Summer is upon us, or at least… it’s coming kind of soon, and the sun is seriously strong here in Oregon. We’ve got fans in every room and two AC’s, but sometimes my four-legged child wants a special treat just like us humans do! What’s a dog mom to do? Make pupsicles of course! They’re the perfect grain-free + frozen dog treats for any hot hound.
Franklin, like many dogs – like many pitbulls – has some serious allergies. They’re mostly environmental, but food can play a big part in that. Seeing my pupper scratching himself raw because he’s so itchy just breaks my heart. Even with medication, it’s not uncommon for Frank to draw blood from scratching so hard and he chews his paws constantly.
Per our vet, we don’t feed him gluten/grains or poultry/foul, and by choice we feed him a raw diet that we get from a great brand called Northwest Naturals. The progress in his skin and hair growth over the last six months has been unreal, but his allergies aren’t something that have an “end”. This has been and is going to be a lifelong issue for him and it’s up to us to do what we can to make him feel more comfortable.
I mention all of this as a preface to explain why on earth I’m making my own dog treats. While it’s gotten much easier to find single ingredient dog treats like dehydrated or freeze-dried animal parts, any biscuit-style goodies are pretty much out of the question. Not only are they often packed with rice, barley, or chicken, they also can have added sugar. What on earth does Franklin need molasses for? That’s a trick question – he doesn’t. Please don’t give your dog pure sugar.
Even if your dog doesn’t have as many food restrictions as I do, these are super easy to put together and make a really refreshing and healthy treat for a really hot day. They’re also fantastic shoved into a Kong (or other dishwasher-safe hide-a-treat toy) to minimize the mess.
I chose peanut butter because dogs love it (and Franklin is no exception), pumpkin for digestive health and some healthy carbs, and olive oil to help with skin and coat health.
Glass measuring cup
Silicone candy/chocolate/ice mold (I got my bone-shaped ones at Sierra Trading Post, but these look quite similar in size)
5oz pureed pure pumpkin
4oz creamy peanut butter (no added sugar)
2 tbsp olive oil
In your measuring cup, combine the pumpkin, creamy peanut butter, and olive oil. I found it easiest to use a food scale for this; by weight is a much simpler process than trying to get peanut butter into and out of a measuring scoop. Using a fork, mix well to combine.
With a spatula, scoop the mixture into your piping bag. It’s okay if you can’t get the contents of the bag all the way to the tip [of the bag], it’ll be easier to manipulate once you cut it open. When the piping bag is full, cut the very tip off the end to make a small hole.
Using the filled piping bag, carefully fill each of the molds with the mixture. Be sure to get into the corners/edges so you don’t end up with empty pockets of space.
Freeze overnight to set. Remove from molds and store in a ziplock bag or freezer-safe container. Keep frozen.
This is not a meal replacement and should only be used as a treat. Use in place of other dog treats for hot days, long walks, or in hide-a-treat toys.
Please contact your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.