Ever just want your dog to entertain themselves for a few hours? You just found the ultimate solution. Nothing works better than a toy stuffed full of yummy treats. Freezing it just extends the fun, and keeps it fresh for when you need it in a pinch. Not to mention, fantastic for cooling off on a hot summer day.
But before we get started there's a few things you need to be aware of...
Avoid Dangerous Ingredients: Things like preservatives and artificial sweeteners found in human food (such as Xylitol), dried fruit, grapes, nuts, apple seeds, chocolate, garlic, onions, celery, and peppers. I recommend checking out the list of safe & unsafe foods for your dog beforehand.
Does your dog have any allergies? This is important, make sure you read the ingredients and avoid flaring up your dog's allergies. Typically food allergies stem from specific proteins (chicken, beef, lamb, etc...), so it should be easy enough to maneuver around.
Is your dog sensitive to dairy? This one should be easy, just leave out the cheese, yogurt, or cottage cheese.
Is your dog on a diet? Then avoid any of the calorie dense ingredients like peanut butter, cheese, or adding too many dog treats. Portion out your treats based on your dog's size and dietary needs.
One Last Thing...
This will leave a mess! Don't let them consume their treat on the couch or carpet. I like to save these for a hot day so they can enjoy them in the backyard while cooling off.
- A few tablespoons of unsalted All Natural Peanut Butter
- 1 Banana (peeled)
- A handful of their regular kibble
Their regular kibble mixed in with some banana/peanut butter acts as a perfect filler without needing to go crazy on expensive treats. You don't even have to freeze this one to keep them occupied for hours. Always go with all natural peanut butter, and read the ingredients beforehand, you want to steer clear of preservatives and sweeteners as they could harm your dog (especially Xylitol).
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
- 1 can of low-sodium chicken, or plain cooked chicken breast
- Plain white rice (cooked)
This is a great substitute for dinner if your dog has an upset tummy, as it's easy to digest. You could even cook a plain chicken breast if you don't want to buy the canned stuff. Always look for the low sodium or unsalted stuff, or if cooking at home avoid any seasoning or toppings.
- A Can of Tuna or Salmon
- Chopped Carrots, Cucumbers, or Green Beans
- Plain Yogurt
Not only will your dog go nuts for this recipe, but it's full of the healthy stuff - omega fatty acids from the fish, probiotics from the yogurt, and all those vitamins and minerals from your chopped veggies.
- 1 Apple - chopped (no stem or seeds)
- Plain yogurt
Another healthy treat, just make sure you leave out those seeds and stem. If your dog isn't finding this one as appetizing, you can sweeten the deal by adding plain chicken or sprinkle in a few treats.
- 7oz (about half a can) of canned pumpkin
Yep, that's it, just stuff a Kong with canned pumpkin and freeze. It's very important you do not get pumpkin filling or pie mix (it's easy to mix up), you want 100% pure pumpkin with no added preservatives. Add some of their regular kibble for some extra crunchy filling.
- Plain yogurt
- 1 Banana
Gotta love these super simple recipes, some yogurt for pro-biotics and a banana because bananas are awesome.
- Low Fat Cottage Cheese
- Chopped carrots
The nice thing with cottage cheese is it's easy to load up a kong due to it's liquid form, full of protein, and comes in low-fat varieties. Perfect for treating your dog but keeping calories within a decent range. Add some chopped veggies for some crunch and you have an excellent treat.
Breakfast of Champions
- Plain cooked Oatmeal
- Plain Yogurt
Plain cooked oatmeal can be a great source of soluble fiber, especially for dogs that are sensitive to wheat or have bowel irregularities. Meanwhile, blueberries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Quick warning: blueberries will stain your furniture, so this might be best suited as an outdoor treat.
- Plain turkey or chicken
- Cooked rice or sweet potatoes
Your dog might be very, very thankful for this treat. It has all the good stuff. But your might be asking yourself: "what about the gravy?" Well, We can quickly stir up a little homemade pup gravy without all the harmful ingredients. Simply soak some of their kibble in warm water for 5 minutes, it should turn into a mushy, brown texture that smells awful but your dog will go crazy for. Now you have a proper thanksgiving dinner.
Mix and Match
The great thing about all these ingredients is you can mix them up however you like. Most dogs won't complain too much about the odd mixtures. So feel free to channel your inner canine chef.
Shayla has been working closely with animals for over 10 years. Initially trained as a Vet Tech Assistant in a local emergency clinic, she later changed career paths and became a professional Dog Groomer, and is now running her own successful pet grooming business.