The afternoon tea is a British staple that many of us enjoy. It’s delicious, dainty, and is perfect both for celebrations and simply enjoying it ‘just because’. So why not let your furry friend in on the fun and create a dog-friendly version as well?
Not only is this a great way to treat your pet, but it’s surprisingly easy to make a version which is suitable for dogs. You and your family can even enjoy a traditional afternoon tea of your own alongside your pet at the same time.
Looking for some inspiration for making the perfect afternoon tea for your furry friend? Pet experts at Bob Martin share their tips and advice on what to include (or not include!). Your pet’s health should be your number one priority, so it’s good to know which ingredients are safe for your dog and which ones aren’t.
You can’t have a classic afternoon tea without a plate of traditional, dainty finger sandwiches. However, to keep this special treat as safe and healthy as possible, it’s best to make some dog-friendly, bread-free versions. Dogs can only tolerate a very small amount of plain bread, and some flavoured loaves with seeds or herbs like chives, garlic, and onions can actually be toxic. So, to create a lighter, safer meal for your pooch, try making a plate of lettuce wraps instead and pack them with delicious fillings.
When it comes to fillings, there are a wide variety of dog-friendly options to choose from including vegetables, lean meats, and small amounts of cheese. Here’s some tasty flavour combinations for both owners and their dogs to give you some inspiration:
- Cucumber sandwiches with a very light layer of cream cheese
- Xylitol free peanut butter and apple sandwiches (make sure to check there are no apple seeds, as these are toxic for dogs)
- Turkey sandwiches
- Ham and a cheese that’s lower in fat, like mozzarella or cottage cheese
As well as the sandwiches, it’s common to add another savoury treat to afternoon teas, usually in the form of cheese scones. While your dog can have a very small nibble of a cheese scone, a full one will be far too much for them. This is especially the case if you’re adding a small amount of cheese to your dog’s sandwich too. So, for the savoury treat, you may want to steer clear of dairy and opt for something smaller instead.
While you’re enjoying a cheese scone, your pet can enjoy one or two homemade biscuits made especially for their delicate stomachs. You can easily make a dog-friendly biscuit with just three ingredients: 150g of whole wheat flour, 120ml of lean meat stock (like chicken or turkey), and two tablespoons of oil. Mix these ingredients together until you can easily roll the mixture out, then put the mixture on a floured surface and roll it until the dough is about a quarter of an inch thick. Then simply cut it up into a dozen pieces, pop the biscuits on grease-proof paper on a baking tray, and bake at 175°C for 20 minutes.
The highlight for many when it comes to afternoon tea is the delicious desserts. However, most of the time our dogs don’t get to enjoy sweet treats like cakes. So, for this special occasion, treat them to a tasty dog-friendly cake of their own. Like the savoury treats, you only need three ingredients for this cake so even if you’re short on time, you can easily whip one up in a hurry.
Simply mix up 60g of xylitol free peanut butter, three eggs, and 45g of oat flour until the mixture is smooth — you can make your own oat flour by simply blending the oats. Then pour the mixture into a small cake tin and bake at 190°C for 15 minutes. Once you’ve taken it out and left the cake to cool, drizzle a teaspoon of honey over it to add a little sweetness.
It’s important to note that you should portion out this cake for your pet to enjoy over at least two or three days, and even longer for smaller dogs. Paired with their entire afternoon tea, a whole cake would be far too much even though it may look small. Split the cake up into sixths and give your pet a small bit at a time to see how they get on.
Complement your furry friend’s tasty afternoon tea with the perfect drink. While it’s a good idea to give them their water bowl alongside the meal, why not give them something fun as a treat too? It can be difficult to find tasty drinks for dogs which are safe for them as well. Some types of fruit juice can be okay, but only in tiny amounts. Dogs can also enjoy milk in moderation, but if your pet is having cheese in their sandwiches, it’s best to avoid this as too much dairy can cause stomach upset in dogs.
One flavourful drink which is completely safe for dogs is coconut water. As well as being a whole new taste for your pup, it’s also hydrating, refreshing, and contains some important vitamins too. You can even enjoy a glass yourself for a refreshing way to round off your meal!
"Whether you’re planning an afternoon tea and you want your pet to join in, or you want to spoil them with an extra special treat, the good news is that recreating a dog-friendly experience is actually pretty simple!
"Just like with us humans, the main thing to remember when giving our dogs treats is to do so in moderation. Only give them treats like this every so often, as doing so regularly can have negative impacts on both their short and long-term health. That said, if you regularly exercise your dog and provide them with a balanced nutrient-rich diet, then there’s no reason they can’t enjoy the occasional afternoon tea with you.” - Chris Socratous, Senior Brand Manager at Bob Martin.