RECIPE: Homemade Frozen Dog & People Treats
If you're like me, nothing brings you more joy than making special treats for your dogs. This has been one of the hottest summers that I can remember, so I've been making more frozen dog and people treats than ever. Your dog (and you, too) will love these delicious homemade frozen treats that are loaded with healthy benefits like joint protection, improved coat, better skin, and fewer allergies for both you and your fur-friend.
The only downside to these frozen treats is that they can melt, which can be messy. But my dogs are trained to clean up, so there is almost never anything left to clean. Just be ready with a towel, especially if you're eating them indoors, to protect carpet or furniture in the event your dog runs to the sofa to indulge.
If you've never made a homemade treat for your dog, you'll quickly learn how much they will love homemade ice cream, pupsicles, or other frozen treats as much as you do. Yes, they do sell frozen treats for pets, but like human treats, most are high in sugar and fat, and contain artificial flavors and colors. Most are ridiculously expensive and some contain potentially dangerous ingredients.
We only give our dogs the best and healthiest foods and treats. And we follow the same 80-20 snack rule for them as we do for ourselves, which is 80% of their diet is healthy and nutritious and 20% or less can be treats, leaving room for the not-so-healthy stuff we all love.
If you're not following the 80-20 (or 90-10) rule, start now! When it comes to weight management, it's the best way to maintain weight loss and protect your health. If the world followed this advice there would be no heart disease, diabetes, or other weight-related diseases, which is just about every health ailment we face today, and sadly, 99% preventable.
Thankfully, it's easy to save money and add variety to your leaner lifestyle, while improving both your and your dog's diet for optimal nutrition, even when it comes to the yummy stuff. Both you and your dog can cool off as temperatures climb with these delicious homemade frozen dog treats.
How to Make the Best and Most Delicious Frozen Dog Treats
First, be sure to avoid ingredients that are harmful to dogs (and are also not the best for you either) due to their blood sugar-spiking glycemic index or excess fat and calories they contain.
Avoid these ingredients: xylitol sweetener, nuts (specifically macadamia nuts),
grapes, raisins, onions, and chocolate.
Avoid/prevent unwanted weight gain by limiting fruits, fruit juices, nut milks, and other sources of sugar. Feed all extra treats in moderation for both you and your best fur-friend.
Most dogs are lactose-intolerant, which can make regular ice cream and frozen milk products indigestible. All LynFit Nutrition's proteins are lactose and dairy-free, which makes them great substitutes. Our whey is ultra purified and microfiltered, leaving no trace of lactose, the dairy sugar that causes most of the distress. It's also not good for weight loss, which is why we don't use whey that hasn’t been purified and filtered, removing all traces for safety.
Substituting the usual dairy products like milk, yogurt, and nut milks helps both dogs and humans avoid digestive problems. For you, it won't stop your weight loss and won't block the fat-burning process. There is not a good reason to avoid these delicious treats, so be sure to make extra so you can enjoy these frozen treats while it's hot outside. I have at least one a day, either at the 3 pm snack time or after dinner, when the family is around and wanting dessert.
You most likely already have everything you need to make these healthy treats.
Healthy ingredients: LynFit Complete Whey Protein Powder, Vegan Protein Powder, or Egg White Protein Powder (contains real cacao, which is safe for dogs in moderation).
Equipment: A sharp knife and cutting board, blender or food processor, and something to hold and shape treats during freezing, such as simple ice cube trays, popsicle molds, paper cups, silicone molds, wooden strips, and or edible sticks. For your dogs, a sturdy rubber chew toy like a KONG toy works miracles when they get bored or need a distraction while you're busy.
Storage: Once these treats are fully frozen, you can place them in air tight freezer containers or zip lock bags for longer lasting freezer storage. Zippo locks also make for an easy grab-and-go snack and also prevents food odors from other foods if you decide to add dog treats like we do.
IMPORTANT Frozen dog and human treat disclaimer: If your dog is like ours and loves to chew ice cubes, you're not alone, but ice cubes are potentially hazardous.
