When our dogs start panting, we start looking for cool treats for dogs. A few out-of-season warm days, while appreciated, are too sudden a jump for our dogs (and us!). The ‘80s aren’t really all that warm, but after the frigid winter and cool spring, the dogs just aren’t ready.
Dogs are like people that way. In August, 80-degree temperatures are pleasant. In April and May, it’s too much too soon. The dogs loved it – lying in the sun and basking. But after just a few minutes, they’d had enough.
Easy cool treats
One of the easiest treats to occupy your dog with some gnawing and cooling are veggies and/or fruits straight out of the refrigerator. Many dogs love chewing on carrots. Celery works too, but it seems to be an acquired taste for dogs. Ours love it, but not all dogs appreciate its celery-ness. Apples (cores removed), blueberries, cucumbers, green beans – all are safe and shareable with dogs.
If you’re less lazy than we are and don’t want to just toss your dog a treat from the vegetable bin, you can go to the next level and concoct teats dogs adore.
Recipes for frozen treats
The best “tool” to have on hand for making cool treats for dogs is an ice cube tray. Depending on the size of your dog, you certainly don’t have to fill every compartment to the brim. A spoonful in each section will do just fine.
The base for most frozen dog treats is plain or vanilla yogurt. You can certainly use lower-fat varieties if your dog is a bit chunky. Be sure not to use anything sweetened with xylitol – it is poisonous for dogs.
Some of the things you can mix with the yogurt to make your dog’s frozen treats:
- Peanut Butter
- Any Nut Butter
- Green Beans
- Spray Cheese
- Grated Cheese
If you’d rather have a smooth, creamy mix, you can certainly use many flavors of baby food as a mix-in. This widens the possibilities to include squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, chicken, beef, etc. Just because it wouldn’t be our choice for a delicious snack, doesn’t mean your dog won’t love it!
We actually do have a favorite recipe for baked dog treats. It’s versatile, adaptable to just about any dog’s dietary quirks, and makes a nice big batch. You’ll find the recipe on GollyGear.com here.
Careful with the calories
Just like us, we have to watch the total calories our dogs consume. Obesity is an issue for dogs.
When we notice any of our dogs’ waistlines disappearing, or if we’re giving more treats, we decrease the amount of kibble they get. It’s a good idea to use a measuring cup as a scoop for dog food – you always know how much food they’re getting.
If you must reduce your dog’s rations for weight control, he/she doesn’t have to be hungry. It’s an old trick, but still a good one, to add some frozen green beans to the bowl equal to the amount of kibble you remove. It will help fill them up.