- Rachel Doran
Cooling Treats for Your Pet
We hear it on the news everyday this time of year: limit your time in the heat, bring your pets indoors, drink plenty of water, find a place in the shade to rest. The message being please take precaution to not melt in this Arizona heat! The news crews mean well, of course, and it does get mighty hot around here, but staying cooped up indoors in the air conditioning would be a shame. After all, at least half the fun in living in the Southwest United States is getting out in nature and exploring the unique landscapes that surround us. And while you may know all the tricks to keeping yourself hydrated and (relatively) cool, if you are outdoors with your pet it's helpful to know some refreshing treat recipes to help keep them cool and relaxed in the heat. We’ve got you covered.
The ingredient list for these broth cubes is as short as it gets. All you need is broth. You can use chicken broth, beef broth, whatever you like. Take the broth and pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. When a hot day rolls around and your pup is panting from all the fun play time they just enjoyed, toss them one of these cubes and they will be cooling down in no time.
This recipe is similar to the last one but with a childlike twist. You will need sugar-free jelly, a touch of water and some peanut butter. First blend up the jelly, you may need a little water to help loosen things up. We are looking for a pourable consistency. Once the jelly is blended pour it into ice cube trays or some silicone molds and freeze. Before serving to your dog pop a dollop of peanut on top to complete the treat, and watch them gobble it up in excitement.
Frozen Yogurt Treats
Dogs love yogurt, and yogurt freezes beautifully. Can you see where we’re going with this? When it comes to ingredients the sky's the limit. You will need a plain, unsweetened yogurt, but the rest is really up to you and your pet. Choose some of their favorite fruits. Blueberries, apples, pineapples, bananas and cantaloupe are popular choices.
As always please be sure whatever you are preparing for your pet is safe for them to eat. Although a chocolate chip yogurt may sound delicious to you - remember that dogs cannot eat chocolate. Be sure to only include pet safe foods and to have the pieces cut or blended well enough to avoid choking hazards.
Once you’ve chosen your ingredients, the next step is easy; toss it all in a blender. You’ll want a creamy consistency that is easy to pour. If your mix is too thick, add some more yogurt or a little water to thin it out. If it is too thin, just add in some more fruit. Once the correct texture has been achieved pour it into its freezing apparatus. You can use standard ice cube trays, or you can buy silicone molds - which can be found in fun shapes like bones or paw prints. Either way your pet is going to love licking these frozen treats until they disappear.
Frozen Tuna Treats
This one is for the cats. Cats get warm too. And even if they are inside all day, living their best life never being exposed to the harsh elements, a treat is never a bad idea. For this fan favorite all you will need is tuna and a little water. You can include some of their favorite treats if you wanna get fancy. No blender required for this recipe.
First drain the tuna and mix with a little water. If you are using treats, you can either toss them in the mixture whole or dice them up so they will be more dispersed in the finished treats. Then put the mixture in ice cube trays - being sure to pack it down - and freeze. Your cats will love taking their sweet time licking away the fishy layers of this frozen treat. And if your dog is a fan of fish, they will too.
Here’s another simple, fishy treat for the cats in your lives. You will need a can of sardines. Try to find sardines packed in water. If you can only find the little fish packed in oil be sure to rinse away as much as you can; too much oil can be bad for a cat’s digestive tract. You will also need a little bit of water and some treats.
Once your sardines are rinsed, blend them with a little water. Mix in the treats, just like we did in the previous recipe, and pack into trays. Pop them in the freezer, and you are done. Trust us when we say your cats won’t be able to get enough of these.
These are only a few of the countless options of homemade treats you can freeze for your pets this summer. Your imagination and pet’s dietary guidelines are really the only limit to what you can create. You can freeze cottage cheese, beef stew, baby food, almost anything your pets love to eat. The best part is you can make these treats ahead of time. Just make a couple different batches of treats on a weekend, pop them out of their mold when frozen solid and store in a freezer safe container; you can use them all summer! Depending, of course, on how fast your pet is going through them, you may have to restock. Our one request: don’t let the heat scare you into staying indoors all summer. Get outside and have fun.