As a pet parent, you probably love spoiling your dog with a tasty treat every now and again. Unfortunately, giving your dog treats can have big consequences for our planet. In the US alone, 300 million pounds of pet food and treat bags are manufactured annually, with 99% of those bags being non-recyclable. This means they will eventually end up in the landfill, contributing to plastic pollution in our oceans and earth.
The good news is that when it comes to DIY dog treats, you can save on plastic and waste and select healthier whole food ingredients than premade alternatives. Here are some of our favorite summer dog treats that your furry friends can enjoy without increasing their carbon pawprint. Read on to discover the best-frozen dog treat recipes.
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Treats?
Just like humans, dogs appreciate a cold treat on a hot day. Unlike most humans, dogs actually enjoy eating frozen treats all year round - even in the winter! In fact, frozen dog treats are a great form of mental enrichment for your pup. Frozen dog treats also help them slow down when eating, allowing them time to enjoy the flavor.
How to Make Frozen Dog Treats
Treating your dog to a frozen treat doesn't need to be difficult or time-consuming. Plenty of easy frozen dog treat recipes feature fresh fruits and other ingredients you probably already have at home. However, there are some important things to consider before getting started.
Be sure to avoid ingredients that are harmful to dogs. These include macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, onions, and chocolate. Additionally, check ingredients to ensure they are free of artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol.
To make your dog a frozen treat, you'll need a blender or food processor and something to hold and shape the treats during freezing. This can be a simple ice cube tray, popsicle molds, paper cups, silicone molds, edible sticks, and popsicle sticks.
After freezing the treats, you'll need to store them in the freezer in a reusable air-tight freezer container, which is a more eco friendly choice than a zip lock plastic freezer bag.
Beware of Ice
While many dogs love to chew ice cubes, this can be potentially hazardous, especially for aggressive chewers. Chewing too hard can break the ice, leading to a broken tooth or other forms of oral pain. In their excitement, your dog may also want to swallow the whole treat at once, which can pose a choking hazard. Always supervise your dog when eating frozen treats.
Don't Overdo It
While frozen dog treats can be healthy snacks, it's still best to limit the number of treats your pup eats to only 10 percent of their daily dietary intake. This is especially true when using ingredients like peanut butter and frozen yogurt which can be high in calories and fat as these can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
The Best Homemade Frozen Dog Treats
These five easy homemade frozen dog treat recipes are all made with dog-safe ingredients your dog will love.
Ice Cube Treats for Dogs
Start by choosing any of your dog’s favorite dog-safe ingredients: apples, watermelon, pineapple, peaches, cantaloupe, bananas, plain yogurt or kefir, coconut milk, cooked or baked sweet potato, cooked vegetables, peanut butter, and/or canned or cooked fish, meat, or poultry.
Next, combine the ingredients using a food processor until you've created a thin puree. Pour the puree into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, place the frozen dog treats into a freezer-safe storage container.
Frozen Pupsicles on a Stick
These frozen dog treats will surely be a favorite for your furry friend on a hot summer day. Start by slicing some bananas and freezing them. Once frozen, mix the banana slices with some spoonfuls of plain yogurt using a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth base with a milkshake-like texture. Feel free to add other ingredients your dog will love, including bacon bits. Once you've finished blending everything, pour the mixture into ice pop molds or a paper cup. Insert a “stick," such as a bone-shaped dog biscuit or any other stick-shaped, edible chew, in the middle and freeze.
Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
Peanut butter and banana ice cream is an excellent way to cool down when trying to beat the heat. You'll need 1 banana, 2 Tbsp peanut butter, and 2 Tbsp plain yogurt. Dice up a ripe banana and freeze it for at least 4 hours. Once frozen, place the banana slices, peanut butter, and yogurt in a food processor and mix until smooth. Freeze mixture again until solid to serve in scoops, or serve immediately.
Carrot Yogurt Frozen Dog Treats
This is one of our favorite healthy and tasty frozen treats for dog owners to make. You'll need shredded cooked carrots and plain yogurt. If your dog is allergic to dairy, use water, bone broth, or chicken broth instead of yogurt. Blend the ingredients until smooth. Next, pour them into silicon molds or ice cube trays, leaving space at the top to allow them to expand as they freeze. Let them freeze for at least four hours or until they are hard. It's the perfect dog treat to enjoy on a warm day!
Frozen Watermelon Dog Treats
Nothing says summer like watermelon. Not only does watermelon help prevent dehydration, but it's also packed with Vitamin A and C. Just be sure to remove any seeds and the rind before letting your dog indulge. You'll need one cup of watermelon and 3-4 small dog treats to make this easy treat. Cut your deseeded watermelon into cubes and blend until smooth using a food processor. Pour the mixture into your ice cube tray or mold. Break your dog food treats into small pieces and add them to the tray. Pop them into the freezer so that they freeze. Once frozen, they make one of the most refreshing sweet treats for dogs.
Sustainable Treats for Your Dog
If DIY projects aren't for you, no worries. Here are some eco-friendly dog treats your doggo can enjoy all year round:
Upcycled Dog Treats
These Upcycled Dog Treats are packed in aluminum cans for easy recycling! Made with human-grade ingredients, they're a healthy treat for your furry friend to enjoy without contributing to plastic pollution.
Fish Jerky Dog Treats
Insect Based Dog Treats
Vegan Dog Treats
Feel good about saying no to animal proteins and give your pup all the nutrients in these treats PACKED to the max with veggies.
Glass Jar Goodness
These Peanut Butter & Banana treats come in a glass jar and are made with 100% natural ingredients. They feature zero-waste packaging and are free from artificial preservatives, chemicals, or hormones. Yum!
Treat your Pup to these Easy Frozen Dog Treats Today
Get started with these easy frozen dog treats your furry friend will love this summer and beyond.