Down, Set, Hike! Tailgate for Dogs Guide


Ah, ‘tis the season for hanging outside with fellow fans of ball-throwing, game-playing, and eating lots and lots of meaty, carb-y foods. How is tailgating (c’mon, tailgating) a practice that hasn’t been firmly established for dogs?

We’re sharing dog party ideas for allowing your pooch to get in on the yummy fun. Time to get cooking for your dog! 


Touchdown! A Game-Winning Tailgate for Dogs Recipe

Chicken apple treats

Pups in a Blanket

Pigs in a blanket gets a pup-friendly makeover thanks to this healthy dog pancake recipe. 


2 large eggs

1 banana

2 spoonfuls of peanut butter (xylitol-free)

½ cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Cooked mini chicken apple sausages of chicken apple treats


Add all ingredients (except for the sausages/treats) in a blender, and blend until thoroughly combined.

Dollop tablespoons of batter on a prepared griddle and cook on both sides until browned.

Wrap pancakes around sausages or treats and serve!


Other Great Tailgate Recipes for Dogs

Crockpot cooking

Canine Crockpot Turkey Chili

Looking for ground turkey dog food recipes or dog stew recipes that are ideal for game day?  Chili is a tailgate favorite for a reason. Grab your slow cooker and let it simmer for celebratory dog food recipes in a crockpot. 


1 lb. ground turkey

2 medium carrots, shredded

1 medium zucchini, shredded

1 cup low-sodium and onion + garlic-free chicken or vegetable broth

½ cup pureed pumpkin (not pie filling)

Cheese, for sprinkling


Add turkey to the crockpot and cook, stirring, until it’s broken up and developed a light color. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the cheese) into the pot, and cook according to appliance directions. Let cool to room temperature before serving, and sprinkle a bit of cheese on top. 


Dog Popsicles

Use naturally nutritious ingredients like yogurt, pumpkin and your favorite PetPlate food, to make dog popsicle recipes and frozen dog recipes for sensitive stomachs!


½ cup lowfat plain yogurt

½ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pie filling) or unsweetened sweet potato puree

Silicone ice cube tray or candy mold


Using a teaspoon, fill the indentations of your silicone tray half-way up with yogurt. Use the back of your spoon to make sure the yogurt is flat/level. Place the tray in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to set.

Remove the tray, and fill the indentations the rest of the way up with pumpkin/sweet potato. Use the back of your spoon to make sure it’s level. Place the tray in the freezer for at least 15 more minutes to set.

Keep in the freezer until ready to serve, then pop out your layered treats out and enjoy!


For more frozen dog treats recipes, check out our article here! 


Chicken breast

Chompin Chicken Boneless Wings

Can you give your dogs BBQ? You better believe it. Make chicken wings a dog-safe food with this drool-worthy recipe.


½ lb. chicken tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon applesauce

½ cup low sodium, onion + garlic-free beef stock

Powdered cloves and cinnamon for sprinkling


Place chicken bites on a greased baking sheet. In a bowl, combine the tomato paste, applesauce and stock, along with a sprinkle of cloves and cinnamon to taste. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the sauce over the chicken to coat. Bake in a 375F oven for 5 minutes. Flip chicken to the other side, and cook for another 5 minutes. Let cool before serving. 


Dog cake

Dog Cake Recipe/Dog Donut Recipe

This is one of our favorite dog cake recipes for sensitive stomachs. You can even pour the batter into specialty pans instead for a dog donut recipe!


1 large egg

⅓ cup honey 

¼ cup peanut butter

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup whole wheat or white flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat an oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan. 


In a bowl, add the egg, honey, peanut butter, oil, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Sift in the flour and baking soda into the batter a bit at a time, and fold together gently. Add the carrots and fold gently to combine. Pour into the prepared pan. 

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before topping with icing (recipe below) if desired.


Dog Icing Recipe 

2 tablespoons rice or potato flour

2 teaspoons water

1 teaspoon honey

Food coloring (optional)


What Foods Can My Dog Eat?


What Seasonings Can Dogs Have?

Safe herbs and spices for dogs include mint, dill, parsley, sage, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. Some of them even have all-natural health benefits, from breath freshening to anti-inflammatory support. Seasonings to avoid include garlic, onion, mustard seed, allspice, bay leaves, cayenne, or any hot pepper, all of which can be toxic in large amounts. 


Can Dogs Eat BBQ?

As mentioned above, you can make bbq good for dogs as long as you cook lean meats that don’t contain any of the no-no seasonings, like garlic and hot pepper. Your meat should contain a bare minimum of salt, and shouldn’t be heavily smoked or charred, as high heat cooking methods increase the presence of unhealthy carcinogens. 


Can Dogs Eat Nachos?

Well, no, not in the standard sense. There’s no nutritional upside to corn chips, salsa, and jalapeno peppers, and many standard nacho components can be downright dangerous. That said, you can think out of the box when it comes to constructing a plate of nachos that are specially designed for dogs…yogurt instead of sour cream, plain ground turkey instead of heavily seasoned beef, and even a bit of cheese are all pup-approved toppings. As for chips, you can use a handful of their dry food! 


Dos and Dont’s for Tailgating with Your Dog

You can go the whole 9 yards when it comes to safely tailgating with your pup, as long as you follow these culinary do’s and don’ts. 


DO Make Them a Special Tailgate Meal

It’s easy to get your dog involved in the tailgate fun. Can dogs eat barbecued chicken? Kinda, if you use our recipe above! You’ll even find different brands of doggie beer on the market, to complement our doggie entrees like turkey chili. Or, you can have fun with their regular food…check out our sommelier-designed drink pairings that perfectly complement PetPlate! 


DON’T Give Them Human Food That Could Harm Their Stomachs

Whatever you do, avoid these foods at all costs.

  • Chocolate – contains specific chemicals (methylxanthines) that are toxic to dogs
  • Garlic – contains toxic compounds called disulfides and thiosulphates
  • Grapes – researchers haven’t pinpointed the exact substance in grapes and raisins, but we know they are highly toxic even in small amounts
  • Avocados – contain a toxic substance called persin
  • Cherries – contain toxic cyanide, which is found in cherry pits
  • Some types of nuts – Macadamia nuts in particular are highly-toxic; others (like cashews, walnuts, and pistachios) are very high in fat and should be limited 

For more info on ingredients that are actually great for dogs, check out our article here! 


DO Make Sure They Have a Safe Place to Be While You Watch the Game

If the party atmosphere gets to much, make sure your dog has a safe space to retire to, like a crate. For more advice on crate training, check out our article here!

DON’T Leave Them Unattended for Multiple Hours

While the ability to spend time alone is essential for a mentally, socially, and emotionally-balanced pup, they’re still not meant to roll solo for hours on end. Striking a balance is all part of being a responsible pet owner


Treat Your Dog to the Best with PetPlate

PetPlate was designed to be a complete, nutritionally-balanced meal, but it’s also tasty enough to serve as a special occasion treat (you can even incorporate it into vet-approved homemade dog food recipes, or dog food recipes for allergies!).

Just like with people, top-quality food created with care is a way of showing love. That’s why we believe dogs deserve the very best, on tailgating days, and all year through!