Serve Up Dinner & A Movie For Doggy Date Night


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Think about your ideal date. They’d be charming, cute, and oh-so-entertaining. Add furry and four-legged to that vision, and you’ve found the perfect date—your dog! To celebrate their canine righteousness, throw a Doggy Date Night that will rock their paws. And to help you make it great, we’ve built a guide to the perfect date night if dinner and a movie at home are your jam. From recipes for a delightful dinner you and your dog can share to a thorough listing of movies that feature dogs, you’ll have all the information you need to prepare for the best date night ever.

doggy date night

The Ultimate Doggy Date Night

So, dinner and a show. What will dinner be for you and your dog? Will you order out, or do you feel like tying on your apron to whip up something delicious for your dog? If you feel like showing your love with a homecooked meal, check out this selection of healthy recipes you and your dog can share.

Doggy Date Night Dinner for Two

Entree Option 1: Grilled Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

For an easy and healthy meal you and your dog can share for date night, grill up some chicken and sweet potatoes and serve with a side of unseasoned steamed carrots that are cut into bite-size pieces for your pup. Remember, take caution when using spices and herbs as certain ones can be harmful to your dog. It’s best to skip them if you’re not sure, or talk to your dog’s medical team for more advice. Now, let’s get cooking!

RELATED: 5 Herbs, Plants, & Spices For Soothing Your Dog’s Aging Joints

Ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil (a small amount)
  • Fresh parsley (optional for the human portion)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the grill to a medium heat.
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into slices and grill them until they are tender.
  3. Grill the chicken breasts until fully cooked to a safe temperature 165°.
  4. Allow the chicken and sweet potatoes to cool.
  5. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Optionally, chop fresh parsley and sprinkle over your portion for added flavor.

Entree Option 2: Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Mustard Dipping Sauce

If you want something with a little more pizzaz, this recipe for Cooking for Dogs Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Mustard Dipping Sauce from Two Little Cavaliers will have you both drooling.

Ingredients:

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground Turkey Breast
  • 1 lb. ground Turkey Thigh
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh Parsley (or 4 tsp. dry)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh Oregano (or 1 tsp. dry)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh Sage (or 1 tsp. dry)
  • clove garlic (optional)
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper

Topping

  • 1 -2 crisp Granny Smith Apples
  • 9 ounces of Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Dipping Sauce

  • ½ c. Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix turkey breast, turkey thigh, herbs and garlic.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  4. Roll turkey mix into 1” balls (yields an estimated 6 dozen) and evenly space on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until no longer pink in the middle and slightly golden on the outside.
  6. Slice apples ¼” thick and chop into approximately 1” chunks.
  7. Slice cheese into thin bite-sized pieces.
  8. Mix cranberry sauce & Dijon mustard.

Serve to dogs without sauce. That zesty blend of Dijon and cranberry will delight human taste buds.

Doggy Date Night Dessert Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Pupsicles

No date night dinner is complete without dessert, and this easy recipe fits the delicious bill. To keep dessert the treat it should be, ensure your dog’s pupsicles are an appropriate size to avoid choking issues. And, as with all things yummy, moderation is key.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup natural, unsalted peanut butter without xylitol (make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (ensure it’s xylitol-free and has no artificial sweeteners)

Instructions:

  1. Peel the bananas and mash them in a bowl until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, peanut butter, and yogurt. Stir until the mixture is well combined and smooth. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little water to thin it out.
  3. Optionally, for a smoother texture, blend the mixture in a blender or food processor until creamy.
  4. Spoon the mixture into popsicle molds or ice cube trays. If you don’t have popsicle sticks, you can freeze them as is and enjoy them as frozen bites.
  5. Place the molds or trays in the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid.
  6. Once frozen, pop the pupsicles out of the molds or trays. Serve one to your dog (make sure it’s an appropriate size for them) and enjoy one yourself!

A Snack for Showtime: Popcorn

Don’t forget you’ll need a movie snack. And what’s the best movie munching? Popcorn! Dr. Kathryn Primm explains popcorn can be an ideal high fiber, low-calorie snack you can share, as long as you keep it plain.

“Popcorn that is air popped and has no salt or butter is a reasonable choice to share,” says Dr. Primm. “Limiting portions is easy because you can offer it one kernel at a time and your dog is delighted with each one.”

So don’t forget the snacks when it’s time to hit the couch for showtime with one of these movies that feature dogs.

