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Recipes: Picnic for Pups

Yummy Picnic Recipes
By Natalya Zahn, June 2013, Updated June 2021
dog eating watermelon

Summertime means picnics and cookouts … and burgers and watermelon for everybody, even our dogs! Next time you gather around the picnic table plan on packing something special for the pups. Bark contributor Natalya Zahn shares her recipe for a dog-delicious burger/bun combo, sweet potato chips and watermelon pops …


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 c fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c fine-shredded carrot

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (mix with hands). Form into “burgers” and space 1" apart in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes. Cool before serving and store in refrigerator.



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  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 2 very ripe mashed bananas
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c sugar-free jam

Combine all dry ingredients, then mix in peanut butter, bananas and water. Mix until dough forms. Shape dough into 1" rounds, place on baking sheet and press thumb into centers. Bake at 350˚ for about 15 minutes. Let cool. Heat jam in a saucepan or microwave until liquid in consistency. With a spoon, drip the jam into the center of each cookie. Let stand 1 hour for jam to set. Store in an airtight container.


  • 1/2 c raw liver
  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c wheat germ
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp veg oil
  • 1/2 c water
  • egg white (for glazing)
  • sesame seeds

In a bowl, combine flour, wheat germ and parsley — set aside. Briefly blend liver in a food processor. Add liver to dry ingredients, then mix in oil and water until a sticky dough forms. On a greased cookie sheet, shape bun rounds — about 3" in diameter and 1/2" thick. Brush with egg white and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top. Bake at 400˚ for 15-20 minutes. Buns should be slightly soft in the center when pressed. Cool before assembling burger and serving.


  • watermelon
  • cookie cutters

Cut melon into roughly 3/8" slices. Using cookie cutters, cut shapes out of the flesh of the melon and place on a freezer-safe plate. Chill for 4 hours. Remove from freezer, transfer treats from plate to Ziploc freezer bag and store frozen until ready to eat.


  • 6 large sweet potatoes

Slice whole potatoes into rounds: a 1/4" slice will create a crispier chip, a 1/2" slice will create a chewier chip. Place on a foil-lined sheet. Bake at 250˚ for 2 hours, turning over once. Allow to cool on sheet. Chips should be stored in an airtight container.

Photo: Marek Szturc / Unsplash

Natalya Zahn is a natural illustrator and designer deeply inspired by all things animal. follows the life of Oscar, her Rhodesian Ridgeback, through art and photography.

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