With summer and the warmer weather here, it is important that your dog does not get overheated. Brachycephalic (smooshed face) breeds and breeds with thick hair coats can be at an especially high risk of overheating in the hot months. This may make you wonder “What can I give my pup to cool down?” There are many fun treats that you can make at home for your dog to keep him cool and happy!
Before heading to the kitchen, there are a few ingredients you should always avoid when baking for your pets. NEVER put xylitol (an artificial sweetener that can sometimes be found in peanut butter), raisins, grapes, or chocolate in your dogs’ treats!
The following are 5 easy at home frozen treat recipes you can make for your dog to help cool down this summer:
1.) Peanut Butter and Fruit Freezies
- 1 cup berries (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries)
- ¼ cup water
- A few tablespoons of peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol (check the label!)
- Wash and clean fruit (cut tops off strawberries)
- Puree fruit in a blender with water
- Place fruit puree in an ice cube tray or silicone mold, filling ¾ of the way
- Add a small amount of peanut butter to each mold
- Freeze until completely frozen
2.) Fruit and Yogurt Freezies
- 1 cup fruit (berries, apple, melon, banana, pineapple)
- Remember: NO GRAPES!
- 1 cup Greek or plain yogurt
- Clean and prep fruit – dice fruit to small pieces that will fit into the ice cube tray
- Place diced fruit into ice cube trays or silicone mold
- Fill mold with yogurt
- Freeze until completely frozen
3.) Cantaloupe Ice Cream
- 2 cups frozen, diced cantaloupe
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt
- Clean, dice and freeze cantaloupe
- Place cantaloupe into a food processor with yogurt and blend until smooth
- Serve frozen. Optional: top with some of your dogs’ kibble!
4.) Frozen Banana Bites
- 1 banana
- 1 ½ cups watermelon
- 1 cup pineapple
- Puree watermelon and pineapple
- Slice banana
- Place banana into silicone mold or ice cube tray
- Fill mold to top with the watermelon/pineapple puree
- Freeze until solid
5.) Frozen Kong
- A Kong toy can provide hours of entertainment for a dog and it can be filled with many different types of ingredients. Pre-made cheese-like aerosol products or peanut butter can be used to fill the Kong and then freeze, or you can make your own delicious mixture! Following are a few examples:
- Cheese Kong: 1 cup of boiled potato, ½ cup plain cottage cheese, ½ cup low-fat cheese
- Fruit Kong: 1 banana, 1 cup yogurt, 1 tsp. honey
- Chicken and carrot Kong: 1 cup cooked sweet potato, handful of shredded, boiled chicken, handful of cooked carrots, 1 tbsp. yogurt
Remember, give treats in moderation to avoid excessive calories. Pet owners should also know that eating a large amount of food too fast can lead to bloating and abdominal pain. Also, some dogs can be very sensitive to eating new things like yogurt and this can lead to upset stomach (vomiting and diarrhea). Any concerns about your pet’s health should be addressed with your family veterinarian. If you find other online homemade dog treat recipes, please consult with your family veterinarian before giving to your dog to ensure all ingredients are safe.
We hope your pet enjoys these tasty treats and stays cool this summer!