Aug. 26 happens to be-- the perfect time to give your pup something special (as if you don't do that all the time). Gourmet dog treats and are great options, but while it's still warm out, why not go with a treat too? That way you can get your licks in along with your pooch.
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While every season holds different charms for dog owners -- even brutal winter walks give way to magic moments with doggos frolicking in the snow -- there's nothing quite like lazy summer days with your furry friend. It's the season of restaurant patios, front stoop sittin' and beach outings, all rife with opportunities to bring along your buddy. (Sun's out, tongues out.) And while you can totally pony up a few bucks for those fancy pet treats at your favorite cupcake shop or blow away your Starbucks budget with too many Puppuccino trips (they're free, but you need a treat, too!), there are plenty of frozen concoctions that you can make at home for both you and your pup to enjoy.
Using many of the same healthy ingredients you might have in your morning smoothie, like bananas, blueberries and yogurt (and maybe a cutesy paw- or bone-shaped silicone mold too) you can make some of these delicious frozen dogs treats for your beloved pet this summer.
If you're a Lucille Bluth of sorts, in that the only dish you'd deign to make is a drink, the easiest treat to share with your dog would be frozen blueberries.
1. Freeze some blueberries.
2. You're done.
Blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are all safe ingredients for your dog to have in moderation, according to Naturipe Farms. In similar moderation, you might want to sip some adult beverages chilled with frozen berries. Give a couple of these frozen fruits to your pupper for a cool summertime crunch and toss a few into some grapefruit mimosas for you and your human friends. The pet-safe frozen berries will keep your drinks cold without watering them down.
Frozen pumpkin cubes
Requiring only a little bit more work than frozen blueberries, pumpkin cube dog treats are nearly as simple. All you have to do is pack ice cube trays with canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix), freeze and give a few to your doggie for a cool, crunchy treat that also helps with their digestion. You can add a couple to a cinnamon-spice smoothie for you -- it's not too soon, as the plethora of pumpkin spice products already on shelves attests.
Frozen banana bites
This next recipe is straight-up made for both dogs and people, no adjustments necessary for either species. To make these frozen banana dog treats, all you have to do is coat banana slices in melted (unsweetened) peanut butter and sprinkle with a dog-safe topping like shredded coconut or oatmeal. Arrange on a tray, put in the freezer and enjoy several hours later. These chilly treats are perfect for a lazy afternoon on the deck -- just bring out a plate of the banana dog bites for the ideal "one for you, one for me" snack to share with your doggie pal.
Frozen strawberry and banana smoothie dog treats
You know it's strawberry season when these fruits are looking so bright red and juicy at the grocery store, and they're on sale to boot. Fresh fruit and warm weather just beg for cold, vitamin-packed smoothies and with this recipe for frozen strawberry and banana smoothie dog treats, your pup can join in on the summertime smoothie vibes. Bananas, strawberries, yogurt and honey (go for Greek yogurt and skip the skim milk if you're not sure how well your dog tolerates lactose) are blended and frozen into smoothie bites for your pup.
As you might have noticed, you're also just making a regular smoothie when you're blending these ingredients together. So, mix and match dog-safe fruits, and either pour yourself a glass prior to the freezing process, or make plenty of frozen smoothie cubes or shapes for reblending later. This way, you have your smoothie ingredients frozen and ready to go for a quick blend in the morning, and you can toss a cube or two over to your dog, as well. Breakfast popsicles are another way to go with these.
There are endless combos of dog-safe people foods to blend, stick together with peanut butter or add to a Kong and ultimately freeze. Do your own research -- ask your vet if you're not sure on something -- and then share some healthy frozen treats with your always-loving, never-judgmental best buddy. You can also go with a store-bought option.
Ice cream (store-bought)
It's well documented that dogs love ice cream, but Ben & Jerry's is not exactly good for them. If you're not the make-at-home type, Puppy Scoops is a line of dog-friendly ice cream with flavors like peanut butter, maple bacon and carob (not chocolate). It's available to purchase online (four pints for $30) and we won't tell if you sneak a taste.
- This story was written by Emily Murawski and originally posted on Chowhound.