With temperatures rising, we all find ourselves reaching for ice-cold drinks and frozen treats to cool down after a day in the sun. Which may have you looking for frozen dog treats to cool Fido down, too.
Because let’s face it, in the dog days of summer, we’re all looking for ways to have fun, stay safe, and cool off. What’s more, frozen dog treats can provide a great source of mental stimulation to keep your dog occupied on long days stuck inside. So today we’re going to cover a fun topic, frozen dog treats!
You’ll find the answers to your burning questions, like Can dogs have ice cream? And Is ice cream bad for dogs? As well as some ideas for frozen dog treat recipes.
I think you’ll be surprised about just how many human foods are safe for dogs that can be popped into the freezer for an extra fun, engaging, and cold treat.
Frozen Dog Treats
When the temperature outside gets hot, it’s important to monitor your dog for signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration. The most effective ways to cool your dog down are with shade, air conditioning, swimming (or standing) in cool water, and lots of extra water to drink. However, cold treats definitely have their place, too.
In addition to using frozen dog treats to help your dog beat the heat, they can make for a highly engaging and stimulating activity no matter the season.
Dog-Safe human food you can freeze
A lot of dog owners are surprised when they find out just how many human foods are safe for dogs. Simply cutting these foods up into treat-sized bites and popping them in a freezer is the fastest way to a frozen dog treat.
To do this, first, freeze your bite-sized pieces or slices on a cookie sheet and then bag them up. This prevents them from sticking together and makes it easy to grab a handful. You can add a dab of peanut butter or plain yogurt to the top of each treat to up the yum-factor.
You can take it a step further by freezing diced, chopped, or pureed human food into larger shapes to create a dog-safe, frozen chew that will keep them busy for a while. You can do this by freezing forms in a muffin tin, with this fun dog treat baking mold, or just free-forming stick shapes by arranging them tightly on a cookie sheet.
You can experiment with freezing raw human foods or steaming them first to get a mushier consistency (which can be better for freezing in some cases).
Human-safe foods that are perfect for frozen dog treats:
- Green Beans
- Plain yogurt (great for frozen drops, or to help fruits stick together in a mold)
- Sweet potato
Stuffing (and freezing) your dog’s favorite toy
Another way to create a frozen treat for your dog is by filling the hollow center of a dog toy, like our treat chew toy, and popping it into the freezer. This makes the treat last longer and mentally engages your dog in a whole new way!
Some of our favorite frozen dog treat recipe fillings include:
- Mashed up banana
- Pureed pumpkin or sweet potato
- Wet dog food
- Yogurt mixed with diced fruit
- Peanut butter
- Peanut butter and banana
- Peanut butter and sweet potato
- Cooked oats and pureed pumpkin
- Beef or Chicken broth, simply use thick peanut butter as a stopper on either end
But feel free to get creative with any combination of dog-safe people food. Pop a combination in your food processor or blender, fill your treat, and freeze. Your dog will thank you!
Frozen dog treat recipes
To create your own fun frozen dog treats, you can use any of the mixture ideas listed above by simply freezing them in an ice cube tray, muffin tin, or another type of mold.
A couple of other ideas for frozen dog treat recipes:
- Pumpkin, yogurt, and peanut butter frozen dog treats – great for constipation! (full recipe here)
- Watermelon and coconut milk blended together – you may want to share this one
- Halved bananas topped with a thin layer of peanut butter
Can dogs have ice cream?
And the question on everyone’s mind when you think about dogs and frozen treats, can dogs have ice cream? The short answer, no. The local creamery will tell you otherwise with their fun doggie sundaes; however, experts say that ice cream really isn’t a great idea for your pup.
Dairy products (aside from plain yogurt because it’s low in lactose and is fermented) can lead to digestive upset in the form of gas, constipation, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The added sugar is also no friend to your dog. Too much added sugar can stress their digestive system and lead to weight gain. Certain flavors with lots of add-ins, like chocolate, also pose an added risk.
But, can dogs have vanilla ice cream?
If you are going to let your dog indulge in some ice cream (listen, I’ve been there), the best choice is plain frozen yogurt. The next best choice is the occasional, small serving of plain vanilla.
Frozen treats for all!
Now you AND your dog can enjoy some special frozen treats this summer (or any time of the year!). And even though you now know ice cream is bad for dogs, there are a ton of great alternatives for spoiling your dog right in this article.
So whip up a pumpkin and yogurt puree, freeze it in a bone mold and treat your dog to something frozen and delicious.
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