Have you noticed your overheated canine licking his chops and staring longingly at that bowl of ice cream you’re indulging in? Although some pet parents are totally comfortable giving their pooches a bit of people food, all the added sugar in ice cream can be awful for your pup’s health… and some sweeteners could even be deadly!
Luckily, it’s not too difficult to make some sweet treats that your pup can enjoy safely – and they’re frozen, so they’re perfect for hot summer days!
Basically a popsicle for dogs (but without the stick), there are many variations of the pupsicle, from fancy to basic. You can splurge on all organic everything and cute ice cube trays shaped like paw prints or bones, or you can just use your standard ice cube tray and work with whatever you have in your fridge. A good rule of thumb is, if your pooch likes it, it freezes, and it’s safe for them, it can be made into a pupsicle! The possibilities are endless! Some good places to start are…
The sweet – yogurt and blueberries make a yummy treat!
The savory – freeze different kinds of broth and see which your dog prefers! Is he a chicken or beef kind of guy?
The Elvis – peanut butter and bananas are a classic combination for a reason!
2. The ice block treasure hunt
This treat is more meat-y than sweetie, and it takes a bit of advanced planning, but it’s worth it – especially if you need to keep your pooch occupied for a while! Find a large Tupperware container and fill it with chicken or beef broth, treats, and large dog toys… then pop the whole thing in the freezer overnight! The next day, you’ll have a giant tasty ice block full of toys! Your dog will love to enjoy this treat on a hot day and unearth his favorite toys with as he does so. Get creative based on things you know your pup already likes (some pup parents have even added cans of dog food to the mix!) but carefully evaluate each item just in case it could pose a choking hazard.
3. Ice cream
You have a ton of options when it comes to doggie ice cream. If you’re in a rush, you could pick up some Frosty Paws from your supermarket, or some Pooch Creamery from places like Petco and Chewy. Our strategic partnership consultant, Michelle, gives her pooches Harriet and Lloyd Frosty Paws and Yoghund. But if you have the time, why not make your own? Just blending together some frozen diced cantaloupe or watermelon and plain yogurt will create a yummy treat your pooch will enjoy.
Don’t worry if you’re in a time crunch or you ran out of your usual frozen goodies - you don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to treats. Dogs are easy to please, and lots of pups will be content just to chow down on a bowl of simple ice cubes! This is a great way to keep your pooch hydrated. Karen, our director of marketing, gives her pup Phoebe ice to crunch on often!
Keep in mind, some pups are sensitive to lactose; if that sounds like your pooch, steer clear of dairy-based yogurts and maybe give coconut yogurts a try instead. Also, be sure to check those ingredient lists – xylitol might sweeten things nicely for us humans, but it can be toxic to dogs. If you’re ever unsure about what foods are safe to give your pup, don’t hesitate to check in with your vet.
As with any treat, take care that you’re monitoring your pup and make sure you’re letting your pup indulge in moderation. Some of these melty treats can make quite a mess, so you may want to give them to your pup in an easy-to-clean spot, like your deck or backyard.
We hope these treats will bring your pup some sweet relief this scorcher of a summer! Do you have any tried-and-true recipes for treats that your pooch can’t get enough of? Share them with us in the comments below!