RELATED: 12 Healthy Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

doggy date night

Press Play on a Movie for Doggy Date Night

Alright, your bellies are full, the snacks are ready—it’s time to select a movie for your Doggy Date Night. At iHeartDogs, it’s obvious we love dogs, and that means we also get excited about movies that feature our favorite four-legged species. Because we’ve all seen a few flicks around here, we pulled together this list of must-see movies with dogs in them. The list has been broken into genres for easy perusing. Plus, you’ll find some of our pups have included their recommendations, too.

While we’ve included trigger warnings for each movie, you can further avoid any graphic or upsetting content by checking this crowdsourced trigger warnings website for movies, TV, books, and more.

Now, get comfy on the couch or curl up together in your Plufl, the original human dog bed, and press play on together time! You and your pup will have a hard time resisting this cozy spot as your favorite dog movie plays.

The Plufl Human Dog Bed
  • Human-sized dog bed can fit you and your dogs
  • Supportive gel-infused memory foam and raised pillow edges
  • Plush fabric cover is removable and machine-washable
  • Includes a large pocket and carrying handles

Comedy and Fun

Strays (2023)

“Strays is a raunchy romp to be enjoyed by puppers over 18 months of age and their adult humans. It follows an abandoned pooch named Reggie and his three best friends as they seek revenge on Reggie’s cruel former owner. Despite the mature themes, this film offers lots of laughs and plenty of heart. It stresses three of the most important things in life: love, friendship, and the joy of a good pee!”

     – Reviewed by Finch, a former abandoned stray like Reggie

  • Synopsis: This film focuses on the lives and adventures of stray dogs in an urban setting.
  • Top Cast: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Randall Park
  • Trigger Warnings: Viewer discretion for scenes involving stray animals and potential distressing situations, drug humor.
  • Rating: R

Best In Show (2000)

  • Synopsis: A mockumentary that follows five eccentric dog owners competing in the prestigious Mayflower Dog Show.
  • Top Cast: Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Christopher Guest.
  • Trigger Warnings: Some sexual references and comic situations.
  • Rating: PG-13

    Dog (2022)

    • Synopsis: A heartwarming story about a man who bonds with a dog as they travel to a fellow soldier’s funeral.
    • Top Cast: Channing Tatum, Jane Adams, Kevin Nash.
    • Trigger Warnings: Themes of war, loss, and PTSD.
    • Rating: PG-13

    Dog Days (2018)

    • Synopsis: Interconnected stories of people in Los Angeles brought together by their lovable canine friends.
    • Top Cast: Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Eva Longoria.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild romantic and emotional themes.
    • Rating: PG

    Turner & Hooch (1989)

    • Synopsis: A comedy about a detective who reluctantly adopts a dog who is the only witness to a murder.
    • Top Cast: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson.
    • Trigger Warnings: Some violence, mildly frightening scenes, Hooch is shot, but survives.
    • Rating: PG

    Puppy Love (2023)

    • Synopsis: A romantic comedy where dogs play cupid to bring two people together.
    • Top Cast: Lucy Hale, Grant Gustin
    • Trigger Warnings: Usual romantic comedy themes.
    • Rating: R

    Think Like a Dog (2020)

    • Synopsis: A boy discovers he can telepathically communicate with his dog.
    • Top Cast: Gabriel Bateman, Josh Duhamel, Megan Fox.
    • Trigger Warnings: Family-friendly with no major triggers.
    • Rating: PG

    Must Love Dogs (2005)

    • Synopsis: A woman’s journey in the dating world is complicated by the requirement that her match must love dogs.
    • Top Cast: Diane Lane, John Cusack, Elizabeth Perkins.
    • Trigger Warnings: Some sexual content and mild thematic elements.
    • Rating: PG-13

    doggy date night

    Animated Movies Both Classic and New

    The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

    Mabel, a senior rescue dog, says of the film:

    “The Secret Life of Pets is my favorite dog movie because the characters are so relatable! Like Max, I prefer to have my human all to myself, so I felt heartbroken for him when his mom adopted a second dog. It’s just like when my mom brings new foster dogs into my home (but at least they’re only temporary residents!)” 

