Ice Makers, Your Pets, and Keeping Them Cool with Healthy Treats
There are lots of uses for ice makers, but did you know that our friendly tail waggers love ice too? When temperatures rise, our furry friends get hot and one of the best ways to cool them down is with frozen treats. Below are a few suggestions to keeping your pets cool on a warm day in a tasty, healthy, and fun way.
Provide your pets with a fresh bowl of water. Cats are more finicky than dogs, so they won't drink from a bowl that contains warm or room temperature water. Add ice cubes to their water and they'll lap it up. Cats love ice cold water. Adding ice to their bowl also gives them something interesting to check out. They like to push the cubes around in the water bowl with their paws, and dogs like to take them out and eat them.
Just Plain Ice
What's true of dogs is that most of them love ice. Malamutes, Retrievers, Huskies, and a variety of other breeds enjoy the occasional ice cube. This is a great treat as it provides your furry friend with the water needed to survive in a fun and exciting way. When adding ice to your beverage, toss one to your best pal and watch how much he enjoys it.
Giving your pets frozen bullion is another way to provide them with fluid necessary to prevent any kind of dehydration from the heat. Create a tasty treat by freezing chicken broth with cooked chicken in ice cube trays. It is definitely not recommended to make these in an ice maker. Cats and dogs can enjoy this healthy treat and keep cool at the same time.
A Few More Suggestions
Pet popsicles can be made out of all kinds of things that your dog (or cats) eat normally, so experiment to see what they like best.
- Try: Treats suspended in water, watered down wet food, and favorite frozen veggies.
- Tip: For your dog, you can fill up a rubber Kong-style toy and with treats like peanut butter or water freeze???a great cool-down treat for when you will be away for a few hours.
The avoid giving your pets anything harmful the following as listed by Pet MD should be considered unsafe for your pets. When making them special treats steer clear of these food items:
- Grapes and raisins - contain chemical compounds that are toxic to dogs
- Garlic and onions - both have chemical properties that can be toxic, and even life threatening to dogs and cats
- Mushrooms - particularly wild mushrooms
- Fruits with pits, such as peaches, cherries, and plums - in some cases the pit can be toxic, or can simply present a choking hazard
- Nuts - particularly macadamia nuts, which are toxic to pets
There are a variety of people foods, your pets actually like and is deemed safe for them to eat. Pet MD says yes to the following:
- Apples - without seeds or core (apple seeds contain chemical compounds that are poisonous to animals)
- Watermelon - without seeds
- Frozen bananas
- Green beans
- Carrots - raw or cooked
- Sweet potato - cooked, cubed or mashed without butter or seasoning; regular potatoes are also good, but in limited amounts since they are high in sugar and can increase weight
- Squash, zucchini
- Popcorn - unsalted and unbuttered
- Catnip or cat grass
Try smashing fruits and vegetables and freezing them in an ice cube tray. Frozen bananas, strawberries, and watermelon can be a tasty treat for your cat. Some cats even enjoy vegetables. Sample the list above and create something they'll love. Dogs are an easier pet to treat. They're far less finicky than cats and find snacking on people food a real treat. Always follow healthy guidelines for your pets to ensure and satisfactory response to homemade frozen delights.
Below are a few recipes to get you started on the right foot.
Treats for Dogs
Chicken or Beef Popsicles
- 1 c low sodium beef or chicken stock
- 1/2 c water
- 1.5 oz chicken or beef, finely chopped
- Combine ingredients together in a bowl, stirring well. Pour ingredients into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. Serve.
Peanut Butter Popsicles as suggested by the Humane Society
- In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter with a little water or half a mashed banana. (The water and banana aren't essential but help with freezing consistency.)
- Line an ice cube tray or cookies heet with wax paper. (You don't have to use the paper, but it can make prying the cubes out easier.)
- Spoon the mixture into the cubes, or drop onto the tray just like you would cookie dough.
- Freeze. If you need to reuse the tray right away, pop out the cubes and store them in a bag or container in the freezer.
- Serve. Turn any hot dog into a happy camper.
Treats for Cats
Cat treat recipe as formulated by AllNaturalPetCare is rich in omegas, low-carb, and highly digestible and helps balance electrolytes.
In a blender or food processor, combine:
- 1 can of unseasoned sardines (packed in water)
- 1 TBSP ground krill (or your favorite freeze-dried treats)
- 1/4 tsp powdered seaweed
- 1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- Blend until smooth. Spoon into a small ice cube tray (I found small trays at my local dollar store). Once the treats are frozen, remove them from the tray and store in an air-tight container in the freezer.
- 1 can of tuna
- 32 oz plain yogurt
- Blend together ingredients in a blender or food processor until creamy. Pour blended ingredients into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. Serve.