When the heat is on, an iced treat is the perfect way to keep your cool. And while you enjoy your ice cream or crushed ice and mango smoothie, there’s no reason why your hot dog should miss out. We’re not saying feed your panting pooch a piece of your own human frozen treat, as many are not good for your dog. But it is super-easy to make frozen doggo treats that are perfect for keeping dogs cool in the heat.
Choose the right ingredients and you’ll have healthy canine appropriate frozen snacks that will be packed with nutritional goodness while helping your pup keep his cool.
To help get you started, here are 6 frozen dog treats to make this summer.
Keeping it Dog-Safe
Before you start, it’s important to know what ingredients are safe to use with your dog, and which are best left in the kitchen cupboard. You also want their dog treats to be tasty but not be too calorific, as you don’t want your pooch to pack on the pounds. Here are our top tips to making the best DIY treats that dogs love to eat:
- Always go for fresh dog-safe ingredients, including fruit and veg
- Be mindful of any food sensitivities or allergies your pet may have, as well as in case they are lactose intolerant and avoid trigger ingredients and find safer alternatives
- Read the label of any ingredients to ensure the sugar and fat content is not too high
- Also avoid any products which contain the sugar substitute, Xylitol, which can be toxic for dogs
- Whether they are DIY or store-bought, moderation is key when feeding your dog treats as you want to keep an eye on your pet’s weight and not overdo your dog’s diet. Too many homemade dog treats, on top of their daily food could soon see their weight creep up.
6 Frozen Dog Treats to Make
All of the following frozen dog treat recipes have been selected based on how easy they are to make and availability of ingredients as well as taste, nutritional value and appropriateness for dogs. A good tip is to batch make in advance and keep in the deep freeze, so you always have your homemade frozen dog treats to hand for your furry friend when the temperature rises.
1. Peanut and Banana Yogurt Pupsicles
Using everyday ingredients, these creamy and cooling dog popsicles are always a favorite dog treat recipe. And plain Greek yogurt creates an indulgent sweet treat without too many calories.
What you need: 1 large frozen banana, 2 tablespoons peanut butter (with no added sugar or salt), 2 tablespoons honey, carton of non fat plain yogurt. Food processor, ice pop molds (or small disposable cups work well), small rubber or plastic dog bones (to be used as the popsicle stick)
What to do: cut the banana into chunks and blast in the blender, along with the honey and peanut butter until smoothly blended. Now add the yogurt and blend for three minutes until you have the consistency of a thick milkshake. Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds (place the molds on a baking tray first), then pop the dog bones upright in the middle. Put the whole tray into the freezer for at least two hours or until the puppy popsicles are frozen solid and you have the ultimate banana dog treats.
2. Frozen Chicken Bites
With only three ingredients, these is such an easy recipe and the savory ice treats are packed with flavour. And while peanut butter and chicken may seem a weird combination, trust us, these healthy bites are set to become your pet’s all-time favorite frozen dog treats!
What you need: 1 cup of chicken broth/chicken stock, 1 cup dog-safe peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley plus silicone ice cube trays.
What to do: combine the peanut butter and chopped parsley in a bowl and then put to one side. (the parsley can also help to keep your dog’s breath fresh). Now pour the chicken broth or chicken stock into the ice cube tray, evenly filling up each cube reservoir to halfway then put the tray into the freezer for about an hour. Once set, spoon the peanut butter mixture into each cube to fill and place back in the freezer for several hours until frozen hard.
3. Fruity Frozen Dog Bones
If you like to make your own healthy smoothies, then making these super-cute frozen dog bones will be a breeze. You will need a bone shaped silicone mold tray but these are pretty easy to find. And we make a tray full of different dog-friendly ingredients to give your pet a choice of different cool flavors.
What you need: plain yogurt (non fat), unsweetened strawberries and blueberries, dog-appropriate peanut butter, water, food processor, silicone molds.
What to do: for versatility, why not make multiple flavors in one go: strawberry, blueberry and peanut butter.
For the blueberry smoothie bones, whisk together four ounces of yogurt with four ounces of water (you can add more yogurt if you want a creamier base). Now pour the yogurt mixture into some of the wells in your mold tray, filling to three-quarters before dropping in the blueberries whole.
For the strawberry frozen treats, make the base mixture then blend in your strawberries until smooth, and pour into the molds. Repeat this method for the peanut versions. Now put the whole bone-shaped silicone mold tray into the freezer until frozen solid and ready to serve.
4. Frozen Sweet Potato Dog Treat
Cold, sweet, and just a little bit savory – what’s not to love about this frozen dog treat recipe that’s perfect for the summer? And you can also substitute the sweet potato for pumpkin if that’s what your pooch would prefer. Top with a kibble and you have a frozen puppy cupcake full of meat flavor and goodness!
What you need: carton of fat free plain yogurt, honey, pureed sweet potatoes (or pumpkin, but if you use a can, make sure it is not pie filling as it will have added sugar). A handful of dog food kibble biscuits and an ice cube tray or mini muffin tin.
What to do: With a blender, whizz together the vegetable puree with the yogurt and a squeeze of honey and blend until really smooth. Pour the blended mixture into the wells of your ice cube or muffin tray. Pop a single kibble biscuit on to the top of each filled well and place into the freezer until nicely solid for a ready supply of delicious frozen ice treats for dogs.
For pumpkin dog treat recipe click here.
5. Fruity Soft Scoop
As a doggy alternative to ice cream, this not-so-frozen dog treat has the same lovely creamy texture your hot dog will love to lap up. And, as it is made from dog-safe fruits, it should give them a tasty nutritional boost too. We’ve used watermelon but you can substitute this with your pup’s favorite fruit.
What you need: watermelon (cut into bite-sized chunks, with the seeds removed), plain, unsweetened yogurt, coconut milk (optional)
What to do: spread the de-seeded watermelon chunks out on a cookie sheet or in a freezer bag so they remain separate and then pop into the freezer for around four hours until solid.
Once frozen, place the watermelon chunks into a blender with the yogurt (aim for around ¼ cup of yogurt for every two cups of fruit) and blend until really smooth and similar to ice cream. You can also add a little coconut milk if you need to thin the consistency out.
Serve straight away – either a portion to your dog in a bowl or use to fill a hollow rubber treat toy. You can also use the mixture to stuff a treat toy and freeze for a frozen treat that will keep them occupied for hours!
6. Peanut Butter and Jelly
Peanut butter and jelly may be a favorite for his human, and now the iconic P&J can be a safe frozen treat for your doggo too. Just don’t forget to use pet-safe peanut butter as it will have no added sugar or salt and will be xylitol-free.
What you need: good handful of fresh strawberries (stalks and leaves removed), peanut butter, water, silicone ice cube tray or novelty-shaped molds.
What to do: chop up the strawberries into small chunks and place in a bowl with a dash of water. Spoon this mixture into the wells of the mold or ice cube tray, until half full then pop into the freezer until set. Take the tray out of the freezer and fill the remaining space in each well with peanut butter and pop back into the freezer until frozen solid.
Another tasty alternative to the P&J is banana and peanut butter. Blend a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter and some unsweetened almond or coconut milk until you have a smooth, thick but pourable consistency. Now pour into your ice cube tray or mold and freeze for one of the best banana dog treats dogs love that is also vegan.
To learn more about foods that dogs can eat, check out our in-depth article here.