According to a Tennessee pet dentist in my clinician canine nutrition class, Dr. Barden Greenfield, DVM, “Dogs have a tendency to chew too hard and the force of breaking ice is substantial. This leads to broken teeth which can lead to oral pain and discomfort and may result in surgical removal or special treatments. The risk of breaking a tooth increases with the size of frozen cubes, so be careful and avoid this by freezing small cubes or training your pet to slow down and lick (it is possible and it works for humans too). If dogs can be trained to eat slow, so can we."
Shaved ice also works if you need an alternative. You can also add ingredients that make cubes softer such as the ones used in these treats. Small amounts of honey help soften and provide health benefits for dogs and humans. Don't worry about the sugar in honey. When you strategically pair it with these proteins and fiber, blood sugar spikes are blunted.
You can use whatever safe ingredients you have on hand and experiment with quantities. There is more than one way to make these, but if you're wanting to avoid weight gain for both you and your dog, stick to the ingredients listed to prevent weight or health issues before they are a problem. I've never had a dog or human not like these frozen treats, but to be safe, offer a teaspoon taste first before you freeze them.
A Note About the KONG Dog Toy
The KONG is a nontoxic, dishwasher-safe rubber toy with a hollow center that can be stuffed with food to provide dogs with a healthy outlet for their natural desire to chew and lick, or slow down their eating. It also stimulates them intellectually, keeping their minds sharp, which is as important for dogs as it is for us. KONGs come in many sizes, from very tiny to extra-large.
My absolute favorite go-to dog toy is the classic KONG. Dogs love them and you can fill them up and place in freezer, so they are ready when you are. Not to mention, most dogs can't devour them, so you can get years of re-use.
If your KONG toy has holes, make sure you block them before filling, or place them in a freezer-safe container to avoid making a mess.
Popular dog-safe, people-loving ingredient options include:
- Mashed or sliced ripe banana
- Intact berries (fresh or frozen), pureed soft fruit, or vegetables (remove the seeds or pits before blending)
- LynFit Pet Recovery Agent chews or canned dog food for your dog
- Sugar-free, natural peanut, almond, or your favorite nut butter (dog-safe - make sure they do not contain xylitol).
- Chopped or diced apple
- Chopped or shredded carrots (makes a great carrot cake pop)
- Shredded, unsweetened coconut
- LynFit Vegan or Whey Complete Protein Powder (you can use plain, unsweetened yogurt, but you'll lose the blood sugar stabilizing, weight loss, and fat burning benefits).
- LynFit Daily Repair Liquid Collagen for collagen treats (dogs love it too)
- LynFit Daily Power Shot Multivitamin Mineral or Energy Ignite (for humans)
- LynFit Daily Wellness THC-free CBD Gummies
Both people and dogs love frozen desserts and treats. Keep it simple, get creative.
Flavored Ice Cube Treats
Any liquid that you and your dog enjoy will work well as a simple frozen ice cube. Try freezing your pre-made protein shake, Daily Repair Liquid Collagen, Daily Power Shot, or pre-made Energy Ignite.
Follow these simple instructions to make a frozen treats in an ice cube tray:
- Choose both you and your dog's favorite dog-safe ingredients: cooked vegetables (carrots make a delicious carrot cake popsicle), apples, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, peaches, sugar-free coconut milk, pumpkin, peanut, or almond butter. Just be aware that nut butters, pumpkin, and coconut milk (all added milk) increase calories, which is best left for the underweight. The lower the calories, the more freely you can eat these delicious treats.
- Using a blender or food processor, combine the ingredients to create a puree, one that’s thin enough to pour, but thick enough to be yummy.
- After freezing, remove the treats to zip-lock bags for freezer storage.
