toward the end. 

Look, we even made you this handy gif:

gif of building DIY charcuterie board for dogs
It’s all about the layers, bb. | Bryan Frank

But really, there are no rules. 

Step 3. Get Creative

…Okay, we lied, there is one rule: Have some doggone fun with it.

Sure, you could set out chunks of cucumber, but we tried this super simple method for making cuke slices into flowers. Nothing wrong with a pile of cheese, but why not personalize your pup’s board with an assist from mini alphabet letter cookie cutters? You can get signature snacks stamped with your dog’s name from a local dog bakery, or pick up a personal treat in the shape of a heart, ice cream cone, or a birthday cake.

If you still aren’t sure where to start, there’s a ton of inspiration out there. Some of our favorites:

And remember: You can put as much or as little as you want on your dog’s charcuterie board! A fancy cookie stamped with their name is super cute, but a single slice of cheddar cheese can go just as far when it comes to personalization and achieving maximum adorability.

DIY charcuterie board for dogs with dog treats, cucumbers, blueberries, and cheese cutouts spelling dog names
Et voila! | Bryan Frank

Have you gotten in on the barkuterie trend? Let us know in the comments, and pawlease tag @sidewalkdog in Insta photos of your boards so we can ruv ’em.

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Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, then check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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