Frozen & Fun Dog Treats for Hot Summer Days
As the dog days of summer start to heat up, many pet parents look for ways to keep their dogs cool. Why not try making some frozen dog treats for summer fun with your pup? Frozen treats not only let you experiment in the kitchen, but they may help prevent dehydration and keep your pooch entertained.
Once you gather some healthy treat ingredients and clear out space in the freezer, the possibilities are almost endless. Investing in some silicone ice cube trays and ice pop moulds allows you to change the size and design of your frozen treats. Both can be filled with a variety of fruits, yoghurt, mashed dog food or peanut butter that you can combine in your blender with a little water. Always ask your veterinarian before trying a new treat recipe, and make sure treats make up no more than about 10 percent of your dog's daily food.
Some low sodium or salt free chicken, beef or vegetable broth frozen in ice cubes makes a great treat that's fun to chase across the floor. You can even put some of these tasty cubes in water or dry food to encourage your dog to drink more.
Mashed bananas mixed with a little bit of yoghurt can become frozen banana snacks when spooned into an ice cube tray. For even more fun, place the banana cube inside a treat holder toy and watch that tail wag away as your pet licks and chews their way to a refreshing snack.
Cooling Down Too Fast?
When cooling down your dog, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The AKC recommends giving only small amounts of water at a time after a dog has exerted a lot of energy to avoid consuming too much at a time, which can in some cases be regurgitated back up.
This is where plain old ice cubes become the best homemade dog treat. Place a few ice cubes in your dog's water bowl, and after they have licked the ice cubes for a few minutes you can fill the bowl with fresh, cold water. It is best to use crushed ice cubes, as veterinary dentists find that ice cubes can cause tooth fractures in dogs from chewing on the ice.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) lists citrus fruits, the sweetener xylitol, avocado and tree nuts as people foods that aren't good for pets, so keep those ingredients out of your homemade summer dog treats. In most cases, peanut butter and dairy in small amounts will not likely create a digestive disaster. However, if your dog has digestive problems you want to make sure the ingredients in your summer treats don't irritate their digestive system.
When looking at possible ingredients for homemade dog treats, check with your vet to be sure the ingredients won't affect any of your dog's current health issues. If you're not sure about homemade goodies, some regular dog treats (or some canned dog food) frozen in water-filled ice cube trays will keep your dog busy and cool.
As you create frozen dog treats for summer, share your favourite recipes and ideas with your friends so the other pups in your neighbourhood can keep cool all summer long.
Chrissie Klinger is a pet parent that enjoys sharing her home with her furkids, two of her own children and her husband. Chrissie enjoys spending time with all her family members when she is not teaching, writing or blogging. She strives to write articles that help pet owners live a more active and meaningful life with their pets.