    • Synopsis: An animated comedy about the lives pets lead after their owners leave for work or school each day.
    • Top Cast: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart.
    • Trigger Warnings: Comic violence and action.
    • Rating: PG

    Bolt (2008)

    • Synopsis: An animated adventure about a dog who believes he has superpowers and embarks on a cross-country journey.
    • Top Cast: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild action and peril.
    • Rating: PG

    Lady & The Tramp (1955)

    • Synopsis: A classic animated tale of a refined uptown Cocker Spaniel and a streetwise mongrel.
    • Top Cast: Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Peggy Lee.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild thematic elements.
    • Rating: G

    101 Dalmatians (1961)

    • Synopsis: An animated movie about a litter of Dalmatian puppies who are abducted by the villainous Cruella De Vil.
    • Top Cast: Rod Taylor, Betty Lou Gerson, Cate Bauer.
    • Trigger Warnings: Kidnapping and perilous situations.
    • Rating: G

    Lilo and Stitch (2002)

    • Synopsis: A young girl adopts what she thinks is a dog, who is actually a mischievous alien.
    • Top Cast: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild sci-fi action.
    • Rating: PG

    All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)

    • Synopsis: An animated film about a dog who returns from heaven to seek revenge but finds redemption.
    • Top Cast: Burt Reynolds, Judith Barsi, Dom DeLuise.
    • Trigger Warnings: Some dark themes and moments that may be scary for young children, Charlie is hit by a car and goes to Heaven.
    • Rating: G

    Isle of Dogs (2018)

    • Synopsis: A stop-motion animated film set in a dystopian future Japan where dogs are exiled to an island due to a “dog flu.”
    • Top Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton.
    • Trigger Warnings: Some thematic elements and violent imagery.
    • Rating: PG-13

    DC League of Superpets (2022)

    • Synopsis: Superhero pets team up to fight crime and save their owners and the city.
    • Top Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon.
    • Trigger Warnings: Animated action and some mild thematic elements.
    • Rating: PG

    Balto (1995)

    • Synopsis: An animated adventure about a half-wolf dog who risks his life to prevent a deadly epidemic in Nome, Alaska.
    • Top Cast: Kevin Bacon, Bob Hoskins, Bridget Fonda.
    • Trigger Warnings: Perilous situations and mild thematic elements.
    • Rating: G

    My Dog Tulip (2009)

    • Synopsis: An animated film based on the true story of a man and his German Shepherd, Tulip.
    • Top Cast: Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave, Isabella Rossellini.
    • Trigger Warnings: Adult themes, not suitable for young children.
    • Rating: Unrated (adult themes)

    Frankenweenie (2012)

    • Synopsis: An animated film about a boy who brings his dog back to life through a powerful science experiment.
    • Top Cast: Charlie Tahan, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara.
    • Trigger Warnings: Themes of death and resurrection, some scary scenes.
    • Rating: PG

    The Fox and The Hound (1981)

    • Synopsis: An animated tale of friendship between a fox and a hound who are supposed to be natural enemies.
    • Top Cast: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey.
    • Trigger Warnings: Emotional themes, hunting scenes.
    • Rating: G

    family movies with dogs

    Family Favorites and A Documentary

    Beethoven (1992)

    Brutus, one of the biggest dogs on the block, says:

    “Whoof! Let me tell you, watching ‘Beethoven’ was like looking in a mirror, only with more slobber and shenanigans. I totally get Beethoven’s enthusiasm – when you’re a big pup like us, sometimes you don’t realize your own size, and boy, does it lead to some tail-wagging chaos! Watching him knock over trash cans and bring a whole party to a halt with his wet dog shake – classic! I barked out loud when he tried to fit into that tiny bed; I mean, come on, we big dogs need our space, right? But, paws down, the best part was seeing how much his family loved him, even when he was a bit of a handful. It just goes to show, no matter how big or drooly you are, there’s a family out there who will give you all the belly rubs and ear scratches you deserve. Two paws up for ‘Beethoven’!” 

    • Synopsis: A family’s life is turned upside down by a troublesome but lovable St. Bernard.
    • Top Cast: Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild peril and slapstick humor.
    • Rating: PG

    Air Bud (1997)

    • Synopsis: A young boy discovers that his new dog, a stray, can play basketball.
    • Top Cast: Michael Jeter, Kevin Zegers, Wendy Makkena.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild thematic elements, sports action.
    • Rating: PG

    Hotel for Dogs (2009)

    • Synopsis: Two kids secretly take in stray dogs at a vacant hotel.
    • Top Cast: Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Lisa Kudrow.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild rude humor, language, and thematic elements.
    • Rating: PG

    Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)

    • Synopsis: A pampered Chihuahua gets lost in Mexico and relies on friends to help her find a way home.
    • Top Cast: Drew Barrymore, George Lopez, Piper Perabo.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild adventure peril.
    • Rating: PG

