Icy Dog Treats to Beat the Summer Heat
Summer is synonymous with icy treats such as popsicles, a warm weather staple that stirs many a memory. Sharing traditions with our pets is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Why not create a sweet one-on-one moment with your favorite pooch? Soaking up the sun requires hydration.
Placing a bowl of water in front of your dog during the hot summer months isn’t always enough. Sometimes, their hydration needs a little boost. As a general rule, dogs should have about one ounce of water per pound of body weight. Supplementing a frozen treat intermittently may be exactly what your dog needs. Add bits of ice or freeze up some icy treats for your pet to keep them hydrated in the hot sun. Watermelon is 92% water and makes an excellent, healthy sweet treat for your pet. With such high water content, you know your pet will stay hydrated all day.
How to Make Pupsicles for Your Dog
We love to spoil our furry friends with our frozen treats, but consider the amount of calories, sugar and fat in them. Homemade popsicles are an excellent alternative to store bought ice cream and frozen yogurt. Excessive sugar has been linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, liver issues and tooth decay in dogs.
Fun Fact: You do not need a recipe to make pupsicles!
Simply fill a paper cup or popsicle mold halfway with water, coconut milk or chicken broth. Drop in your dog’s favorite fruits and veggie chunks from this dog food list until the molds rise to the top. Then freeze molds thoroughly.
If you want to eliminate chunks, simply blend 2-3 of these foods with one of the liquids until smooth. Don’t forget nutrient rich peanut butter. A favorite for most dogs. Keep the fun going with edible popsicle sticks such as carrots, dog biscuits or healthy store bought treats.
Try swapping out dairy based treats with healthy low sugar options made with real fruit and veggies.
Decoding snack labels is time-consuming and tricky. As your dog’s advocate you’re the only one who can eliminate all those questionable ingredients. Sweeteners like maltodextrin, polydextrose and sorbitol are not fully understood. Dog-safe fruits and vegetables will always be best for their well-being.
Fruits and vegetables contain a generous amount of vitamins and minerals essential for your dog’s daily health. They serve as an excellent source of water helping to hydrate and regulate all their essential needs. It’s highly unlikely your dog will protest eating chunks of fresh food bundled up in a frozen sweet treat.
Dogs have a different digestive system than humans.
It’s vital to know exactly all the ingredients in everything you feed your dog. Smart snacking begins with being aware of all the ingredients. When you are craving ice cream on a sweltering day, keep strolling pass the freezer aisle. Our frozen treats we buy at the grocery store are not the healthiest choice for your pup. They most likely contain ingredients not suitable for your dog, although may taste yummy to both pup and pawrent.
Xylitol is a food additive that has been increasingly popping up. Commonly used as a sugar substitute in some brands of ice cream, it is not safe for dogs to eat. The cases of xylitol poisoning, over the past five years in dogs, have increased by 230 percent. Small amounts can cause hypoglycemia and even serious liver damage. Unfortunately it can be advertised as naturally sweetened since it is plant derived and therefore it will not always be listed on the ingredient list.
Most dogs absolutely adore cow’s milk, but cow’s milk doesn’t always love dogs back. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs’ bodies are not designed to digest cow’s milk after they’re weaned. When pups no longer need their mom’s milk, right around 4 weeks old it’s reported they stop producing lactase. This is an enzyme that breaks down lactose, a sugar in cow’s milk. In varying amounts undigested milk in a dog’s large intestine can leave your dog feeling fatigued or even very sick. They may experience belly pain, gas, vomiting or diarrhea.
Chillin’ in the Summer Breeze Never Tasted so Great.
On those hot days of Summer our pets need energy to run around and remain super active. While they are burning off their excess dog zoomies energies, you can be making them a cool treat straight from the freezer. Hand crafted doggie popsicles are a super easy way to make summertime memories last and is a nutritious snack you can feel confident sharing with your fur baby.
The next time you and your dog are howling for some ice cream on a hot day choose a healthier option for both of you. Help your dog soak up the Summer sun in a safe and healthy manner. Now get out there and melt your dog’s heart one pupsicle at a time.
Article by: Sarah Ihrig
Meyers, Harriet. “Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 22 Jan. 2021.
Staff, AKC. “Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can or Can’t Eat.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 24 Mar. 2022.
Staff, Writer. “How Much Water Should My Dog or Cat Drink?” Emancipet, 23 July 2021.
Staff, Writer. “How to Make Dog Popsicles.” Forever Vets, 14 Apr. 2021.
Staff, Writer. “Paws off Xylitol; It’s Dangerous for Dogs.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, 7 July 2021.