Oreo has a way of making me feel guilty when I eat food. He sits pretty and has this look that says “what about me?” His ears perk up and flop over his forehead. And if I look long enough into his inquiring puppy eyes, I cave.
It’s called begging. Most of the time, I ignore him. Eventually, he angrily struts off.
The majority of things I eat aren’t exactly good for Oreo. Besides, my sandwich is my sandwich.
But there’s one thing that makes me feel extra guilty — ice cream. On a sizzling summer day, if I’m partaking in a delicious double scoop of Gifford’s maple walnut, I feel awfully selfish as Oreo sits there, baking in the sun. Unfortunately, hard serve ice cream doesn’t seem to agree with Oreo’s digestive tract. I’ve read up about this a little, and it turns out that a lot of dogs have a hard time digesting “human ice cream” because of the high amounts of lactose and sugar. To make matters worse, the ice cream we buy for home usually contains chocolate (a big no-no for dogs).
That leaves me with two options. Travel to the pet store and buy dog ice cream and other frozen treats, or make some frozen treats out of some dog-friendly human food.
In this day and age, I typically go for the cheapest option.
So, I asked readers to share their homemade frozen dog snacks, and here are a few of the simple recipes I received in response:
Rooster, a cockapoo from Orono, enjoys this simple frozen treat:
- Put ½ cup-¾ cup of chicken stock or broth in a plastic container (shallow is better). Put a dog treat — such as an Iams mini bone shaped treat or a Buddy Biscuits treat — into it, then toss it in the freezer.
The following frozen snack helped Bruno, a malamute-golden retriever mix living in Trenton, get through long nights of crate training:
- Freeze chicken broth with pieces of carrots and liver treats in a Kong ball. To keep it in the Kong ball while freezing, the trick is to slather a liver treat in peanut butter to plug the small end hole, then set the Kong ball in the freezer at a 45-degree angle.
Zeus, Kacee, Mulligan and Maddigan — a happy group of pit bull mixes adopted from Bangor Humane Society — go crazy for this homemade frozen yogurt treat:
- Blend together 16 oz. of Greek yogurt, a banana and about two tablespoons of peanut butter. Scoop the concoction into containers and toss it in the freezer.
A family of 10 Alaskan husky sled dogs from Fort Kent cool off and stay hydrated in the summer with these two frozen snacks:
- Bloodcicles: Any frozen protein blood, watered down. One way to make bloodcicles is to freeze hamburger, then thaw it in water. Pour the hamburger-water mixture in ice cube trays (marked “bloodcicles”).
- Scooby Snacks: Canned dog food, shopped meat varieties (not chunks in gravy), frozen. Open both ends of the can and squeeze the food out so you have a tube of dog food. Slice the tube into six “hockey pucks” and freeze individually on a cookie sheet. Store the frozen pucks in baggies in the freezer.
Thanks for the great suggestions, readers. And a big “thank you” to the canine taste testers, too.
All of these recipes can be altered and added to, of course. But it’s important to use food that is actually good — or at least OK — for pups to consume. I found the article “10 ‘People’ Foods for Dogs” in Modern Dog magazine to be helpful in determining which ingredients I could safely add to Oreo’s frozen treats. It can be found online at moderndogmagazine.com/articles/10-people-foods-dogs/1896. But here’s the list: yogurt, flax seed, salmon, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, green beans, eggs, brewer’s yeast, apples and oatmeal.
Oreo will be glad to hear green beans are on the list. He loves them, and I bet he’d like them frozen, too.
Of the recipes above, I decided to make Oreo the frozen yogurt-banana-peanut butter mix, as well as the chicken broth concoction for inside a Kong ball. Safe to say, he loved them both.