Stay Cool This Summer With These Frozen Dessert Recipes for Dogs!

frozen recipes for dog in summer

Dogs love popsicles and ice cream for the same reasons that humans do: they’re wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day. While human popsicle treats are packed with sugar, and ice cream typically is made with dairy, there are many homemade dog-friendly popsicles and summer dog treats that are much healthier. They’re not only safe for our best friends, but these frozen dog treat recipes and refreshing treats also help keep dogs hydrated.

We’ve rounded up five of our favorite “pupsicle” recipes for you below. With not much prep time and just a few ingredients, they couldn’t be easier—or more delicious.

Are Popsicles Safe For Dogs?

Popsicles for dog, dog eating popsicles

First off: you might be wondering whether popsicles are safe for dogs. The short answer is yes, as long as you’re confident about the ingredients. Avoid artificially sweetened popsicles, as they could contain the dangerous additive xylitol, a sugar alcohol that’s toxic to dogs. Never, ever give your dog a bite of any popsicle labeled “sugar-free,” just to be safe.

Popsicles bought from a regular grocery store are not very safe for dogs as they are full of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other not-so-great ingredients. Instead of risking your dog’s health by feeding them store-bought frozen treats, you can make your own easy homemade popsicles and frozen dog treat recipes yourself at home. Sometimes all you need is an ice cube tray and a few things to get started!

If you do give your dog a popsicle, even a healthy treat or a homemade one (see below for recipes), be sure to supervise them if the frozen treat includes a popsicle stick. An overeager dog might swallow the stick whole or chomp it in half. The broken pieces could cause damage going down and upset to a dog's tummy.

Always be sure to introduce new foods to your dog in small quantities to see their reaction. Consult your vet before feeding your dog new ingredients.

Also Read - A Guide to New York City’s Dog Parks

The Benefits of Berries for Dogs

 Berries for Dogs, dog eating berries

Certain types of berries besides blackberries are also safe for dogs. You can feed your dog strawberries, blueberries and raspberries as well. These berries are soft and easy for dogs to chew and don't contain any ingredients that are toxic to canines.

Blueberries and strawberries are low in calories and rich in several vitamins and minerals. They make delicious treats! A lot of pups even enjoy frozen blueberries in the summer. You can keep them in the freezer year round as healthy frozen dog treats!

Speaking of nutritious, berries are loaded with antioxidants which protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. They are also high in fiber which may slow down the movement of food through your digestive tract leading to reduced hunger.

Berries your dog should NOT eat:

  • Mistletoe berries.

  • Gooseberries.

  • Salmonberries.

  • Holly berries.

  • Baneberries.

  • Pokeberries.

  • Juniper berries.

  • Dogwood berries.

Coconut Milk For Dogs

coconut milk for dog

The most common cause of food intolerance in canines is dairy products. (Just like us humans). Lactose-intolerant dogs lack the enzyme that breaks down the lactose in dairy products. Simply put, they have difficulty digesting milk and may show symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, bloating, or loss of appetite.

Dogs can have coconut milk in moderation. It’s best to introduce coconut milk to your dog in small amounts to see how they react. In your dog treat recipes, you can use unsweetened, organic coconut milk that doesn’t have added sugars or chemicals such as carrageenan and xantham gum.

The Benefits of Frozen Dog Treats

froze dessert for dog

Homemade frozen dog treats are a fun departure from traditional store-bought treats. They can also be made using nutritious ingredients, without any preservatives or fillers. Not to mention you’ll save a few bucks by making your own treats, as you can use items you have around the house, like bananas, chicken broth, and canned pumpkin. Just make sure everything is xylitol free! You can even throw some pet-friendly leftovers like plain chicken, greens, or berries into the mix.

Making a homemade frozen dog treat is an easy way to sneak healthy foods like fruits, veggies, or even supplements into your dog’s diet that they may not usually eat. Your pup will be kept cool and entertained, while savoring their delicious new snack. You can make these recipes for your doggo all summer long, especially on a hot day when they will keep your pup cool!

Using a Frozen Kong Toy For Enrichment

Kongs are a wonderful way to keep your dog occupied while providing them with tasty treats that may even last a few hours. When the food inside the Kong is frozen, it takes longer for your dog to get it all out, which provides them a greater opportunity for problem solving, mental exercise, and using their mouths in the physical way that so many dogs need.

Stuffing Kongs is like any other kitchen endeavor — there are plenty of strategies and techniques that make it easier and better, but there’s no one right way to do it. For dogs without a lot of positive experiences with a Kong, it’s important to make it easy so they have success early on. The big solid chunk formed from a full Kong that is frozen stiff might be too hard for beginners to extract, and that can be a problem unless you work up to it. You don’t want a novice dog to get frustrated and give up on Kongs before they’ve learned how wonderful they are. Start with Kongs that are not frozen so that they can easily get what’s inside. Once they love them and will not likely give up, make it just a little harder.

When freezing, one option is to use the kong as a vessel to freeze peanut butter (make sure it is all natural and does not contain any xylitol). You could also add some of your dog's wet food inside, plain yogurt, mashed banana, or chicken stock. A filled kong does not take up a lot of freezer space, is surprisingly easy to fill, and is a wonderful treat for your dog to enjoy year round.

Now, let’s dig into some dog-safe popsicle and ice cream treats you can make yourself at home!

These recipes are all made with dog-safe ingredients, however, it's best to limit the amount of treats your pup eats to only 10 percent of their daily dietary intake. More than that could offset the balance of nutrients in their diet and could lead to obesity.

1. Two-Ingredient Dog Bone Popsicle Bites

This is the perfect starter recipe for the budding dog chef. Three flavors, two ice trays, and beautiful homemade dog popsicles in just the time it takes to freeze them (that’s about 4 hours). This recipe includes instructions to make yogurt blueberry, peanut butter, and strawberry dog ice pops.

These healthy treats are easy to customize, too: try using chicken broth, pureed pumpkin, or ripe banana, for instance. The recipe that uses plain yogurt can easily be made dairy-free, too.

Add a popsicle stick if you want to get the all-American summertime look. Your dog will love them either way! Using a food processor is recommended for this tasty treat.

Get the recipe here!

2. Three Ingredient Dog Ice Cream Bites

Your dog is going to LOVE you for making this delicious three ingredient dog ice cream which you can turn into tasty bite sized molds using ice cream trays or a silicone mold. Psst: I’m sure your dog already loves you but you get the point!

Get the recipe here!

3. Peanut Butter Swirl Dog Popsicles

These homemade dog popsicles are a cool, refreshing treat for your furry friend in the summertime! Made with simple nutritious ingredients like frozen fruit, plain Greek yogurt, and swirled with creamy peanut butter. Keep a batch frozen in your freezer for those hot days!

Get the recipe here!

4. Watermelon Pupsicles

These easy homemade dog treats are made with only three ingredients – yogurt, watermelon, and honey. Easy, healthy, grain free, frozen, and refreshing – perfect for your fur baby during summer. 

Get the recipe here!

Alternative Frozen Treats

1. Frozen Vegetables

For a simpler alternative to the above sweet treats, consider freezing some pup-safe vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, celery, or cucumbers. Just be careful about portion size, as some vegetables, like broccoli and cabbage, can cause gas in dogs when eaten in too high a quantity.

2. Frozen Fruits

If you want a fruity alternative to the above suggestions, give your dog some plain frozen fruit options like bananas, raspberries, blackberries, or pineapple, all of which are safe for them to eat. Again, though, opt for smaller portions, as some dog-safe fruits such as cantaloupe and mango are high in sugar and can upset dogs' stomachs if they eat too much.

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