Add a surprise to your frozen treat! By simply by adding a surprise in the middle, you can turn a boring, plain ice cube into a delicious and fun treat. Fill your ice cube tray, or whatever you're going to use, halfway and freeze. Then, remove the tray from the freezer and add in the center of each cube a small treat such as blueberries, raspberries, cut strawberries, banana slices, or other cut fruit. Try Daily Wellness CBD Gummies for a delicious surprise!
For the pups, a piece of cooked meat, a small training treat or Pet Recovery Agent chewable tab, or a dollop of peanut butter works great. Fill the ice cube tray to the top with the same or a different base liquid, and place it back in the freezer. After the cubes have frozen solid (usually within four hours), store them in zip-lock bags.
Homemade Instant Soft Serve Ice Cream for Dogs and Humans
When making homemade ice cream for you and your dog, replace the typical dairy ingredients that make up your favorite ice cream with frozen protein shake. Or, you can add protein powder to fermented dairy like yogurt, but make sure you look for the lowest sugar option.
Follow these instructions to create a soft, swirly, frozen confection:
- Cut ripe fruit such as watermelon or other melon (remove seeds as you go) into chunks and freeze them for at least four hours.
- In a blender or food processor, combine (1 cup) frozen fruit with (2 scoops) protein powder. Blend well to achieve a soft-serve consistency, and consider making a double batch for ease, so you always have some on hand. (We love frozen berries and bananas.)
- Serve in a wafer ice cream cone (not sugar cones); they are only 20-25 calories and virtually carb-free. You can also serve in a paper cup or small bowl. Or, you can place some in a hollow toy for your pup when you're outside by the pool to keep him cool and hydrated. You can buy popsicle molds with a base that catch melting liquid before it makes a mess.
Pupsicles – Popsicles for Dogs and Humans
My friends and family refer to these pupsicles as The Bomb. On steamy days I pack them safely in a cooler when we head to Honeymoon Island’s dog beach for a little playtime. I also make sure to always have some on hand for those hot days for after our backyard training/playtime with my new puppy! (If you haven't met him yet, check out my videos Instagram - @LynFitNutrition. He is quite the charmer and loves yummy treats too!)
These pupsicles can also be made with an edible stick such as a slice of carrot, celery, or appropriate unprocessed dog chew instead of throwaway popsicle sticks, for an earth-friendly twist.
Here’s how to make popsicles for you and your dog:
- In your blender or food processor, combine dog-safe ingredients listed, such as frozen banana pieces, frozen berries or unsweetened apple sauce or nut butter. Don't forget your pre-made protein smoothie to blunt blood sugar spikes!
- Aim for the consistency of a thick milkshake by decreasing liquid and blending longer, if needed.
- Fill the popsicle molds, and, if needed, add an edible stick such as a popsicle stick for you, or a carrot, dog biscuit, green bean, or sturdy chew toy like a nylon bone for your pup.
- To remove the pupsicles from their molds, leave them at room temperature for 2-3 minutes, or run warm water over the outside of the mold.
Here are some of my favorite pupsicle recipes:
- Strawberry Ice Cream or Popsicle: (½ -1 cup) frozen strawberries + (2 scoops) French Vanilla Crème Complete Protein Powder
- Banana Cream: (½ -1 cup) frozen sliced banana + (2 scoops) Salted Caramel Complete Protein Powder
- Blueberry Ice Cream: (½-1 cup) frozen blueberries + (2 Scoops) French Vanilla Crème Complete Protein Powder
- Tropical Collagen Popsicle: (½-1 cup) frozen mango + (1 oz.) Daily Repair Liquid Collagen + a dash of water
- Peanut Butter Balls/Pops: (1 cup) peanut butter + (1 cup) protein powder (flavor of choice) + the desired amount of honey. Blend together, place in the freezer, and roll into small peanut butter balls (for pups, place a stick into the peanut butter ball for a frozen peanut butter pop).
*Disclaimer: Limit or avoid chocolate flavors for dogs, and limit the amount of these treats you give your dog if they are sensitive to whey or pea protein. Adjust the serving size to suit the size of your dog.
- Lisa Lynn