I scream, you scream, ICE CREAM FOR DOGS! (Did we do it right?)
While it’s not best to give your pup everyday ice cream from the store (hello, tummy ache), there are many yummy alternatives for your pup. It doesn’t take a chef to make homemade treats, but you’ll definitely feel like one when you’re done—especially when Fido finishes your canine concoction in a matter of seconds. You can always get creative and experiment with your pup’s favorite foods, but if you’d rather follow a recipe, we have you covered.
SKIP THE SOFT SERVE
We know it can be tempting to grab your dog a kiddie cone or cup from the corner whippy dip, but it’s best to skip the soft serve because they will have a hard time digesting the lactose in the milk and all of that sugary goodness could lead to weight gain. Even if the ice cream is sugarless, it could contain xylitol, which is a sugar substitute that can make dogs sick and be toxic.
One important note on xylitol: Sometimes, specialty brands will use xylitol to sweeten their peanut butter. Peanut butter is a delicious ingredient to include in any homemade dog treat, just be sure to read the label when serving your pup and be on the lookout for certain buzzwords such as “reduced sugar” or “no sugar added” since these are often associated with xylitol.
SATISFY FIDO’S SWEET TOOTH
Fortunately, making ice cream for dogs is as easy as grabbing some tasty ingredients and mixing it all together. Feel free to experiment with your own flavors (making sure your ingredients don’t contain xylitol, of course) when making a treat for your pup. Most fruits such as bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, raspberries and cranberries are all good for your dog in moderation. However, never serve your dog grapes, cherries or tomatoes because they are all toxic to dogs. The toxic substance in grapes and raisins is actually unknown, while cherry pits and stems contain cyanide and the tomato stem and leaves contain solanine.
Just remember: With any special treat, moderation is key. When it comes to how often you serve your pup homemade ice cream, we recommend consulting your veterinarian for the best advice since they’re most familiar with your dog's unique dietary needs.
Now that you have a good picture of what your dog can safely consume, let’s get to the fun part. It’s time to learn how to make sweet treats that your pup will love! (Psst...any of these can be adjusted based on what your pup likes.)
Pawberry Ice Cream
1 small tub of fresh strawberries (rinse well before using)
4 cups of nonfat and plain yogurt
Mash the strawberries using a potato masher or the back of a spoon.
Mix the strawberry mash with your yogurt in your blender or with a whisk.
Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer. To make these treats
extra Instagram-worthy, buy a heart-shaped or bone-shaped silicone ice tray.
Freeze until solid (this usually takes about 4 hours).
Watch your dog devour your creation and smile endlessly.
You didn’t really think we’d share homemade treat recipes without including a peanut butter one, did you? For this one, you’ll need a fillable toy.
No-Bake Banana Treat
1 ripe banana
A scoop of peanut butter (be sure to check for xylitol...you know the drill)
1 slice of low-fat cheese (like mozzarella)
Combine the banana, peanut butter and cheese in a blender until it reaches a smooth consistency.
Smear it over the toy and freeze until solid (which usually takes about 4 hours).
Give to your dog and give yourself a pat on the back.
If your dog has had a long walk and wants a sweet treat right then and there, try this slurp-worthy slushy that you can make in mere minutes. Yes, it’s really that easy.
Fido’s Fruity Puptail
1/2 cup watermelon
1/4 cup pineapple
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup cold water
Add the fruit and water to a blender.
Blend until the fruit is completely crushed and you have a liquid consistency.
Put in a bowl, serve to your pup and revel in a job well done.
TOP IT ALL OFF
What’s a homemade ice cream treat without a sundae bar? Turn up the fun factor to 1,000,000 by throwing on some toppings for your pup.
These toppings are all safe to use and will be a hit with your dog:
A spoonful of applesauce
Bits of crispy bacon
Shredded, unsweetened coconut
A sprinkle of dried berries
No matter what you decide to make, your dog is bound to love it. While your dog is enjoying their homemade treat, just make sure you have something sweet of your own to eat. Because jealousy.