    Cats & Dogs (2001)

    • Synopsis: A secret war between cats and dogs escalates into an all-out battle.
    • Top Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins, Alexander Pollock.
    • Trigger Warnings: Comic violence, crude humor.
    • Rating: PG

    The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1986)

    • Synopsis: A curious cat and a pug-nosed pup embark on an adventure.
    • Top Cast: Dudley Moore (Narrator).
    • Trigger Warnings: Some scenes might be unsettling for very young viewers.
    • Rating: G

    Lassie (2005)

    • Synopsis: A family takes in the famous collie, who shows loyalty and bravery.
    • Top Cast: Peter O’Toole, Samantha Morton, John Lynch.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild peril and thematic elements.
    • Rating: PG

    Oddball (2015)

    • Synopsis: A chicken farmer trains his dog to protect a penguin sanctuary from fox attacks.
    • Top Cast: Shane Jacobson, Sarah Snook, Alan Tudyk.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild thematic elements and peril.
    • Rating: Unrated (family-friendly content)

    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

    • Synopsis: Three pets embark on a journey across the wilderness to find their family.
    • Top Cast: Michael J. Fox, Sally Field, Don Alder.
    • Trigger Warnings: Perilous situations, emotional scenes.
    • Rating: G

    Snow Dogs (2002)

    • Synopsis: A Miami dentist inherits a team of sled dogs in Alaska.
    • Top Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., James Coburn, Sisqo.
    • Trigger Warnings: Comic action and mild language.
    • Rating: PG

    My Dog Skip (2000)

    • Synopsis: A shy boy grows up in 1940s Mississippi with the help of his beloved dog, Skip.
    • Top Cast: Frankie Muniz, Kevin Bacon, Diane Lane.
    • Trigger Warnings: Emotional thematic elements, mild language.
    • Rating: PG

    Shiloh (1997)

    • Synopsis: A young boy rescues a mistreated beagle and forms a strong bond with him.
    • Top Cast: Michael Moriarty, Blake Heron, Scott Wilson.
    • Trigger Warnings: Animal mistreatment, emotional distress.
    • Rating: PG

    Benji the Hunted (1987)

    • Synopsis: Benji is lost at sea and must survive in the wilderness.
    • Top Cast: Red Steagall, Frank Inn, Benjean.
    • Trigger Warnings: Animal peril.
    • Rating: G

    Because of Winn-Dixie (2005)

    • Synopsis: A young girl adopts a dog that helps her make friends in a small Florida town.
    • Top Cast: AnnaSophia Robb, Jeff Daniels, Eva Marie Saint.
    • Trigger Warnings: Mild thematic elements and brief language.
    • Rating: PG

    Walt Disney’s The Shaggy Dog (1959)

    • Synopsis: A teenage boy transforms into a sheepdog and back again in this comedic adventure.
    • Top Cast: Fred MacMurray, Jean Hagen, Tommy Kirk.
    • Trigger Warnings: Slapstick humor and mild suspense.
    • Rating: G

    Pick of the Litter (2018)

    • Synopsis: A documentary following a litter of puppies as they train to become guide dogs for the blind.
    • Top Cast: Documentary, no cast.
    • Trigger Warnings: Realistic portrayals of the challenges of training service animals.
    • Rating: Unrated (suitable for all audiences)

    movies with dogs

    Drama, Action, and A Bit of Horror

    Togo (2020)

    Lilobean, Aspiring Sled ShihPoo’s Review:

    “I love a good underdog story and Togo is definitely an underdog. Thought to be too small to be a part of a sled dog team, Togo proves that you can’t judge a book by its cover. The best part of this film is it’s based on a true story – Togo was a real dog who came through, even at an advanced age, to save the day when humans needed saving. Balto got a lot of attention (and a whole animated film) for his part in the 1925 serum run, and in all the Balto hype, Togo was nearly forgotten even though he played a very important role.

    This movie is a beautiful tribute to a dog who was maybe a little old and small but became a hero. As a small dog, it makes me feel like I could take on a harness and trek through the wilderness if I didn’t mind getting my paws wet. This is an action film, so there are going to be a few moments that’ll set a pup’s fur on end, but Togo is my pick for cuddling up with my humans and enjoying with a Whimzees for Doggy Date Night.” 

