On those hot, sunny days of the summer season, few things in life feel as good as a spoonful of ice cream or a sweet popsicle. While these treats are unsuitable for cats and dogs, you can still keep your pets cool and fresh by preparing the easy recipes below.
Basic advice about pet treats
In general, treats shouldn’t represent more than 10% of your pet’s calorie intake and should always be calculated in the total day’s energy requirements. If your pet has dietary sensitivities, please speak with your veterinary team about appropriate treats. Before giving your pet any food, always make sure to check the ingredient list for xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs.
Frozen treats recipes for dogs
Tasty frozen broth cubes
Simply pour homemade low-sodium beef or chicken broth into an ice cube tray and leave in the freezer. For added tastiness, drop one of your dog’s favourite treats inside each cube before freezing. Your dog will enjoy the surprise as he finishes licking or munching on each cube!
Plain frozen yogurt
While dairy products can be a common source of food intolerance in dogs, for those without dietary sensitivities, plain yogurt can be easy to digest and a great source of protein, especially Greek yogurt. Simply pour into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Avoid artificially flavoured or sweetened brands, you can instead add in pureed fruit or crushed berries for extra flavour.
Frozen fruit and vegetables
Cut small pieces of fresh fruit like apples, bananas, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe or strawberries and blueberries and freeze on wax paper or inside a plastic container. You can also use frozen vegetables like green beans or peas, carrots and broccoli. If using a frozen vegetable mix, avoid those that contain onions, which are toxic to dogs. Also adapt the size of the piece of fruit or veggie according to your dog’s size, in order to prevent the risk of choking.
Frozen peanut-butter smeared chew toy
Make your dog’s favourite chew toy “extra chewable” by smearing it generously with peanut butter and freezing it. You can also do the same thing with a treat toy, adding an extra layer of surprise!
Frozen treats recipes for cats
Fabulous frozen fish snacks
Either mix canned tuna and some water, or puree plain sardines in a blender with water, and pour into an ice cube tray for freezing. Don’t let the fishy smell fool you: your cat will go crazy for these!
Frozen cat food balls
Open a can of your cat’s favourite wet food, mould spoonfuls into small balls and lay on a sheet of wax paper for freezing. Simply toss one or two to your cat during the hot summer season for a refreshing snack.
Meat-based frozen baby food
Simple meat-based baby food like pureed ham, turkey, chicken or beef can make a simple and tasty treat for your cat. Make sure to read the list of ingredients and stay away from products that contain onion, garlic and added sugars, sweeteners or salt, which are toxic or unhealthy for your cat. Also avoid flavours that mix meat and vegetables. Simply pour the content into an ice cube tray, freeze, and serve.
The easiest of frozen treats: ice!
Plain ice cubes may just be the greatest frozen treats for cats. Water is free and you always have it available. Ice cubes keep your cat hydrated, and their paws, moist and cool. And let’s not forget ice cubes slide, meaning they can be swiped at and chased around the house until they melt away. For added fun, drop a piece of cat treat in each cube prior to freezing.