3 min read

Hot Diggity Dog! What Can My Pups Eat on Labor Day?


Barbecuing on Labor Day while your dog looks on, salivating and day dreaming about potential table scraps, seems like cruel and unusual punishment for them so it’s tempting to share the wealth. But can real dogs eat hot dogs? Sadly, the answer is no. According to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, hot dogs which are usually processed with too much salt, preservatives and seasonings can be harmful to pets. However, we  have you covered with a few fun alternatives and recipes that lets your dogs in on the barbecue action.

Hey, Mambo, Mambo Italiano! Rachael Ray’s K-9-Ingredient Meatballs are the perfect alternative to letting your pooch scarf down that double-cheeseburger under the table. With nine simple ingredients you’re bound to have lying around the house, you can whip up these pet-friendly treats in between stirring your world-famous sangria and flipping those burgers for your two-legged guests.


  • 1/2 pound ground beef

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice

  • 1 carrot, shredded

  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 tablespoons parmigiano-reggiano cheese

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

Preparation: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Grease a muffin pan or a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Fill each muffin tin with about 1/4 cup of the mixture, or form the mixture into 10 balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Pasta for Pooches? No holiday BBQ is complete without a pasta salad...but mayonnaise is not something we should be sharing with our pets due to its high fat content. But thanks to Two Little Cavaliers you can modify your pasta salad recipe to include dog friendly ingredients like chopped raw veggies and your favorite BBQ meats.


  • 2 cups pasta, cooked al dente, drained and rinsed in cold water

  • 1/2 cup each, chopped – carrot, celery, red bell pepper, spinach & zucchini

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced (optional – see note)

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil

  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

  • Optional: Your favourite BBQ meat – like chicken breast or steak

Preparation: In a saucepan, heat oil and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until garlic is fragrant and sizzling (It only takes a minute or two.) Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Discard garlic slices, so only the garlic-y oil remains. In a large bowl, toss together pasta, vegetables and herbs with the olive oil and white wine vinegar. Top with your choice of tasty BBQ meat and serve!

BACON Me Crazy!  Thinking of throwing some bacon on the barbie to top your burgers or sliders? You might want to consider tossing on a few extra pieces for your pup to make Rachael Ray’s Bacon-Rice Patties. These scrumptious bites use ingredients like chicken broth, rice and eggs that are all marked safe for pets and are sure to dazzle your furry friends.


  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup long-grain rice

  • 2 slices lean bacon

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs

Preparation: In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth and rice to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, (16 to 18 min.). Drain excess liquid  and let cool. Mix the egg and bread crumbs into the rice and combine thoroughly then form the egg-rice mixture into 4 thin patties. Reheat the bacon fat over medium heat. Add the rice cakes and cook, turning once, until golden, about 4 minutes on each side.

Don’t have extra time to grill something for man's best friend? There are a few traditional BBQ items that have been marked safe for pets that include:

  • Grilled salmon as long as it has been cleared from miniscule bones.

  • Dog friendly grilled veggies such as zucchini and sweet potatoes.

  • Plain hamburger meat as long as it’s cooked all the way through and low in fat content.

Happy Labor Day!

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