In the summertime, nothing beats the heat better than an ice-cold popsicle. But can dogs eat popsicles?
You can easily make a batch of dog popsicles (aka pupsicles) with your pet’s favorite ingredients. And you don’t need to get too fancy—your pup will love their tasty frozen treat, even if it’s a simple three-ingredient cube on the end of a carrot stick.
Making dog popsicles is an easy and fun warm-weather activity for the whole family. Your pet will enjoy this refreshing alternative to the usual store-bought treats. Plus, dog popsicles are the perfect way to cool off your pup after time spent outdoors on a hot day.
Benefits of Dog Popsicles
Dog ice pops make a nice treat for pets and can help keep them busy on a day when it’s too hot to get outside for a walk. Pupsicles can also be hydrating and often a healthier— and less expensive—option to store-bought packaged treats.
With homemade dog popsicles, you get to control the ingredients, and you don’t have to worry about preservatives or artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors. In addition to fresh fruits and veggies, you can even incorporate dog supplements, such as fish oil or probiotics. This is also a great way to get your pup to take vitamins they might otherwise turn their nose up at.
Since most pupsicle recipes only involve three to four ingredients and a blender, dog pops are quick and easy to make. You can also use up leftovers in your fridge—just be sure that all the ingredients are pet-safe and do not contain artificial sweeteners.
If your pup is as food motivated as my dogs, dog popsicles might be a better option than frozen dog treats without a stick. With a dog popsicle, you can control how fast your pet eats their cool snacks, which will help prevent choking or vomiting from devouring it too fast. Also, if the pupsicle is more than your pup should eat at one time, you can control how much of it they consume and simply put the rest back into the freezer. And if you have an older pet with missing or sensitive teeth, a dog popsicle is something they can lick, rather than bite down on and cause pain or injury to their teeth and gums. It’s the perfect treat for so many scenarios!
How to Make Popsicles for Dogs
Remember making a popsicle as a kid? Dog popsicles are just as easy to whip up in the kitchen. You can freeze your dog’s favorite ingredients in a silicone dog popsicle mold. If you don’t have popsicle molds, you can use an ice cube tray or even a small paper cup. And if you don’t have popsicle sticks, dog treats or vegetable slices can work in place of the sticks. However, popsicle molds that come with sticks work best.
Types of ingredients you can incorporate into dog popsicles include:
- Fresh fruits and veggies (e.g., watermelon, bananas, carrots)
- Plain low-fat or non-fat yogurt
- Plain canned pumpkin
- Plain peanut butter
- Low-sodium chicken or beef broth
- Jerky strips
- Dog training treats
Note: You can substitute yogurt with water in our dog popsicle recipes to reduce calories and increase hydration.
5 Dog Popsicle Recipes
Ready to make pupsicles at home? Here are five dog popsicle recipes to try out with your pets. Our pups, Rocky and Lyla, were huge fans. We also shared these with the dogs across the street, Copper and Lexi, who devoured them. It’s safe to say these were a big hit around our neighborhood.
Watermelon Bananza (Watermelon Pupsicles)
Beat the summer heat with these hydrating watermelon banana popsicles. For extra hydration and a lower fat/calorie intake, you can leave out the yogurt. And since these ingredients are things you may have already stocked in the fridge in summer, this is a quick and easy recipe to make. You can even enjoy one with your pet!
- 2 cups of chopped seedless watermelon
- 1/2 cup of sliced banana
- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened Greek yogurt
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until puréed.
Step 2: Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold or ice tray.
Step 3: Insert popsicle sticks, vegetable sticks, or dog treats into the mixture and freeze for 3-4 hours.
Pumpkin Bacon Blast (Bacon and Pumpkin Pupsicles)
Loaded with vitamins and fiber, pumpkin is a pupsicle favorite. It’s also hydrating and great for your pet’s digestion. And who can resist bacon? Your pup will love getting to lick away at these dog popsicles until they get to a piece of bacon.
