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Recipe Roundup: Summertime Snacks for Your Pet

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A mixed-breed dog sniffing a pink popsicle held by a person

Making homemade treats for your pets is a great way to show them some extra love and keep them cool this summer. Get ready to put on your chef's hat and whip up some drool-worthy recipes that'll have your pets begging for more.

Summer Dog Treat Recipes

As the temperatures rise and the sun shines brighter, most dogs love spending time outside, be it in the backyard or the pool. After running around in the heat, your pup will be hungry and ready for a tasty snack.

Frozen Summer Dog Treats

There are many options when it comes to summer treats for dogs. Homemade frozen dog treats for summer can be a healthy and budget-friendly option—plus, a frozen treat can help cool your pup down on a hot day. It is not a safe and healthy choice to feed your dog the type of ice cream and popsicles you eat. Luckily, you can make them their own versions.

As always, consult with your vet to make sure your pet doesn’t have any dietary restrictions before giving them any of these treats!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe peeled banana
  • 4 ounces of plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of xylitol-free peanut butter

Instructions:

    1. In a blender, combine the ripe banana, plain yogurt, and xylitol-free peanut butter. Blend until smooth.
    2. Pour the mixture into a few small containers.
    3. Place the containers in the freezer and leave them overnight.
    4. Serve the ice cream directly from the container.*

*Your pup should always be supervised when trying new treats or foods, but this is especially true for this frozen snack. You don't want them chewing on the ice cream container, which could become a choking or foreign body obstruction hazard.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strawberries, tops removed
  • ¼ cup water
  • Xylitol-free peanut butter

Instructions:

  1. Wash and remove tops from strawberries.
  2. Blend strawberries and water until smooth.
  3. Pour puree into ice cube trays, filling over halfway. Top each with about 1 teaspoon of xylitol-free peanut butter.
  4. Freeze until solid.
  5. Serve frozen cubes as treats for your pet.

Remember to check that your peanut butter is xylitol-free before serving it to your pup. This sugar substitute can cause severe health problems for canines.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain or unflavored Greek yogurt
  • A small handful of fresh parsley leaves
  • A small handful of fresh mint leaves (never use essential oils or extracts)
  • Water (optional, for lighter consistency)

Instructions:

  1. Blend yogurt, parsley, and mint until herbs are evenly mixed.
  2. Add water if desired to thin the consistency.
  3. Pour into ice cube trays or molds.
  4. Freeze until solid.
  5. Serve frozen treats as a refreshing herbal snack for your pet.

A huge benefit of these frozen treats is that you can make as big or small of a batch as you would like and then keep them stored in your freezer all summer. If you live in a hotter climate that feels like summer all year, these easy treats may very well become a staple in your home.

A plate of paw-shaped frozen treats arranged neatly on a light green plate

Even More Tasty Dog Treats

Although frozen treats can be a great option to help keep dogs cool and hydrated, it’s nice to have a variety of treats available.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree/canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup xylitol-free peanut butter
  • 2 ½ cups plain or unflavored rolled oats, plus extra for rolling
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions:

  1. Mix pumpkin, peanut butter, oats, and water in a bowl until combined.
  2. Roll spoonfuls of mix into one-inch balls and coat with more oats.
  3. Refrigerate the balls for one hour.
  4. Serve to your pet when firm.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup toasted wheat germ
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup xylitol-free peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine whole wheat flour, toasted wheat germ, and ground cinnamon.
  2. Add water, peanut butter, egg, and canola oil. Stir until combined.
  3. Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness on a floured surface.
  4. Cut out biscuits and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Cool biscuits on a rack before serving. Store in an airtight container.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Up to ¼ cup water (as needed)
  • ¾ cup low-fat, unflavored Greek yogurt (for frosting)
  • ½ cup xylitol-free peanut butter (for frosting)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional, for frosting)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 6" round pan and line with parchment.
  2. In a bowl, mash the peeled banana and mix with applesauce.
  3. Add wheat flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir until combined.
  4. Slowly add water to reach cake batter consistency.
  5. Bake 35-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  7. Mix Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and honey (if using). Refrigerate until ready.
  8. Once cool, frost the cake with the peanut butter yogurt frosting. Decorate with pet treats.

Though your dog may try to use the power of their puppy eyes to convince you they need more of their treats, it’s important to serve them in moderation. Only a few goodies or one small slice of their cake per day is best since these are the dog equivalent to dessert.

Got a pumpkin-loving pup? These homemade pumpkin-based treats are easy to make, super tasty, and packed with healthy nutrients for your cat or dog.

Summer Treats for Your Cats

Whether your cat spends their summer on screened-in porches or an air-conditioned house, a frozen treat to help keep them cool is always a nice surprise.

Frozen Cat Treats

One of the many benefits of these frozen treats is that their main ingredients are items you probably already have in your home. Plus, once you make a batch, you can easily store them in your freezer for the entire summer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of water-packed unflavored tuna (or salmon)
  • ½ cup of water (plus more as needed)

Instructions:

  1. Drain the canned tuna.
  2. Blend the drained tuna with ½ cup of water in a food processor until smooth, adding more water as needed for the desired consistency.
  3. Pour the blended tuna into ice cube trays and freeze until solid.
  4. Store the frozen tuna cubes in a zipped freezer bag for easy use.

Ingredients:

  • 1 container Greek yogurt
  • 1 can smooth cat food (process if chunky)

Instructions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the Greek yogurt and cat food in a bowl. Use a food processor if the cat food is too chunky.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a plastic bag and snip off one corner.
  4. Squeeze the bag to form small dollops on the baking sheet.
  5. Freeze the dollops until solid.
  6. Serve the frozen treats as a cool snack for your cat.

