With hot summer days upon us, we look for frozen treats like ice cream to help us cool off. Dogs enjoy frozen treats too, but no sugar please. Here are some tips to cool down your pooch.
Purchase some ice cube trays in different colors and/or shapes than the ones you use for yourself. Cupcake pans and cupcake papers and small plastic cups work well too.
Keep the broth from chicken, beef, turkey making sure they are cooked with low or no sodium. Fruit juices with no added sugar and plain yogurt are good additives or use them by themselves. Baby foods such as vegetables and fruits work well, just check that they have no additives and no salt or sugar. Or you can puree your own fruits and vegetables. Shredded tuna, salmon or other fish, peanut butter, shredded pieces of meat, chicken, canned dog food, all can be added to treats. Some can be used on their own.
You can mix and match your dog’s favorites according to what goes well together. Freeze your mixtures in the ice cube trays, cups or pans. Rubbing a tiny, tiny bit of oil like canola oil along the insides of the containers helps with easy removal. Allowing the trays, etc. to sit at room temperature for a minute or so will do the trick too.
Here are some examples of treats:
Broth with little pieces of chicken or meat
Shredded water-packed tuna in yogurt with a bit of sweet potato or pumpkin
Pureed vegetables in broth
Fresh fruit pureed or cut in small pieces and mixed in fruit juice or yogurt
Peanut butter with small pieces of carob – no chocolate as it is poisonous to pets
NOTE – Never use any food with the sugar substitue Xylitol. Xylitol is poisonous to pets.
Feeding your dog ice cubes can get messy. If it’s too hot to go outdoors you can teach your dog to enjoy the treats in a special area. Or find a shady spot outside and forget about the mess.