- 1 cup of plain puréed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
- 1 ½ cups of chicken broth or beef broth (without onions or garlic)
- 2 tbsp of bacon bits or crumbled bacon dog treats
Step 1: Mix the puréed pumpkin and broth in a blender or medium-size bowl.
Step 2: Stir in the crumbled bacon.
Step 3: Pour mixture into popsicle mold or ice tray. (Use a small funnel if you have one.)
Step 4: Insert the popsicle sticks and freeze for 3-4 hours.
Berry Delicious (Mixed Berry Puppy Popsicles)
This is a tasty and sweet dog popsicle recipe that will keep your puppy busy and satisfied! Berries are packed with vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, which can help boost your pup’s immune system. Opt for a small popsicle mold or ice tray for your puppy popsicles so that you make them in smaller sizes that won’t spoil a tinier dog’s appetite for dinner.
- 1/2 cup of mixed berries
- 1 cup of watermelon
- ¼ cup of training treats or crumbled dog treats
Step 1: Purée the mixed berries and watermelon in a blender.
Step 2: Pour or spoon the mixture into the popsicle mold.
Step 3: Insert the popsicle sticks/dog treat and freeze for 2-3 hours.
Pro tip: Many silicone molds can be flimsy, especially smaller ones. Use a plate or tupperware lid underneath to stabilize.
Peanut Butter Pops (Peanut Butter Banana Dog Popsicles)
Dogs love peanut butter, which is a good source of protein, vitamins, and healthy fats. Here is a simple peanut butter pupsicle recipe that will hydrate and satisfy your pet, while keeping them cool. Add some yogurt for extra creaminess, but be aware that this will be a high-fat/calorie treat between that and the peanut butter. This is another one you can share with your pet!
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup of peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- Optional: 2 tbsp of unsweetened Greek yogurt
Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a blender until puréed.
Step 2: Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold or ice tray.
Step 3: Insert the popsicle sticks and freeze for 3-4 hours.
Pro tip: If you’re using ice trays, you can insert the popsicle sticks after it’s been in the freezer for a half hour.
Frozen Chicken Soup (Chicken Broth Popsicles)
Does your pup prefer savory treats over sweet ones? These vegetable and chicken broth popsicles are high in protein, low in fat, and are sure to satisfy—and there’s a big surprise at the end! Using jerky as the stick gives your pet an extra treat within a treat.
- 1 cup of chopped carrots and celery
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- Jerky strips
Step 1: Mix the carrots, celery, and chicken broth in a blender until puréed.
Step 2: Crumble part of the jerky into the mixture and stir it in with a spoon.
Step 3: Use the rest of the jerky as the popsicle stick and freeze for 3-4 hours.
Frozen Pupsicle Safety Tips
Now that you know how to make dog popsicles, here are some important tips to keep in mind.
Are popsicles bad for dogs? Human popsicles can be unsafe because they often contain ingredients toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes/grape juice, or artificial sweeteners like xylitol. So just because you can eat many of the popsicle recipes you make for your pup doesn’t mean they can eat the human ones you pull out of the freezer. So be sure to use only pet-safe ingredients.
Also, check the ingredients on your broth to make sure that it doesn’t contain garlic or onions. Only use plain canned pumpkin without sweeteners (not pumpkin pie filling). Make sure that your peanut butter doesn’t have added salt, oils, or artificial sweeteners. The yogurt you use should be low or non-fat and unsweetened (preferably Greek yogurt). While yogurt does contain protein and probiotics, use it sparingly, as many dogs have a hard time digesting lactose.
It’s also important to monitor your pet while they’re eating their pupsicle. To prevent choking, hold on to the stick tightly and never leave your pet alone with a treat. And if you are using a non-edible popsicle stick, make sure it’s made of silicone, not wood. A dog can easily bite into a traditional wooden popsicle stick, causing them to get a splinter in their mouth or choke on the stick. For the safest popsicles for dogs, use a vegetable stick or dog treat as the stick.