Ingredients:

  • Pasteurized goat's milk (amount as preferred)
  • Small bits of cat treats (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Select your mold - ice cube trays, silicone molds, ice pop molds, or muffin tins.
  2. Pour goat's milk into the molds, filling to your preferred level.
  3. For a surprise, add small bits of cat treats to each mold.
  4. Freeze the molds until the milk is completely frozen.
  5. Remove the frozen treats from the molds and serve as a refreshing treat for your cat.

Not only are these treats easy to make, but they are also budget-friendly and eco-friendly! With each recipe only requiring a few ingredients, you can easily half or double the recipe, depending on how many cats you are serving.

Ready to get crafty with your pet? Start your next pet-friendly DIY project today!

A gray cat licking a block of frozen treat on a wooden table

Even More Tasty Cat Treats

If your feline friend is not a fan of frozen treats, try out some of these other homemade snacks.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons plain olive oil
  • 1 cup flour (plus extra for rolling)
  • 1 tablespoon dried catnip
  • ¾ cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1 egg
  • Water (as needed)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, mix olive oil, flour, dried catnip, and shredded carrots.
  4. Mix in 1 egg. Add water if too dry, or more flour if too wet.
  5. On a floured surface, roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Prick with a fork.
  6. Cut dough into squares and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. For a crunchier texture, bake longer.
  8. Allow treats to cool before storing in an airtight container for a few days, or freezing for longer shelf life. For softer treats, refrigerate.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dry cat food
  • Approximately 1 cup of water (adjust as needed)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Blend dry cat food until it becomes a fine powder.
  3. Pour the powdered cat food into a bowl. Gradually add water, slowly mixing until a dough forms. Add more water, if necessary, but ensure the dough is not too sticky.
  4. Shape treats - place small portions of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten using the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the treats are crispy.
  6. Allow the treats to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup oats
  • ⅓ cup plain peas (canned or frozen, thawed if frozen)
  • ½ cup canned tuna (do not drain)
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil (as needed)

Instructions:

  1. Thaw frozen peas beforehand.
  2. Blend oats, peas, tuna (with liquid from can), and parmesan cheese until dough-like.
  3. Scoop and roll dough into small, half-inch balls.
  4. Serve right away, and refrigerate to keep fresh.
  5. Refrigerate treats to keep fresh.

With these DIY cat treat recipes, you can easily tailor each batch to your cat's taste preferences and dietary needs, using readily available ingredients. Whether you're making a small batch for a solo cat or enough to share with a multi-cat household, these treats are the perfect way to show your love.

With these DIY cat treat recipes, you can easily tailor each batch to your cat's taste preferences and dietary needs, using readily available ingredients. Whether you're making a small batch for a solo cat or enough to share with a multi-cat household, these treats are the perfect way to show your love but remember to give them in moderation only!

As a pet parent, it can be helpful to stay up-to-date on the latest cat nutrition and dog nutrition trends.

Safe and Unsafe Foods for Your Pet

Backyard BBQs, pool parties, picnics, block parties, and more! Summer gatherings mean more food around the house, which increases the risk of pets accessing it. It's important to know which foods are safe for your pets and which ones aren't.

Safe Foods

Fruits and Vegetables: Both dogs and cats can enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables during the summer. Safe options include:

  • Apples (peeled, no seeds)
  • Bananas
  • Berries (such as blueberries and strawberries)
  • Melon (cantaloupe and watermelon, seedless)
  • Kiwi (peeled)
  • Pineapple
  • Broccoli (in small amounts)
  • Carrots

Proteins: Lean, cooked meats are also safe when given in moderation.

  • Chicken (cooked, no bones or skin)
  • Beef (lean and unseasoned)
  • Pork (cooked thoroughly)
  • Turkey (skinless and plain)

Other Safe Snacks:

  • Low-fat Dairy (in small amounts; watch for signs of lactose intolerance.)
  • Peanut Butter (xylitol-free)

While these foods are safe for your dog or cat to consume, pets should not be fed human foods regularly. A balanced diet of high-quality pet food should be the primary source of nutrition. Always consult with your veterinarian about any dietary changes, and make sure to continue to maintain a healthy diet by only giving your pets treats in moderation.

Learn more about how pet insurance could help you cover your pet’s eligible veterinary care expenses.

Unsafe Foods

Certain foods pose health risks and should always be avoided, such as:

  • Chocolate: Always dangerous, keep any form of chocolate out of reach.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Toxic to dogs and potentially harmful to cats.
  • Macadamia Nuts: Particularly toxic to dogs.
  • Alliums: Garlic and onions are harmful to both dogs and cats.
  • Raw Meats and Eggs: Can contain harmful bacteria.
  • Salty Snacks: Can lead to excessive thirst and urination, among other issues.
  • Beverages: Never give pets caffeinated drinks or alcohol as they can cause significant health problems.

Monitor your pet's response to new treats to determine which ones they prefer and can safely enjoy. This awareness can help prevent health emergencies and identify their favorite snacks. If you suspect your pet may have ingested something toxic, contact your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control center at 888-426-4435.

Reminder: Treats such as those listed above should not make up more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake. Also, stomach upset may occur in pets who do not tolerate dietary changes well. The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

An ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance plan can help you with eligible costs for covered conditions like surgery expenses for accidents and help provide peace of mind that your pet can receive the care they need. Check out our online resources to learn more about your insurance options and get a free quote today. The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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