The Ultimate Grilling Guide for Dogs and Their Owners

the-ultimate-grilling-guide-for-dogs-and-their-owners

*Please consult a veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet. These recipes are meant as treats and not regular meal replacements. We do not make any health claims related to these recipes and these recipes do not reflect professional veterinary advice. Remember that not all dogs know to keep away from fire or heat sources. You do not want your dog’s paws or body to be injured. Always supervise your dog while grilling.

Time with our dogs is never wasted! The entire experience of grilling and making food for you and your dog makes for some great memories on the road. Don’t we all enjoy total experiences? The smell of a fire, a sizzling grill, your dog’s favorite tunes, and relaxing together with a special meal make your dog feel special too! It’s a joy to know How to Plan A Dog-Friendly Road Trip.

Although we lost our beloved dog Digby a few months ago, the memories we have together of grilling at our campsite are some of our favorite. When I look at pictures of our time by the campfire and grilling up our favorite meals together, it is not the destination I recall first. It is the look in his eyes when he knew it was grill night and that he and Brickle would be included.  

Start with the Basics

Vegan Burgers on Grill at Campsite
Image: 2 Traveling Dogs

Space is limited on our RV, so we only have room for the basics! To grill up the ultimate meal, you will need metal tongs, a metal spatula, a meat thermometer, a grill brush, cooking spray, heat-resistant cooking gloves, aluminum foil, and yes, a fire extinguisher. Camping World has not only the basics to build your ultimate grill kit, but has those little extras like tablecloths and cookware.

Of course, to grill, you need a grill! Camping World has every option for the novice or expert griller. Learn about all the Great Portable Grills for RVers. Remember that your dog is an expert in taste. So make sure to pick the right grill and ask questions from a friendly associate to help! You can even bring your fur family along to a Camping World near you to help you choose. Some options at Camping World include portable gas grills, charcoal grills, electric grills, and smokers!

We choose to not use chemicals in our house on wheels, and that also goes for what we choose to grill with. Lump charcoal does not use additives or flammable petroleum products. It is made by burning wood, leaving only pure carbon in the shape of the original wood pieces. Your grill will determine what heat source you are using. 

Don’t Let Your Dog Eat That

2 Traveling Dogs Eat Dinner at Campsite
Image: 2 Traveling Dogs

Knowing what foods are safe and unsafe for your dog is the first thing that you want to consider when making your dog’s feast. Many know to leave out salt, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, onions, and garlic. If in doubt, call your vet or search the ASPCA website. This website will let you know if any ingredient is safe or unsafe for your dog. Even after years of making our dogs’ food, we still use this website.

Barbecue sauce is generally loaded with sugar and salt, so you may want to leave that off of your dog’s plate. Their feast will still be full of flavor! And what about bones? Remember that cooked bones are a no-go for dogs because they can splinter internally.  

What’s on the Grill?

Robert Irvine Charcoal Grill
Image: 2 Traveling Dogs

What you choose to grill can vary from day to day! If you ask your dog, one day she may want a hamburger, and the next day she may want a calzone. Yes! You can do this and the best part is that you can share what your dog chooses with just a few alterations. Here are some of our dogs’ favorite grill feasts!

Hamburgers

Is there anything more delicious than a simple hamburger on the grill? Even though our family is vegan, our dogs are not.  But there is a hamburger version for all! We use meat substitutes or tofu burgers. You can use a bun, or choose to cook your burger stuffed in a bell pepper! Don’t forget all of the toppings like lettuce, tomato, and cheese. Leave out the onions for your dog!

Grilled Vegan Burgers by 2 Traveling Dogs
Image: 2 Traveling Dogs

Barbecue Hamburgers for Dogs and People

Ingredients for the burger:

  • 1 pound organic, lean ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 teaspoon organic dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated organic mozzarella cheese
  • 1 organic tomato sliced thin

Ingredients for the relish and barbecue sauce (optional):

  • 1 organic cucumber cut into very thin slices
  • 4 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon organic tomato paste

Directions to make the burger:

  1. Mix the ground beef, red pepper, and oregano. Form into patties. 
  2. Remember, it is best to turn a burger the fewest times possible. Grill experts recommend starting with a hot grill, allowing a 2-3 minute sear on one side and turning to fully cook on the opposite side.

To make the relish and barbecue sauce (optional):

  • Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. Spoon on top of the burger.
  • Serve!

