There's nothing like cooling off with an ice cream cone on a sticky hot day. And our canine friends are no different — they too love to lick and enjoy frozen dog treats. From the puppy cones you get at the snack counter or the Mr. Softee truck to DIY frozen dog treats you make in your kitchen, there are countless ways to offer your pet a refreshing treat when the weather turns warm.
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And by making your own doggie snacks at home, you can ensure the quality of the ingredients and focus on your pet's particular palate. Whether your dog loves peanut butter, pumpkin, yogurt, or likes to lick his way through a block of frozen cottage cheese to find the tasty square of cheddar in the middle, DIY frozen dog treats are easy to make — just mix and freeze.
But before you offer too many frozen puppy treats, know that these special snacks shouldn't make up the bulk of your animal's diet, as too many can lead to overeating and obesity. As a rule, whether you're serving cheese dog treats or other ice treats for dogs, these extras should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog's total daily diet.
Peanut-y yogurt cubes
Place 1/3 cup peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for one to two minutes or until melted. Add 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk and 1 cup water and stir until blended. Return the bowl to the microwave for another minute or two. Stir until smooth. Add 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt and mix well. Spray an ice cube tray with non-stick cooking spray and then pour the mixture into the tray and freeze. Offer one or two of these homemade frozen dog treats on a hot day for a tasty, high-protein snack.
Cheese 'n' cheddar bites
Wondering if you can freeze cottage cheese? You definitely can when you're making DIY frozen dog treats. Most dogs love cheese of all kinds, plus this icy snack is high in protein. To make it, spoon nonfat cottage cheese into ice cube trays or small paper cups. Sink a small square of cheddar cheese in the center of each and freeze. The recommended serving is one ice cube for small to medium dogs and two for larger dogs (but don't offer this homemade frozen dog treat to your pup if he's lactose-intolerant).
Yogurt and squash cups
Canned pumpkin is a smart pantry staple to have on hand when you're ready to make frozen dog treats. Blend 1 cup of canned pumpkin with 1 cup of nonfat plain yogurt and then spoon the mixture into small paper cups and freeze. When ready to serve, peel away the paper covering. This is a low-fat treat that's ideal for pups who need an extra dose of fiber — and most dogs love the taste of pumpkin.
A super easy ice treat for dogs can be made by filling a Kong toy with fresh or frozen veggies. Fill your pet's rubber toy with green beans, broccoli pieces, or cauliflower florets and then freeze it. Or you can scoop some wet dog food or peanut butter into a toy and freeze this option. Either way, your dog can lick and chew the tasty filling as the contents of the toy melt.
Fruity yogurt squares
Don't forget the fruit aisle when shopping for ingredients to make homemade frozen dog treats. You might try cubes of cantaloupe, watermelon, or sliced bananas blended with low-fat plain yogurt. Thin the mixture as needed with a bit of water and then freeze portions of it in large ice cube molds or small paper cups. Remove the paper before serving or pop out one or two for your dog when the temps soar.