4 homemade dog treat recipes to make at home
Australia can be a hot place – in some states and territories, warm weather can strike at any time of the year. In other places, heat is more seasonal, but when it hits, it can really affect your comfort levels, as well as those of your pet.
On a hot day, any responsible dog owner will know how important it is to have fresh, cool water out and lots of shade to rest in, so pets don’t become dehydrated.
However, there are lots of other ways to help your furry friend beat the heat and stay happy and healthy when it’s hot outside. Whether it’s taking them to the beach, splashing around in a kiddie pool, enjoying a nice air-conditioned home or munching on some chilly treats, here are some ideas to try!
Why it’s important to keep your dog cool
The average body temperature of a dog can be up to 2 degrees hotter than a human, and a dog’s thick coat can make thermoregulation harder. When we’re hot, we sweat to cool our bodies down. Dogs don’t have this ability – they pant instead or lie on something cold (like kitchen tiles) to cool down. But this only helps so much, especially when the temperature and humidity rises.
Some breeds suffer more than others in hot weather – and older dogs may find hot days a real challenge. If your dog is panting a lot but resting, they may have heat stroke – a serious condition requiring a trip to the vet. Hot weather can pose a real risk for your pet, so having pet insurance could be something to consider.
Can you make frozen treats for your dog?
Short answer? Yes! However, because dogs and humans metabolise foods differently, it does pay to be careful what you feed your dog if you’re venturing beyond the typical dry dog food and the wetter, canned dog food your pooch is probably used to.
Some foods can be harmful or even deadly to dogs. But many ‘human foods’ can be fine – such as berries, banana, mango, some veggies, eggs, peanut butter, chicken, pork, and beef. This link to a comprehensive list provides even more information about what you can and can’t feed your dog.
4 homemade cool doggy treats
Keeping your dog cool during a hot day may take a bit of creativity, but your furry friend will love you for it. Here are some ideas:
No, popsicles aren’t just for the kids – on a hot day, your pup would like one too! To make a dog-friendly ‘pupsicle’:
- Mix 1 cup of chicken stock, ½ cup of water and some finely chopped chicken meat.
- Pour into popsicle moulds or ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
You could also make your pup a fruity popsicle by:
- Pureeing 1 ripe banana, 4 cups of orange juice and ½ cup of plain yoghurt.
- Freezing the mixture in moulds overnight.
2. Frozen pupcakes
Yes, dog-friendly cupcakes are a thing and – better yet – you can make them ahead, freeze them and give them to your pooch to gnaw on when they’re still frozen.
There are lots of pupcake recipes but here’s a link to one cupcake recipe for dogs from the RSPCA to definitely try.
3. Treats frozen in an ice block
An empty, plastic ice-cream container is ideal for making a frozen doggy block that’ll keep your pooch busy and hydrated on a hot day. Simply fill the container two-thirds full of water and mix in spoonfuls of foods your dog likes – such as bits of shredded chicken, some cooked vegetables and maybe a dollop or two of mashed banana. Freeze into a block overnight then pop it outside in the morning as a frozen treat for your dog to dig into during a hot day.
4. Toys frozen in an ice block
Another way to keep your dog cool on a hot day is to freeze some of his or her favourite toys overnight in a block of ice – they’ll lap at the ice and eat small chunks of it to reach the toys which will help them stay hydrated.
It’s important that you understand how the heat may affect your dog and take steps to keep them cool during the hot weather. It can be just as important to consider pet insurance in case your dog is affected by heat-related issues. Heat stroke, for example, is very common, and issues with insects such as ticks and fleas are more likely to arise in the warmer months, especially if you have an outside dog.
We hope these ideas are useful when keeping your furry family members cool and happy!
Want to make sure you’re prepared? It’ll help you manage expensive vet bills and help to ensure there’s support in place when you need it most.
20 Mar 2020