When the heat of summer hits, there are few things we enjoy more than a scoop of our favorite ice cream to cool us down. Why should us humans have all the ice cream to ourselves, that hardly seems fair, right? Before you hand your pooch a scoop of the good stuff, spare a thought for the high sugar content and additives; our delectable freezer goodies aren’t always suited to a dog’s diet. Sometimes, human ice creams even contain ingredients that you should never, ever give to your dog.
That’s no reason for the dog days of summer to be a drag – making your very own, homemade summer dog treats is an easy and great way to keep your dog cool in the hot weather. Give one of these tasty dog treat recipes a try! Not only do these treats take mere minutes to make, they’re healthy and will set your pooch’s tongue lolling and tail wagging!
Peanut Butter & Jam Frozen “Toasts”
Peanut butter and jam is one of those classics we’ve all enjoyed as a child. (Who are we kidding, we still do today!) But more than a comfort food inspired snack, it’s a delightful flavor combination that’s perfectly safe for your dog to enjoy too. Using natural peanut butter (if you’ve ever wondered if peanut butter is safe for dogs to eat, give our advice here a read, and please be careful not to buy or use peanut butter that contains xylitol, as this is dangerous for dogs), these frozen beauties are a healthy treat for your dog.
• 1 cup of strawberries
• ¼ cup of water
• A few dollops of natural xylitol-free peanut butter (Xylitol is a sweetener sometimes found in peanut butter that is toxic to dogs.)
• Wash your strawberries thoroughly and slice off the tops.
• Add your strawberries and water to the blender and whizz until you form a smooth puree.
• Pour the liquid into your ice cube trays and fill around ¾ of the way.
• Grab a teaspoon and add a small amount of the peanut butter into each slot.
• Pop your tray into the freezer and leave until completely frozen.
• Yum! Serve these delicious treats straight out of the freezer and watch your pup enjoy.
Breath Freshening Minty Freezies
This treat is a great breath freshener for your pooch since it contains parsley and mint. These herby-licious ingredients also have many other surprising health benefits, too. Parsley aids digestion, can reduce inflammation and is even thought to have cancer preventing properties. Mint is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral herb that will help prevent bacteria developing in your dog’s mouth. Whoever said treats had to be naughty?
• 1 cup of plain or Greek yogurt
• Small handful of fresh parsley leaves
• Small handful of fresh mint leaves
• Scoop your yogurt into a blender and add your parsley and mint leaves.
• Blend until the herbs are evenly spread throughout the mixture. At this point you can add a splash of water if you want to thin out your mixture to create a better pouring consistency.
• Fill your ice cube trays to the brim and pop them in the freezer.
• Freeze until solid and serve.
Coconut Drops for a Shiny Coat
Coconut oil is refreshing, delicious and comes with many natural health benefits for our pups. Not only will it improve your dog’s skin and coat making it silky smooth, it’s also said to protect our dogs from illness and helps speed up the healing process if they’re feeling under the weather. A luxurious, healthy boost for your warm pooch on a summer’s day.
• 1 cup of organic coconut oil
• A handful of blueberries/strawberries (optional)
• A teaspoon of honey (optional)
• Add your coconut oil to a bowl and place over a pan of boiled water.
• Wait until the coconut softens and shape into bite-sized balls or use a mold. *add optional ingredients
• Place them on a tray and put them in the freezer.
• Serve when hardened. Because coconut oil stays hard in cool temperatures, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container to save on freezer space.
These doggie S’mores are a delicious and safe BBQ treat for your pooch to enjoy all summer long. Rather than using chocolate (which is toxic for dogs), you can use carob which is similar to chocolate in taste and texture. Carob contains many healthy nutrients and can even help flush toxins from your dog’s body.
• Dog biscuits
• 1 cup of carob chips or 1 tablespoon of carob powder
• 1 cup of plain or Greek yogurt
• Throw your carob chips into a bowl and melt over boiled water. If you’re using carob powder, mix your powder directly into yogurt.
• Dip one side of your doggie biscuit into the carob mixture and place onto a tray.
• Place another biscuit on top to make a sandwich and repeat.
• Pop your tray into the freezer to harden and serve.