    • Synopsis: The story of the sled dog, Togo, who led the 1925 serum run, but was considered too small and weak to lead such an intense race.
    • Top Cast: Willem Dafoe, Julianne Nicholson, Christopher Heyerdahl.
    • Trigger Warnings: Perilous ice crossings, survival themes.
    • Rating: PG

    The Call of the Wild (2020)

    • Synopsis: A domesticated St. Bernard/Scotch Collie dog’s life turns upside down as he’s sent to the Alaskan wilderness.
    • Top Cast: Harrison Ford, Omar Sy, Cara Gee.
    • Trigger Warnings: Animal peril, adventure scenes.
    • Rating: PG

    The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019)

    • Synopsis: A philosophical dog narrates the life lessons from his race car driving owner, Denny.
    • Top Cast: Kevin Costner, Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried.
    • Trigger Warnings: Emotional themes, illness.
    • Rating: PG

    Alpha (2018)

    • Synopsis: A prehistoric epic adventure of a young man and a wolf who become unlikely allies during the last Ice Age.
    • Top Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela.
    • Trigger Warnings: Survival themes, animal peril, Wild animal deaths are depicted but the wolf does not die.
    • Rating: PG-13

    White Fang (2018)

    • Synopsis: A loyal wolfdog’s curiosity leads him on the adventure of a lifetime in this animated adaptation of Jack London’s classic novel.
    • Top Cast: Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Paul Giamatti.
    • Trigger Warnings: Animal peril, some intense scenes.
    • Rating: TV-PG

    Iron Will (1994)

    • Synopsis: A young man enters a dog-sled race in hopes of saving his family’s farm.
    • Top Cast: Mackenzie Astin, Kevin Spacey, David Ogden Stiers.
    • Trigger Warnings: Perilous situations, intense competition scenes.
    • Rating: PG

    Eight Below (2006)

    • Synopsis: A thrilling story of survival, involving a scientific expedition in Antarctica and a team of sled dogs.
    • Top Cast: Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood.
    • Trigger Warnings: Animal peril, harsh survival conditions.
    • Rating: PG

    Max (2015)

    • Synopsis: A military dog from Afghanistan is adopted by his late handler’s grieving family in the U.S.
    • Top Cast: Thomas Haden Church, Josh Wiggins, Luke Kleintank.
    • Trigger Warnings: War themes, emotional content.
    • Rating: PG

    I Am Legend (2007)

    • Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic world, a lone survivor and his dog search for a cure to the virus that annihilated humankind.
    • Top Cast: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan.
    • Trigger Warnings: Intense sequences, frightening scenes, dog death.
    • Rating: PG-13

    Prey (2022)

    • Synopsis: From the Predator film series, this horror-thriller centers on a young Comanche woman’s struggle to be seen as a warrior. And while not exactly about a dog, Naru’s faithful canine sidekick plays an important role in her fight against a powerful foe.
    • Top Cast: Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Coco the rescue dog
    • Trigger Warnings: Intense violence, horror elements.
    • Rating: R

    dog movies

    Get Ready for Doggy Date Night

    Now, you’ve got the menu planned and the movies ready to stream. Don’t forget your outfit! And what will your pup wear? Will the two of you get comfy in pajamas, or perhaps you’ll get a little fancy and dress your dog in a cute new ensemble?

    How about getting matchy? SparkPaws matching hoodie sets come in eight sizes, while the human options come in five sizes. You and your dog can be twinsies no matter what breed or size they are. The fabric is stretchable with a soft fleece interior, and the color selections are insanely cute. Plus, the dog sweatshirts come with a leash hole on the back, so you can easily go for a movie potty break!

    Spark Paws Matching Human and Dog Apparel
    • Matching human and dog sweatshirts
    • Made with a soft fleece interior
    • Machine-washable but should be hung to dry
    • Comes in a variety of sizes for humans and dogs

    As the credits roll on your chosen canine cinematic experience, and your four-legged friend snoozes contentedly by your side, you’ll realize that Doggy Date Night is more than just a fun evening; it’s a celebration of the bond between you and your beloved pup. Sharing a home-cooked meal that delights both your palates, laughing and sighing at the antics of on-screen pups, and simply enjoying each other’s company – these are the moments that enrich our lives and deepen our connections with our furry companions.

    So, whether it’s Beethoven‘s boisterous adventures or the heartwarming journey of Homeward Bound that you choose, remember: every doggy date night is an opportunity to express your love, appreciation, and the joy of being together. Here’s to many more evenings filled with tail wags, happy licks, and movie magic!

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