Paws for Tea – Organising a Dog Friendly Tea Party
Guest blog from Explorer @dobbyscoats
I’m Dobby, a lurcher and according to my Mummy, a handsome boy.
This month I’m handing the reins over to my hu-mum Kay who organised a dog friendly tea party for the whole community to join. It was lots of fun, and lucky for me, I got to eat lots of cakes both on the day and through all the baking!
Sometimes the best ideas come to us all as a comment made by someone and suddenly we find that we have talked ourselves into running an event, taking part in an event or even making a complete life-changing decision.
Luckily for my family, it wasn’t a life-changing decision, unless you can count the fact that I suddenly started filling the freezer full of cakes and muffins. My husband got really excited by all this baking until that is, I told him that all these cakes were in fact not for human consumption, but, in fact for dogs!
Yes a random comment from a fellow dog owner in our local Facebook dog walking group ended up with me offering the use of my garden in order that we could run a dog friendly Tea Party. We invited all local dog owners to bring along their dogs, stressing that they needed to be ok with other dogs in an enclosed area, as we hoped for a good turn out!
I trawled the Internet finding dog-friendly recipes for Pupcakes, and what I should and should not put into cakes for our furry friends. I found that there were certain fruit and veg that are great to feed our pets and that there are some that are extremely dangerous to feed them. If nothing else I have expanded my knowledge of dog friendly foods over the past few weeks!
We all know that chocolate is a dangerous thing for our pooches to eat, but we can use Carob in order to use as a chocolate substitute. Sugar obviously is not good in excess but we can use banana and honey to sweeten cakes.
Anyway trial and error and plenty of willing dogs on taste testing duties and I eventually mastered the art of making pupcakes. Instead of making buttercream icing to top the cakes I used cream cheese, quark, and Greek yogurt. By adding tapioca flour I was able to thicken in order to be able to pipe onto the cakes.
Of course I also made a large number of cupcakes and muffins for the human visitors. I was rather clever (I thought) by making the pupcakes in white muffin cases and the human ones in coloured cases. A handy thing because although there is nothing to hurt anyone to eat, I don’t think many people would enjoy a sardine flavoured muffin with cream cheese topping!
We decided to run the event with money raised being split between Blue Cross and a local pets search and rescue group. The event was advertised on local dog walking and pet facebooks groups, plus some posters in local shops and at the top of my road. Then all we had to do was pray for good weather and hope that people would come!
If you ever watched the film “Field of Dreams” you will remember the saying, “If you make it, they will come”. Well I did, and they did! Granted we had hoped for more people to come along but we had a good number nevertheless. Plus we raised £230.00 to divide between our two charities. Everybody who came enjoyed themselves and the dogs certainly enjoyed their pupcakes.
I certainly recommend having a garden Pawty. You don’t have to worry whether the dogs will like their cakes, they after all will eat most things anyway. I suggest that you make and freeze ahead of time so that you don’t need to do everything last minute. It’s a darn good thing that I did this as two days before our Pawty my oven gasped it’s last and died, but luckily I had baked and frozen ahead of time, so it just meant I was a couple of dozen cakes short of what I had hoped to make!
I will put some recipes below so that you can have a baking session. I can’t wait to see what your cakes look like.
Pup Cake Recipes
Remember, these are a treat and not to replace their normal meal. We are not doggy nutritionists and every doggy is an individual. What might be good for most might not be good for another. Always tailor each recipe to your own dog’s needs and tastes. If you have any questions about your dog’s diet, please contact your vet.
Homemade Peanut Butter Pupcakes
1 cup white or whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients, mixing well.
Scoop into muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
You can top your pupcakes with whipped cream, or a mixture of peanut butter and whipped cream. Pups love them both!
Dog friendly frosting
You can just use Greek yogurt,
Peanut butter mixed into cream cheese.
If you want to be able to pipe the frosting onto the cake then add tapioca flour to thicken the mixture.
½ cup plain yogurt (I use fat free)
8 oz block light cream cheese
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup tapioca flour
Mix together well and pipe onto cupcakes.
Bacon and Eggs Dog Muffin
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon peanut butter
½ cup apple sauce
½ cup water
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray molds with no stick spray.
Fry up bacon to desired crispness. Remove from pan and blot oil with paper towels. Let cool and crumble.
Add flour, eggs, peanut butter, apple sauce, water, vegetable oil, and baking powder in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine ingredients for 1 minute on low/medium setting.
Add ½ crumbled bacon to bowl and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
Fill muffin tins ¾ full with mixture. Drizzle the remaining bacon bits on the top of each muffin tin.
Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the middle of one muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffins are ready to come out.
Remove from oven and let cool on racks.
Store in airtight containers and keep in refrigerator or freezer.
9 oz flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
3 oz grated cheese (ideal chance to use up all those dried up lumps on cheese in fridge)
8 fl oz water
3 fl oz veg oil
Mix all ingredients and put into muffin cases. Cook in oven at 190 C until firm to touch or do cocktail stick test to make sure cooked.
Remove and cool.
I also add a handful of cooked bacon bits or sausage etc.
Other options are adding tuna, sardines, pilchards etc instead of cheese.
Have you ever organised a dog friendly tea party? Looking for more ideas or support? Pop your comments and questions below.