The Benefits of Frozen Dog Treats: Here Are a Few Recipes To Keep Them Cool
Summer days are here, and they sure are hot. While you keep cool outside with ice cream, popsicles, and ice-cold beverages, consider these frozen dog treats to keep your furry friend cool in the summer sun, too! Chances are, if they could talk, they’d thank you for it!
Are Frozen Treats Okay for My Dog?
Contrary to rumors on the internet that have been circulating the internet for years, giving your dog ice and other frozen treats is entirely okay. These rumors stated that by feeding ice to dogs, you ran the risk of causing harm to your pup, like bloat or heat-related issues. These rumors have since been debunked by professionals, thankfully, although most foods should be treated with a degree of caution.
It’s important to keep in mind the kind of eater your dog is. While most dogs like to lap ice and generally avoid chewing it, there are instances where some dogs chomp down on frozen goodies. If you’re giving your dog a frozen treat and you see them eating aggressively, you may consider allowing the treat to thaw some to avoid the chances of tooth damage. Apart from this, there aren’t any major downsides to giving your dog a nice frozen treat!
Many of the frozen treats you think about for people that are on the market, like ice cream and popsicles, aren’t healthy for your furry friend. That being said, there are plenty of alternatives that are easy to make at home!
Frozen Treat Ideas and Recipes
There are a ton of ways to give your dog an appropriate frozen treat, from ice cubes to full-on DIY frozen recipes. Take a look at some of what we’ve gathered for inspiration!
Ice Cubes, Plain and Simple
It’s no mystery that most pups love ice cubes. Frozen water is as good a treat as any to many pups, and they’ll love you for giving it to them. Pop a few cubes into their water dish to cool their water, or slide some across the floor to them, a fun little way to get some energy out as they chase the slippery treat.
As mentioned before, it’s important to keep in mind the dental needs of your pup. If they’re a chomper or have teeth issues, it’s best to avoid ice cubes, but that doesn’t keep them out of the running for all the other treats we’ve got listed here.
Ice Cubes, but Stuffed With Goodness
If your dog can eat ice cubes without risk, consider livening up the experience for them by making them different flavors! You can do this in a couple of ways. First, you can make the cubes out of a liquid other than ice. It’s safe to use things like sodium-free broths in whatever flavor your pup likes.
You can also add a chewy center by popping in a dog-safe piece of human food or even a chunk of one of their favorite meaty treats. Fill the ice cube tray halfway, and let the liquid freeze. Then, once frozen, add your treat and fill the tray completely, allowing the cubes to fully freeze before serving. What you get is a cool treat with a delicious morsel in the middle!
Refrigerated Treats They Already Love
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, or so they say. A simple recipe for success is to take the healthy treats your pooch already finds to be delicious and refrigerate them during the hotter months. Not quite a recipe, but still a way to make a cold treat for your pup!
Did you know that a number of fruits are safe for dogs to eat? While you can puree them, mix them with other ingredients, and do a number of things to make them exciting, fresh frozen fruit on its own is a wonderful treat for pups in the summer. Fruits to consider are banana chunks, cantaloupe, and blueberries.
The best fruit for such a treat, in our opinion, is seedless watermelon. Cut the watermelon into chunks, making sure to remove the seeds as you slice it. Then, freeze the chunks separately, making sure to keep them separated on a tray or a plate. If they’re frozen in a clump, they will stay in a clump until thawed! Then, when it gets hot out, pull some frozen chunks out and treat your pup to a frosty, sweet treat!
Frozen Peanut Butter in a Toy
There are plenty of wonderful toys on the market that turn treats into a rewarding little challenge for your pooch, like the Wild One Twist Toss. While these are normally filled with a room-temperature treat to munch on, did you know that it’s safe to freeze them with something even more delicious inside?
The Wild One Twist Toss is made out of natural rubber and is food-safe, and when frozen, doesn’t run the risk of cracking or shattering. Fill it up with peanut butter and pop it in the freezer for an hour. What you’ll get is an exciting treat for your pooch that is long-lasting and refreshing for those hot outdoor playdates! They’ll love the playtime they get out of the toy and the cool treat that it dispenses as they wrestle with it.
Just make sure to check the ingredients and never give your dog peanut butter with the ingredient xylitol.
Doggie Soft Serve
The American Kennel Club (AKC) provides a wonderful recipe for what they call soft-serve treats for your pup. These treats are a healthy alternative to real ice cream, which is something that your dog shouldn’t be eating, to begin with. To make these, follow the simplified steps below:
- Choose a dog-safe fruit to freeze. The AKC suggests soft fruits, like melons.
- Cut the fruit into smaller chunks and place it on a wax paper-lined baking sheet.
- Freeze for four hours.
- Remove the fruit and blend with yogurt until you’ve reached the desired consistency. The AKC recommends about a quarter cup of yogurt to two cups of fruit.
- If too soupy after blending, re-freeze!
This treat can be made in large quantities and kept frozen for later. Just like with peanut butter, you can stuff a toy with this mixture and re-freeze for a rewarding playdate later!
A fun fruit and peanut butter treat that’s easy to make as long as you have a blender and an ice cube tray. Blend your strawberries into a puree and fill an ice cube tray with the mix. Allow them to freeze for about four hours before removing them as treats!
Where does the peanut butter come in, you ask? After being removed from the tray, lather the top of the cube in peanut butter, making a small delicious treat that dogs or people can enjoy!
Want the taste without the work? Try these delicious snacks!
Cool Treats to Avoid
Even though ice cubes got the all-clear with caution, there are still some frozen treats that should be avoided for your pooch. A dog’s digestive system is different from that of a person’s, so care must be taken when considering feeding them human food. Avoid the following treats to ensure good health for your pup:
- Ice cream - Ice cream is a human food that should not be given to dogs. Dogs, believe it or not, are lactose intolerant, and ice cream is a rich dairy product that can wreak havoc on their digestive tract, causing nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Popsicles - While some popsicles could be okay for dogs, the general rule of thumb is to avoid them and to substitute them with one of the fresh frozen treats listed above. Popsicles can contain artificial sweeteners that are toxic to pups or could be made with food products that are as well, like macadamia nuts and raisins.
While ice cream is hard on a dog’s stomach, it is interesting to note that yogurt is okay for dogs to eat in moderation. Yogurt often contains beneficial probiotics for your pups, and there are a number of entirely dog-friendly yogurts available on the market today.
Cool Treats for a Hot Summer
Dogs are just like people, and they want to cool down in the summer sun just like we do. That might include a dip in the pool, a nice cold bowl of ice water, or quite possibly a delicious frozen treat. As you’ve read here, there are a number of easy ways to make delicious frozen treats at home for your pup that are healthy! Some that you might enjoy, too.
Remember, when the sun’s out and beating down on you and your furry friend, find some shade and cool off as needed with a nice frozen treat!
FACT or FICTION: Can Ice Harm Your Dog? The Truth Behind The Viral Story | I Heart Dogs
Best DIY Frozen Dog Treats | American Kennel Club
Fruits and Vegetables Your Pet Can Safely Eat | Avondale Animal Hospital
8 Homemade Frozen Dog Treats | The Dog People