Do you ever feel bad about feeding your pup the same boring food and treats every day? Your dog probably isn’t complaining, but if you’re looking to switch things up, summer is the perfect excuse to whip up a batch of frozen dog treats!
This is something the whole family can get in on, and there’s plenty of room for creativity. Maybe your pet has a favorite food or flavor you can work in. Or maybe your pet’s birthday is in the summer months and you’d like to celebrate with a batch of “pupsicles.”
Here are four delicious and simple frozen dog treat recipes to keep your pet cool and satisfied during these hot summer months. I made these for my own pups, and they were a big hit in our house!
Frozen Dog Treat Benefits
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. You can even throw some pet-friendly leftovers like plain chicken, greens, or berries into the mix.
Making homemade frozen dog treats 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.
4 Frozen Dog Treat Recipes
The weather is heating up in Los Angeles, which felt like the perfect time to whip up some new treats for our pups in the kitchen.
To start, I did a search online for frozen dog treat ideas, which we used as a base for many of these recipes. We then thought about some of the ingredients that our dogs enjoy, and adapted a few of the recipes to include some of our pup’s favorite things like peanut butter and yogurt. Next, we hit the grocery store and picked up items that we needed, like canned pumpkin, chicken broth, carrots, bacon bits, and berries.
After we had collected all of the ingredients required, we went through our cupboards to see what kind of fun ice cube trays and containers we had on hand. We selected an ice cube tray that forms bigger ice cubes for cocktails, a silicone ice-cube tray shaped like fish, and some smaller glass Pyrex containers. We also made a few of these homemade frozen dog treat recipes in standard ice cube trays that we weren’t using at the moment. This allowed us to end up with a variety of treats in many shapes and sizes for our dogs to enjoy.
It’s been so fun to have these in the freezer. It’s safe to say that Rocky and Lyla are huge fans. (See the pictures for proof!)
Frozen Pumpkin Dog Treats
If you have yogurt in your fridge and canned pumpkin in the cupboard, this is a quick and easy frozen pumpkin dog treat that you can put together any time. An easy variation would be substituting the pumpkin with puréed sweet potatoes. Both pumpkin and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of potassium, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and promote healthy digestion.
- 2 cups puréed pumpkin
- 1 cup plain yogurt (no sugar added)
Step 1: Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth.
Step 2: Pour the mixture into an ice tray and freeze.
Frozen Peanut Butter-Bacon Dog Treats
Out of all the frozen dog treat recipes, this one was our dogs’ favorite. Bacon is not something our dogs typically have, so these were very exciting to our canine crew. Peanut butter, another pup favorite, is a good source of protein, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, and healthy fats. Plus, the banana adds potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
- 1 ripe banana
- ¾ cup natural peanut butter (no added sugar)
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup bacon bits
Step 1: Combine the banana, peanut butter, carrots, and water in a blender and mix until puréed.
Step 2: Pour the mixture into an ice tray or small Pyrex container; top with bacon bits and freeze.
Frozen Kong Surprise
Created by Dr. Stacy Choczynski Johnson, these customizable treats can be low in calories depending on what type of ingredients you choose. High-calorie treats can cause weight gain and related health problems, so lighter options are always a good idea.
“It is important to remember that your frozen dog treats should make up less than 10% of your pet’s diet,” says Dr. Johnson. “Please be discretionary when the treat stuffing fun begins!”
This frozen dog treat recipe is extra fun because dogs have to “work” to get it out of the Kong. It keeps your pup’s mind and paws busy, meaning you’ll end up with a satisfied, relaxed pet.
- 1 ½ cups pet-friendly fruits or veggies, such as carrots and blueberries
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth (without onions or garlic)
- ½ cup of small training treats
Step 1: Combine fruits, veggies, and broth in a blender and mix until puréed; stir in the training treats with a spoon.
Step 2: Plug up the bottom of a Kong (or similar toy) using a small treat. Pour in the mixture and freeze.
Peanut Butter, Berry & Banana Frozen Dog Treats
These frozen dog treats were my personal favorite just because of how pretty they look. The dogs devoured these so fast that they clearly didn’t notice, but they look like something you’d see on a cooking show, not in a pet store.
For the berry mixture:
- ¾ cup frozen mixed berries (strawberry, blueberries and/or raspberries)
- ¼ cup plain yogurt (no added sugar)
- ¼ cup water
For the peanut butter and banana:
- 1 ripe banana
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter (no added sugar)
- ½ cup plain yogurt (no added sugar)
- ¼ cup water
Step 1: Add the frozen berries, yogurt, and water to a blender and mix until puréed. Fill a silicone ice cube tray halfway with the berry mixture and place in the freezer to set for about 15-20 minutes.
Step 2: Rinse your blender, then add the banana, peanut butter, and yogurt. Purée until smooth.
Step 3: Remove the ice cube tray from the freezer and evenly distribute the banana/peanut butter mix over the berry, smoothing out the surface. Place back in the freezer to set for at least 6 hours.
3 Frozen Dog Treat Safety Tips
Be careful not to overdo it! Peanut butter and frozen yogurt dog treats can be high in calories and fat, which can potentially lead to obesity, pancreatitis, and gastrointestinal problems if consumed in excess. With this in mind, you’ll want to limit frozen dog treats to special occasions.
Only use dog-safe ingredients. It might be convenient to use up your leftovers in your frozen dog treats, but always check to make sure they won’t be harmful to your pet. If you’re making frozen chicken or beef broth dog treats, ensure the broth doesn’t contain garlic or onions, both of which are toxic to dogs. Other common people foods that are toxic to dogs include macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, and chocolate. Additionally, check ingredients to make sure they are free of artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, which can cause liver failure and hypoglycemia.
Always supervise frozen treats. In the excitement, your dog may try to swallow the whole slippery snack at once, which could pose a choking hazard. If you have a very food-motivated pet (like I do, times two!), opt for holding the frozen treat while they lick it. You can also use any of these recipes to fill a Kong or other stuffable treat toy.