Keep Your Agility Dogs Cool From the Inside Out
My dogs would do anything for a piece of ice…anytime of the year! So why give them anything else during the hot summer months? Because, it is fun to give them special treats while the rest of the family is enjoying their summer time treats. What else can you do for them? Well, here are some great ideas to keep your dog happy, healthy and cool throughout the heat of summer.
- Ice Cubes are the easiest and quickest. Be sure to put them in their water buckets outside as well as a wader pool.
- Low Fat Yogurt either straight up from the cup or mixed half and half with water for dogs that need less dairy and freeze in ice cube tray or mini muffin tins.
- Vegetables & Fruit like green beans, squash and sweet potato make great treats as well as bananas, strawberries and apples.
- Baby Foods make great frozen snacks, but be sure they do not contain onion powder as that is highly toxic to most dogs. Use organic fruit or vegetable blends for added flavor and freeze in mini muffin tins.
- Low Sugar Fruit Juices should be given sparingly or mix half and half with water due to high sugar/low fiber or as a part of recipe and frozen in ice cube trays.
- Organic Low Sodium Broth straight up or as a base for other mixes and you can add peanut butter or meats. You can puree the meats or leave in chucks and freeze in mini muffin tins.
- Chicken or Beef Liver cut into small bite sized pieces can be frozen on a cookie sheet on parchment paper. You will only feed 2 or 3 pieces a day unless your dog is on a raw food diet, then you can feed a regular daily amount.
- Raw Eggs put in a blender, including the shell, until smooth can be frozen in an ice cube tray filling tubes just half way. Only feed one a day to be sure the nutrients are absorbed properly.
- Tuna is always a crowd pleaser and you can either freeze in small mounds, bite size pieces or even blend with other ingredients.
- Cheese and Hot Dog bites can be cut into strips not chunks to avoid choking if your dog tries to swallow them whole. You can freeze them alone or mix with broth or water.
When using ice cube trays for your doggie treats it is a good idea to buy a set just for them. Broth favored cubes may taste good to your dog, but most people don’t like it added to their tea. You can also freeze treats and then store them in freezer baggies so you can remove the trays from the freezer.
If you use cupcake liners for the “stiffer” mixes you just fill, freeze and then set on the counter for a few minutes when ready to treat so you can tear off the liner. You can store them with or without the liner in a freezer bag. Just be sure the liner is removed before giving to your dog.
Frozen dog treats will last about two months in your freezer so be sure to put dates on your bags so you use the older treats first.
If you want to get even more industrious, here here is a base for making your dog his own “ice cream” that is safe, healthy and yummy for your dog.
Doggie Ice Cream Base
2 6oz containers of plain yogurt (low or non fat)
1 Tbsp. Honey
1/3 C special ingredients (carobs, tuna, chopped fruit/veggies, etc)
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined.
Spoon into an ice cube tray or cupcake liners.
Freeze until solid (it will take several hours)
To make peanut butter flavor start with 32 oz plain yogurt and mix in 1 cup of natural creamy peanut butter. You can then add 1/2 of other ingredients like carob chips.
Hope you got some good ideas on how to have fun keeping your dog cool this summer and if you have your own “special recipe” that your dogs go crazy over, feel free to share it in the comments area so others can try it too.