Summer means car rides to the lake, to Dairy Queen, to anyplace you can cool off! Everyone loves a fun ride in the car. But when it comes to running errands around town, please leave your doggy at home. The general rule of thumb is that an outside temperature of 70 degrees means an inside-the-car temperature of at least 90 degrees, which is much too hot for your family hound.
And to help your furry friends keep cool, here’s a quick & easy recipe for puppy ice cake from Spot Magazine: Freeze water and chicken stock in a cake pan with toys, carrots, treats, and other delicious nibbles to keep dogs from getting bored and overheated in the backyard.
Need a few more ideas? Here are 20 dog treats to help your puppies beat the heat:
1. Fill a bowl about 3/4 full with water and place it in the freezer overnight. Place it beside his regular water bowl before you leave for work. As the ice melts, your dog will have a second bowl of cool water during the day.
2. Pour chicken or beef broth into ice cube trays. When frozen, place in the food bowl with your dog’s kibble, or add to the water bowl for a flavored beverage.
3. Kong toys have hollowed centers that can be filled with anything yummy. “I fill them, freeze them and then pull them out when I leave.” Seal the small hole of a Kong with peanut butter then add chicken broth and a stick of beef jerky. Freeze for a yummy yet messy outdoor treat.
4. Add water or broth to your dog’s kibble then place the moistened mixture inside the hollow portion of a Kong or other hollow chew toy. Freeze overnight.
5. Scrub sweet potatoes, score with a fork and then bake until soft. Add mashed sweet potato, along with the skin, to your dog’s kibble for a healthy dose of beta-carotene.
6. Chill a carrot in the fridge and give it to your pooch. It’s a super-inexpensive chew toy that works best with indiscriminate puppies.
7. Mash a ripe banana and mix with one tablespoon of all-natural peanut butter. Stuff the mixture into a Kong and freeze or simply place in ice cube trays and offer one treat a day.
8. Thinly slice apples, bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes or zucchini and place in a food dehydrator for a chewy treat.
9. Stir a tablespoon of plain low-fat Greek yogurt into your dog’s kibble. (Flavored yogurt contains added sugar).
10. Thickly chop carrots and barely cover with any flavor broth. Cook in the microwave until soft then add to kibble.
11. Wash, core and thinly slice apples with the skin on. Place slices on cooking sheet and bake on low heat until crispy.
12. Mash two ripe bananas and mix with four tablespoons of low-fat Greek yogurt and a few sprigs of chopped parsley or peppermint to aid digestion and promote fresh breath. Freeze and scoop at treat time.
13. Stock up on tins of sardines in spring water. Mix these oily fish in with kibble to promote a healthy coat.
14. Buy frozen green beans and use as treats, particularly for portly pooches who need a little calorie reduction.
15. Create your own cheese doodles. (Small doses of junk food can be OK in moderation.) Squeeze a little Cheez Whiz onto a cookie sheet and freeze into mini treats.
16. Low-fat cream cheese added to your dog’s favorite hollow toy and freeze overnight.
17. Get bone marrow bones from the butcher and freeze them. Be sure to monitor your dog while it’s chewing a bone to prevent any possible choking hazards.
18. Place peanut butter or cream cheese inside a marrow bone and freeze. Again, monitor your dog while it’s working on the bone.
19. Steam fresh broccoli florets and use as treats or mix with kibble.
20. Dehydrate slices of cooked chicken for bite-size doggie nuggets.
Since the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that more than half the dogs in this country are obese or overweight, use moderation when adding these or any treats to your pet’s diet.
*from CNN online, Morieka Johnson, Mother Nature Network, August 12, 2011 8:59 a.m. EDT
Finally, when all else fails, a run through the backyard sprinkler should help cool things down!
“When eating a fruit, think of a person who planted the tree.” –VIETNAMESE PROVERB