Grilled Meats

2 Traveling Dogs Eat Grilled Swordfish
Image: 2 Traveling Dogs

If our dogs could pick what they had for dinner each night, it would definitely be chicken. But some dogs prefer swordfish steaks, tuna steaks, boneless steaks, or boneless pork tenderloin. Since we are vegan, we like to grill meatless sausage on the grill to serve with our grilled veggies. Our dogs love their grilled meat with cooked, basmati rice and a sprinkling of basil and turmeric which helps their joints!

Grilled Veggies

Foil packets are a great way to lessen the chore of cleanup. Dog-friendly veggies that you can grill directly on the grate or in a foil packet would include carrots, zucchini, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Those veggies are just the start!  

Sweet Potatoes

Dogs absolutely love sweet potatoes, and they are nutritious and delicious for your pup. Get that charcoal nice and hot and then let it burn down. Place wrapped sweet potatoes directly on the coals. After your sweet potatoes cool, top them with dog-friendly options like unsweetened yogurt, fresh dill, or maple syrup! Top the person portions with your favorite toppings which may include fresh parsley, sour cream, or grilled bell peppers.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

You may not know that portobello mushrooms are safe for your dog too! These mushrooms are full of nutrients that help with liver and kidney functions. Wash those mushrooms well, dry, and rub on some olive oil and dried oregano. Cook directly over heat like you would a hamburger and top with your favorite hamburger toppings! It’s a nice, fresh grilling option for summer.

Calzones

I had no idea that pizza and calzones could taste so good! If you don’t have time to make your own pizza dough, you can buy pre-made dough. The possibilities of ingredients are endless. Fill that calzone with green peppers, tomatoes, and your favorite cooked meat or vegan meat option.  

Dog-Friendly S’mores

Dog-Friendly S'mores by 2 Traveling Dogs
Image: 2 Traveling Dogs

First things first! Dogs should NEVER eat chocolate. But we did not want to leave our dogs out of the s’mores fun, because that is just not fair. You can use graham crackers or other unsweetened cookies, but make sure that there is no xylitol or artificial sweeteners added as this can be fatal to dogs. We like to use frozen waffles for our dogs for these paw-mazing s’mores!

Pawmazing S’mores For Dogs

Ingredients:

  • 1 can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • Organic graham crackers, vanilla wafers or frozen waffles
  • Marshmallows for you, cooked, cubed chicken breast for the pups (yes, this sounds odd, but the pups will love it!)
  • Ground Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat your grill to high and line a baking sheet with parchment. Put 8 graham crackers on the tray and top with a marshmallow for you, and chicken for your dog. Grill until the marshmallow is turning brown and melty. 

  2. Mix the pumpkin puree with the cinnamon and put a tsp on each of the remaining graham crackers.

  3. Sandwich both together until oozing. Let cool completely before serving to your dog. 

Wash it Down

Dog Drinking Water
Image: Shutterstock

Barkaritas, anyone? Yes. You may have that margarita for yourself, but your dog deserves a healthy, non-alcoholic option too!

Summertime Barkarita Recipe for Dogs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted turkey broth, chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen, seedless watermelon cubes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 slice cooked turkey bacon

Additional garnishes (optional):

  • Fresh Mint
  • A slice of cantaloupe or honeydew melon
  • Turkey Bacon Bits On Rim

Directions:

  1. Pour broth into an ice cube tray.  Freeze for at least 2 hours.
  2. Cut seedless watermelon into cubes.  Freeze for at least 2 hours.
  3. Remove frozen broth and watermelon from the freezer.  Put into a blender.  Pulse until desired consistency.
  4. Dip the rim of the bowl or glass into honey then into coconut and or bacon bits.  Garnish with a slice of turkey bacon!

Optional:

All dogs need pup chips with their barkarita! Serve with dehydrated sweet potato chips and unsweetened yogurt as a dip!

Set a Place for Your Dog with These Must-Have Grilling Accessories

Happy Camper Pet Bowl Mat
Happy Camper Pet Bowl Mat

Don’t forget to take your pup to your nearest dog-friendly Camping World to pick out a new bowl, placemat, and outdoor bed for your grill pawty!  

Just like the destinations and trips we can travel to are endless, so are the ways we can grill and the recipes that become each family’s favorite. The Ultimate Grilling Guide for Dogs and Their Owners should include a must to relax, have fun, and enjoy your unique friendship with your dog. Mealtime is important to a family, and your family includes your dog!

What are some of your favorite meals to share with your pets? Tell us in the comments below.

Rachael Johnson and her husband Nate founded 2 Traveling Dogs in 2011. They write a daily dog blog that highlights the RV adventures of rescue dogs Peanut Butter Brickle and Digby Pancake as they travel the USA to highlight animal rescue. With over a million social media followers, they use their platforms to encourage others to adopt their pets and live the best life possible together while traveling!

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