Beat the heat with homemade icy poles – for pets!
What's more refreshing on a hot day than an icy cold frozen treat? As you reach into the freezer for an icy pole, how about grabbing one for your best (furry) friend too?
Making frozen treats for pets is simple. You need:
- a few ingredients (see recipes)
- a blender (not for all recipes)
- containers that are safe to freeze
- some 'pupsicle' sticks (optional)
So let’s get started with our homemade frozen treats.
Lots of dogs like fruit (cats not so much). If your dog is a fruit lover, grab some of his favourite type and pop it in the blender. Banana, watermelon, apple and blueberries are popular choices.
Simply blend the fruit with some ice cubes. You could also try blending the fruit with yoghurt (plain or Greek), or even with peanut butter. Banana and peanut butter is a big hit!
A rough rule of thumb is: for every cup of fruit add one cup of ice cubes or yoghurt, or half a cup of peanut butter. Add water if the mix is too thick.
Vet's tip: Don’t use grapes. These are toxic to dogs.
A super easy option is freezing some chicken, beef or fish broth. You don't even need a blender.
This sounds awful, but your pet will love you for it. Blend up some pet food (or some meat or fish) with water. You can use canned or dry pet food, fresh or canned fish/meat. And it’s your choice whether to go for chunky or smooth.
For dogs, the meaty option is a good way to sneak in some vegetables. Carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin work well (usually cooked first). Add a bit of parsley to freshen breath!
Don't let a lack of a blender stop you. You can freeze baby food and give it to pets. There are hundreds of flavours to choose from.
Vet's tip: Rabbit and guinea pig owners can try this one too.
You don't need anything fancy here. You can pour your mixture into:
- ice cube trays
- paper cups or patty pan liners
- freezable toys (such as a Kong®)
- icy pole moulds
Choose one that suits your pet's size and chewing style. The size of the container will affect the time it takes to freeze the mixture. Ice cube trays will usually freeze in few hours. Other sizes might need to be left overnight.
If you make broth treats in ice cube trays, remember to label them. Adding chicken flavoured ice cubes to your water (or G&T) is not fun!
If you want to go all out, you can freeze a 'stick' into the icy poles.
- meaty or dental chews
- rawhide sticks
- dog biscuits
- carrot sticks
- raw chicken necks (okay, this isn't for everyone!)
Ready to eat
Some pets like their icy poles straight from the freezer. Some prefer theirs to melt a little for a soft serve effect. Play around and see what your pet likes most.
Now bring on the hot weather!
Even the fluffiest members of your family deserve to be protected from injury and illness.