With the summer weather heating up, it’s definitely the season for ice cream and lollies. But have you thought about including your four-legged friend in this summer indulgence?
While some dogs enjoy the odd bit of dairy, this is not a healthy foodstuff for our canine friends except in small quantities. However, there are many ice lollies that are safe for your pup to consume, and making them yourself can be a fun way to help keep your pup cool in the summer heat — especially if they have a long fluffy coat.
Here, pet food brand Webbox have brought together some dog-friendly ice lolly ideas that are dairy-free and the perfect treat for your pup this summer.
Remember to always introduce new foods to your dog’s diet gradually to allow them to adjust, and to only use these lollies as occasional treats alongside their usual healthy diet.
Humans aren’t the only ones to enjoy frozen fruit treats in the summer — our canine friends like them too! You can make fruit lollies simply by blending some fruit into a smoothie consistency, pouring it into ice lolly moulds, and leaving it in the freezer until it becomes ice. Some fruits that are safe for dogs include apples, bananas, and blueberries, but never let your dog eat grapes or raisins. Avoid using any extra sweeteners in the recipe, as fruit contains plenty of sugar already.
You probably think of ice lollies as only being sweet, but your dog will also love a savoury frozen treat. You can take meat broth made from your dog’s normal wet food, or from a low-salt stock that you use while cooking, and simply freeze into lollies. These will help keep your pooch cool during the summer heat without introducing more sugar into their diet, so they can be a great option if you are concerned about their health.
Another savoury option is to make a vegetable smoothie and freeze it. Your dog might have a few favourite vegetables that they enjoy, but good general options include celery, cucumber, green beans, peas, and potatoes. Remember to avoid any vegetables that can be toxic to dogs, such as onions, asparagus, avocado, and mushrooms. Using vegetables instead of fruit to make the lollies is another great way to keep the sugar intake of your pet low.
As well as fruit and vegetables, you can include your pooch’s favourite treats in your ice lollies to make them even more exciting. Choose a base for your lollies, such as meat broth or a watery fruit like melon or cucumber, and then add a few of the treats when you pour the mixture into the moulds. They will freeze into the lolly and add an extra touch of flavour for your pup.
If your dog is a fan of peanut butter, you might also want to include this in their lollies. A classic recipe is to blend peanut and banana together with as much water as is necessary to create a runny smoothie texture. Then, simply freeze this and bring them out later as a peanut and banana treat for your four-legged friend. If you choose to do this however, it’s crucial to check the packaging of any peanut butter that you buy to make sure that it’s xylitol-free, as this a sweetener that is toxic to dogs and present in many brands of peanut butter.
“Ice lollies can be a great way of keeping your dog cool, as well as including them in the summer fun you’re having. It’s important to check any new ingredients with your dog’s digestive system by introducing them slowly, but another good tip is to make lollies out of ingredients that your dog already regularly consumes.
“You should also make sure that you keep treats (including the lollies) to times that aren’t disrupting their usual mealtimes, as dogs enjoy having set routines and this is also healthier for their digestion. So, enjoy these summer novelties, but keep your pooch’s regular food in mind too.”
— Julie Butcher, Head of Marketing at Webbox