9 Great Summer Treats for Dogs

July is National Ice Cream Month and many families can’t resist sharing ice cream treats with their dogs. Our local ice cream stand caters to dogs by sandwiching vanilla ice cream between two large dog biscuits. While it’s certainly great to include dogs in our summer fun, veterinary experts say it’s best to stick to healthy treats when it comes to snacking. According to nutritional experts at the American Kennel Club, ice cream is not good for dogs because:

  • Dogs’ bodies are not designed to process milk after they are weaned as puppies. Since ice cream is made with milk, feeding your dog ice cream could lead to gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Ice cream is loaded with sugar. Feeding your dog sugary foods can lead to obesity, which can lead to other health problems.
  • Sugarless ice cream may use xylitol as a sweetener and this is extremely toxic to dogs.

9 Great Frozen Summer Treat Ideas for Your Dog  

Always consult your veterinarian if you are unsure about whether or not a particular food type is healthy for your dog.

Peanut Butter Pupsicles

The Humane Society of the United States recommends peanut butter pupsicles as a great summer treat for dogs. The ingredients include a cup of peanut butter (preferably unsalted and unsweetened), half a ripe banana mashed or water. To make this treat you simply combine the peanut butter with a little water or the mashed banana. The water and banana help with the freezing consistency. Put the mixture into dog treat molds or ice cube trays and place in the freezer.

Blueberry and Yogurt Frozen Dog Treat

This treat idea comes from The Dog People at Rover.com. The amount of ingredients you’ll need depends on the size of the dog mold tray you use. To fill five bone-shaped wells you’ll need four ounces of yogurt and four ounces of water. Simply whisk both of these ingredients together and add more water if you want a creamier texture. Be sure to leave enough room in the mold to add the blueberries.

Fruit Pupsicles

The basic ingredients for fruit pupsicles recommended by Modern Dog Magazine include one ripe banana, four cups of orange juice and half a cup of plain yogurt. Mix these ingredients together in a blender and pour the mixture into a popsicle mold before freezing. Depending on your dog’s preference you can substitute the banana with blueberries, strawberries, peach and watermelon. Peanut butter can be added for a tastier treat. You can also substitute orange juice for apple or pineapple juice—just make sure you are using all-natural, no sugar added juice. Veterinary experts at PetMD recommend serving up small portions when it comes to summer treats that contain fruit such as strawberries or blueberries as these contain sugar.

Frozen Broth Pupsicles

Staff at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona serve up frozen broth pupsicles to shelter dogs on hot summer days. To make eight pupsicles you will need 16 ounces of low-sodium chicken broth (add water to the broth if instructed to do so on the packet); eight 2.4 ounce freezer-safe kitchen containers with lids (pet bowls or ice cube trays will also work) and three ounces of hard cheese cubed. To make the pupsicles, place a cube of cheese in each container and cover it with the broth leaving a little room at the top for expansion. Freeze the pupsicles overnight.

Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt Treats on a Dog Biscuit Stick

This is a really cool and easy-to-make dog summer treat from The Happiness in Health blog. To make 10 small treats you will need one cup of nonfat plain yogurt, one third cup of peanut butter, a half a large banana, mashed and 10 small bone-shaped dog treats. All you have to do is mix the peanut butter, yogurt and banana together and pour the mixture into ice cube trays. You can also use mini paper cups that can be peeled away from the treat after freezing. The final step is to stick your dog’s favorite biscuit into the center of the mixture before placing the tray or cups in the freezer.

Frosty Watermelon Dog Treat

If your dog likes watermelon this is a great treat idea from petguide.com. To make 30 treats you will need two cups of seedless watermelon, one cup of coconut water and one tablespoon of honey, which is optional. Blend the ingredients together and pour into ice cube trays or a pet treat mold. If you are using a flexible silicone bone mold, petguide.com recommends putting it on a tray or cutting board to avoid spillage on your floor or in the freezer.

Frozen Vegetables

Staff members at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Angell Animal Medical Center recommend giving a large frozen carrot or a semi-frozen sweet potato to dogs as a summer treat. It’s important that the vegetables you use are large enough to prevent choking. And of course, they need to be washed before freezing.

Stuff and Freeze a Classic Kong Toy

Frozen stuffed Classic Kong toys make a great summer treat. The cavity in the center of the Kong can be stuffed with a combination of your dog’s kibble and peanut butter or choose a recipe idea from the Kong company. Then put the Kong in the freezer overnight. This treat is a great way to entertain your dog when he or she is home alone.

Commercial frozen dog treats  

If you’re looking for a quick summer treat for your pup, there are several frozen treats made especially for dogs. They include Frosty Paws by Purina, Dogsters from J&J Snack Foods and Companion, a Stop ‘n’ Shop frozen dog treat. All three come in paper cups. We occasionally give our dogs the peanut butter flavor Frosty Paws and Companion treats and they love them both. Veterinary experts at PetMD caution dog owners to be mindful of calories and avoid feeding commercial frozen treats to dogs every day.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

60 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson19 days ago

Thank you.

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Debbie F
Debbie F25 days ago

Thanks

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Leanne K
Leanne K26 days ago

Ive never had any luck with the kongs tbh

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Leanne K
Leanne K26 days ago

Any foodstuff with that xylitol ought to carry a specific warning not to feed to dogs, lets face it, the majority of dog owners share their food with them.

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Leanne K
Leanne K26 days ago

Nothing wrong with these at other times of the year too. Thanks Care2

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Karen Martinez
Karen Martinez27 days ago

What great ideas! My dog likes to play with ice cubes in her water bowl. I'm sure she'd love the frozen peanut butter. Of course, spending the hot days in the air conditioned house on a tile floor in front of a fan is her favorite way to cool off. Thank you for sharing these ideas.

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Latoya Brookins
Latoya Brookins27 days ago

I tried giving my dog a little bit of ice cream and the whole thing fell in her bowl.

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Danii P
Past Member 27 days ago

Thank you

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Danii P
Past Member 27 days ago

Thank you

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Kelsey S
Kelsey S28 days ago

Thanks

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