Summer rolls round every year and every year it means the same thing? Shorts, strappy tops, flip flops, ice-cream and chilled drinks. But what about your pets? What can you do to make summer a fun time for your dogs and cats? It’s easy. Give them lip-smacking summer treats.
There are a range of frozen summer treats you can make for dogs and cats that are not only lip-licking delicious but which will also help to keep your pets nice and cool and hydrated in the heat. Look online and you’ll find a range of frozen summer treat recipes that you can easily make in ice cube trays or cups and bowls. The recipes you’ll find are mostly for healthy, low fat treats made from ingredients that dogs and cats love, but which consider their waistlines.
One of the great things about most of these recipes is that you can switch ingredients based on your pet’s personal tastes. The recipes can also serve as inspiration, so you can come up with your own ideas for your pets.
We’re going to take a look at some of the best and most popular summer treats for dogs and cats. We’ve chosen frozen treats only to maximize the cool factor and to save you from spending time in the kitchen with a hot oven.
Meatsicles by Marisa (writing for Offbeat Home & Life)
- 2 cups cooked meat/poultry/fish
- ¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt
- Parsley, chopped (or fennel fronds)
- 1 carrot, cooked and mashed (can use peanut butter instead, just make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol)
- 3 T olive oil
Mix everything together and place in ice cube trays to freeze. If you have puppies, kittens or small-breed pets, use a teaspoon to drop smaller portions on a lined baking sheet and freeze.
Doggy ice-cream (or pupsicles) by Kara Philp (writing for Desert Living Today)
- 2 ripe bananas
- 680 – 900 ml (24 – 32 oz) plain yogurt
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 T honey
- ¼ cup water
Mix all ingredients and pour into ice cube trays or muffin pans or cupcake cases and freeze.
If you like a bit of flourish, you can top the treats with some grated cheese or sliced fruit and then freeze.
You can make a savory version by using chicken broth instead of plain water and replacing the yogurt with mashed sweet potato or pumpkin (you can use baby food for convenience).
Cheesy burger pops by Kolchak (writing for Kol’s Notes)
- 2 heaped T cooked ground beef (crumbled hamburger patties)
- 1 heaped T grated cheese
- 2 – 3 T low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
Place ½ teaspoon of ground beef into each cube of an ice cube tray and top with grated cheese. Pour some broth over the mix and freeze.
Seafood ice-cream for cats by Sara (writing for Petmate)
- 1 small tub of plain yogurt
- 1 tin of tuna (salmon, chicken or your cat’s favorite wet food)
- Dried catnip (optional)
Drain the tuna and combine with the yogurt and catnip. Place the mixture in an ice cube tray and freeze.
Frozen Kong Treats
Kongs are great interactive feeding toys or treat dispensers at the best of times, but in summer you can make them even better by stuffing them with goodies and sticking them in the freezer. Some frozen Kong blended treat recipes include:
- Plain yogurt and mashed banana
- Chicken broth and shredded chicken
- Plain yogurt and fruit pieces
- Chicken broth and carrots
- Chicken broth and kibble (or biscuit treats)
- Yogurt, peanut butter and mashed banana
- Low-fat cream cheese and shredded chicken or dried liver treats
- Frozen egg: blend eggs, shells and all, and place in ice cube trays and freeze.
- Frozen watermelon: Simply freeze pieces of water melon and feed to beat the heat.
- Coconut drops: Soften coconut oil, place drops on a tray and freeze.
- Buttermilk drops: Freeze small portions of buttermilk (or soy yogurt) for variety.
Don’t forget your other pets in summer. Birds also enjoy a frozen treat or two, including frozen fruit juice with fruit slices, and a frozen combination of yogurt, mashed fruit, peanut butter and honey.
Notes for summer treats:
- If your pet is lactose intolerant, use soy options instead of diary.
- Make sure peanut butter is low-salt and xylitol-free.
- Unless you are using portions of your pet’s meals as frozen treats, remember that treats should only make up 10% of their daily nutritional intake.