Here in Southern Ontario, it has been mighty hot, with some days approaching 40 degrees Celsius (that’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit!). While we two-legged creatures can take care of ourselves by staying in the shade and drinking lots of water, our puppies may not know what to do to beat the heat. (Did you know that dogs can get sunburnt? If they’re going to be outside for an extended period of time, be sure to have a shady area for them to rest in and apply a little children’s sunblock SPF 30+ on any areas with less fur – the tip of the nose, tips of the ears, around the mouth and so on. Cyn)
While you definitely need to keep an eye on them, limit their time outside in direct sunlight, and make sure to provide plenty of water for your furry friend (we have two big water bowls – one for inside and one for outside – Note from Cyn – those water bowls are prone to bacteria growth especially in the heat of the summer. Be sure to wash them well with soap and water. Add a few ice cubes to keep the water nice and cool), why not also give them a nice frozen treat to help them cool off? Trust me, they may not know the reason for the treat, but they won’t complain!
(Another great way to keep them cool is with their very own kiddie pool. Fill it with some water and a few toys and watch your pup have some fun splashing around! Just remember to supervise them while they use the pool. Not all dogs are as water savvy as others. Cyn)
I don’t know about your pups, but mine ADORES peanut butter. And yogurt. And lots of other foods (Trin’s not really picky). So what better to give her than these tasty pupsicles? Not only are they delicious, they’re also super easy to make – they only take two ingredients and about 5 to 10 minutes to make!
All you’re going to need is 1/4 cup of peanut butter (I use smooth, but anything other than crunchy would work) and 1 cup of yogurt. Now, the original recipe I used called for plain yogurt, but a) that’s boring and b) I wanted to use up some soon-to expire yogurt that was already in my fridge. So Trin got some yummy raspberry yogurt instead. Now her pupsicles taste like a frozen PB & J sandwich! I tasted some myself (before they got frozen) and it’s crazy delicious. (The original recipe also suggested using fat-free yogurt for dogs who are watching their weight. Trin is currently at her ideal weight, and like I said, I was just using previously-purchase yogurt, so this yogurt wasn’t fat-free, but I thought I’d pass along the tip. Gotta keep our furry friends healthy, right?)
Also for this recipe I used this great silicone baking sheet with dog bone-shaped wells (from Bed Bath & Beyond). Its rim is reinforced with steel so it doesn’t go all wobbly when carrying it around, which makes it super easy to freeze and bake dog treats in. If you don’t have this pan, you can use any old ice cube tray you want, or maybe you have really neat popsicle molds? S’all good, you just need something that will freeze your pupsicles into bite-size portions for your puppy.
Okay, so take your 1/4 cup of peanut butter, put it in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave it until it melts. I started by zapping it for 30 seconds, and then did an additional 15 seconds until it was a good consistency (ended up being a minute in total for me). Also, it was easiest to use a spoon to scoop the peanut butter into the measuring cup and then scoop it from the measuring cup to the bowl. Minimal messiness that way.
Mix the 1 cup of yogurt with your melted peanut butter until they’re well-blended. Then all you have to do is scoop that mixture into your tray and stick it in the freezer until your pupsicles have hardened (mine took about 2 – 2 1/2 hours).
All that’s left is to pop out pupsicles as needed to share with your special little buddy! Now, as with any treat, you don’t want to overfeed your puppy. Just like with kids, too many treats will lead to weight problems and long-term health issues. Besides, they’re more special if they only get a pupsicle once in awhile!
As you can see, Trin just LOVES these pupsicles. As soon as Mr Anderson brought them out, she ran over to the door to get some! And now she can have a nice cool treat during long days playing in the sun. Hope your puppies enjoy this special treat as much as mine does! (Awww isn’t she sweet? She tries SO hard to be patient when we give her treats. Cyn)
(Even the cat got in on the action. Sugar made it clear she was very interested in what I was making, and since she deserves a nice treat too, I let her lick the measuring cups! Yum yum!)