By Dr. Parker T. Barker
Summer time means frozen treat time. That’s why it is one of my favorite times of the year. Mom takes Peanut, my sister, and me for a long walk every day and I have to admit, I’m not used to the humidity down here so we come back pooped. Then what comes out of the freezer? Something wonderful and cold, and challenging to get at, and oh so delicious. Frozen treats!
These are super easy to make and super fun to eat. Your imagination is the only constraint on making something scrumptious! So, how to begin? Find something that will hold food and liquid and go in the freezer. The easiest is ice cube trays. Personally, I would recommend getting trays just for the dog treats, maybe in a different color, or the frozen chicken broth could end up in your soda. Yuck. Mom even found some ice cube trays shaped as a bone. Who knew?
Basically, if you can freeze in it, you can use it for a frozen treat. Cupcake liners that are made of paper work really well. You need to let them sit for a couple of minutes after they are frozen and the paper comes right off, then into a zip lock bag they go and back to the freezer ready for the next super warm day.
Peanut’s favorite frozen treat is pretty simple. Low sodium beef broth with some cooked sweet potatoes mashed up in it. My favorite is no-fat plain yogurt with bananas all squished in it with a few berries for color. Seriously, how easy is this? Our Mom crushes some of our favorite dog biscuits and adds them to the mixture to give it a little crunch.
If your pup is on a health kick—(I never am – I manage to avoid anything that is green in color just in principle)—try putting his favorite veggies in some low sodium chicken broth and freeze it. Broccoli, string beans, carrots all work great. Or you can just cut up a banana or apples and freeze those and we will be more than happy to munch on them outside as well. Remember NO GRAPES—bad for dogs, very bad for dogs.
Fruit juice also work pretty well on a hot day. Again, go with the low sugar or no sugar added varieties. Apple juice is a wonderful treat for me. And it’s healthy, kind of.
I went to a birthday party last year- Freddie was turning three, anyway his Mom, who was having the party, got really creative and we had 3-tiered colored ice pops that she had to freeze in layers to get the effect. They were really cool. Red, white and blue, very tasty if I do say so myself. And if you need a stick for a Popsicle, try a long skinny dog treat. Works great.
And don’t leave your furry friend out of the family barbeque. Rather than sit there and drool at all that beautiful food going to someone else, take some old cooked hamburger, add a little cheese, and freeze it in beef broth – low sodium – and voila, there you have a cheeseburger pop just right for the pups. Pops for pups – I love alliteration. Then everyone can enjoy the barbeque! Or you could just give us a steak. No? Thought it was worth a try.
So experiment this summer. Work with your Mom to figure out what you like and that is easy to make and store. And above all, stay cool friends.
Dr. Parker T. Barker received his doctorate in Squirrel Chasing and Hoovering from the University of Hartford, CT Rescue Center. He lives on Lady’s Island with his sister, Peanut and their great Mom. Prof. Percy Pussycat is a trained animal behaviourist and received his degree from the Canine and Cat Institute in London. He lives in Shell Point with his brother, Harley and devoted human family.