Temperatures are starting to heat up, and although it’s not too unbearable yet, we know hot weather is approaching! Now is a great time to gather ideas and recipes for one of the most delightful summer activities: making summer treats for your dog.
If you love to make things for your dog, but you’re short on ideas, never fear! West Park Animal Hospital has gathered some cool treats that are tasty, healthy, and fun for your dog.
You may already be familiar with this popular idea. Making a pupsicle begins with filling small Dixie cups or an ice tray with your dog’s favorite fillings. Simply add a small bone in the center (the “stick”) and freeze. The finished product looks like a popsicle – one that your dog will love! There are countless variations on this easy-to-prepare treat. Here are some of our favorites:
Chicken stock and parsley – Use low-sodium chicken stock mixed with water; add a small dog bone and freeze for 6 hours. Your dog will love the taste, and parsley is a nice breath freshener (though no match for tooth brushing!).
Greek yogurt and mint – Use a low-fat version of plain yogurt, and add some fresh mint leaves to create a refreshing snack for your dog.
Peanut butter and jam – Blend and freeze organic strawberries mixed with water. Add a dollop of peanut butter to your “stick” (make sure it’s xylitol free!).
Summer Treats for Your Dog
In addition to pupsicles, you can make any number of creative summer treats for your dog. Here are our top picks:
Toy cake – Fill a cake mold with water (or chicken broth), and add in your dog’s favorite toys. Freeze well. Your dog will have a cool treat that will entertain them for hours.
Frozen kong – Many dogs love these toys. Try adding water, chicken broth, wet dog food, fruit, or peanut butter to the inside and freeze. Your dog will enjoy spending hours getting to the cool treat inside.
Fruit drops – Dip fresh fruit in soy or low-fat greek yogurt, then freeze. These bites will definitely keep your small dog happy and cool, without adding too many calories.
Fruit and yogurt bites – Puree fruit in a blender, and add in a dollop of plain, low-fat yogurt. Mix together. Pour into ice cube trays or silicone molds and freeze.
For maximum enjoyment, allow 6 hours for most recipes to freeze well.
You can also try lots of different fruit and yogurt combinations. Don’t forget to wash all fruits, and remove any rinds, seeds, and peels before serving them to your dog.
Keep in Mind
The following fruits should not be given to dogs, as they may cause toxicity:
As with any treat, remember to account for the extra calories in your dog’s daily intake. You may need to adjust their regular meals, so as not to overdo it. Talk to us about your dog’s nutritional requirements if you have any questions.
Do you have other ideas for summer treats for your dog? If we missed your favorite, please give us a call, and let us know!