Dog-Friendly Treats: Ice Cream for Our Yorkie
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Celeste has a 5-pound Yorkshire Terrier companion named Kya who simply loves her homemade doggy "ice cream" treats.
Dog-Friendly Ice Cream: Yorkie Treat Initiation
It was during one of Kya's fussier days when we decided to feed her a little yogurt and apple mix. My mom froze the combo and left it on the floor for her to stare at. She walked circles around the frozen treat and stalked it for a few minutes. It was hysterical. I’m not sure what she thought this sweet smelly thing was, but she gave it a test lick, then circled it a few more times. By the second or third lick, she decided this stuff was good and she finished the whole thing! I don’t think any of us took a breath throughout the whole treat initiation. It was awesome.
Exploring Dog-Safe Ingredients
Since then, we’ve experimented with a number of additions to the yogurt and apple base. We started by adding peanut butter. We learned that she has a bit of a sweet tooth. When we eliminated the apple, she wouldn’t touch the treat. So we kept the apple and yogurt as a base for all of her future treat recipes. We then tried switching out the peanut butter for carrot or butternut pumpkin. The apple keeps it sweet, and the yogurt provides the creaminess she seemed to like. So far, the pumpkin is her least favorite. We want to try banana as another variety add-on. We recently learned that we could use peaches and cantaloupe as options too. We tried the peach and she loved it, but we haven't tried the cantaloupe yet. We did check with our vet to be safe. It’s fine to give her any of these ingredients as long as we limit it to every other day only.
Optional Alternatives for Peanut Butter
Dog-Friendly Ice Cream Ingredients
- 6 granny smith apples, washed, skinned, and chopped
- 32 oz or 900g plain greek yogurt
- Your choice of ONE of the following:
- 6–8 raw carrots, washed, skinned and chopped
- 14 oz or 400g peanut butter
- 1 Cup butternut pumpkin, skinned, cooked and diced
Dog-Friendly Ice Cream Recipe Instructions
- Wash, skin, and dice all the apples and throw them into a blender.
- Add in half the yogurt and blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Scoop only ONE of the following into the blender: peanut butter, cooked butternut, or raw carrot. Add the remaining yogurt.
- Blend until smooth and add to the apple mix in the bowl.Stir it all together.
- Pour the mix into your molds.Makes approximately 36 1-inch squares.
- Put the molds into the freezer overnight or until solid.
- We have kept a batch in the freezer for up to a month.
- Prep time: approximately 20 minutes.
Recommended Tools for the Recipe
What you will need:
- Large bowl
- Ice trays
We use the silicone ice trays with sections that are one-inch squares. With larger dogs, you might want to make the portions a little larger. It's easier to pop the treat out of the silicone molds rather than the plastic ones.
How do you like this recipe?
Safety Tips and Recipe Tricks
- Peeling and cooking butternut pumpkin is a big deal. We buy the ready-cooked frozen bags of butternut to save time.
- Most brand-name peanut butters have salt and sugar in them. The best is to buy unsalted, organic peanut butter. Too much sugar and salt is harmful to your dog. Make sure you look at the label. Some manufacturers are advertising sugar-free nut butters and then use Xylitol to sweeten it. Xylitol is toxic to dogs.
- We've been researching new flavors for our little one and came across a great article on the AKC (American Kennel Club) website that lists all the safe and unsafe fruits and vegetables for dogs.
© 2018 Celeste Wilson
Celeste Wilson (author) on August 14, 2018:
Hi Louise, You are very welcome. :0)
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on August 14, 2018:
I like this idea. This is certainly a nice treat for dogs. I think my dog would love this. Thankyou. =)
Why Dogs Can’t Eat Ice Cream
The first problem with ice cream is that dogs’ bodies are not designed to digest milk after they are weaned, as puppies. According to Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC chief veterinary officer, puppies have the enzyme they need to break down their mother’s milk. After they are weaned, however, their bodies produce less lactase.
“Many adult dogs are lactose intolerant to varying degrees, which prevents them from properly digesting milk products,” says Dr. Klein. “If you feed these dogs milk products, they can experience anything from severe to mild gastrointestinal discomfort – loose stools, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or gas. Dairy products with high fat content can also cause pancreatitis in dogs.”
Dogs can suffer from a variety of food allergies, including experiencing allergic reactions to milk and dairy products such as ice cream. These allergies are a reaction to the proteins found in milk products and can manifest as vomiting and diarrhea and/or result in red, itchy skin rashes.
Another problem with ice cream is that it is loaded with sugar, and feeding your dog sugary foods can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can cause other health problems. Even if the ice cream container says it’s sugarless, you need to be careful to read the label to make sure that no xylitol is used, as this sweetener is extremely toxic to dogs.
The final problem with ice cream is that some flavors may actually be dangerous for dogs. Chocolate, for example, can be toxic for dogs because their bodies cannot efficiently process components of the chocolate, which contains theobromine and caffeine.
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More About Doggie Desserts
Give your best friend a frozen treat to remember with a delicious dog ice cream made just for him. Chewy carries several tasty varieties of ice cream for dogs, including peanut butter dog ice cream, vanilla dog ice cream, and even birthday cake-flavored dog ice cream treats for special occasions and milestones. Your pooch will feel like a very special pup indeed when you bring out the canine ice cream.
Most dog ice creams come as easy-to-use powdered mixes that you just mix with water and freeze. They’re usually made with more dog-friendly ingredients than human ice cream, so you won’t have to worry about upset tummies or dangerous ingredients. You can find ice creams in canine-approved flavors like peanut butter, watermelon and vanilla, and the best brands use lactose-free milk and lower amounts of sugar for easier digestion and fewer calories.
Experts recommend against feeding human ice cream to dogs because it can contain hazardous ingredients, difficult-to-digest lactose and too much sugar for our furry friends. Feeding an ice cream made specifically for dogs means you won’t have to worry about ingredients like toxic xylitol or chocolate, either, so they’ll provide peace of mind for you, too. The powdered mixes are also conveniently shelf-stable before mixing and keep well in the freezer once made for several weeks or more.
Chewy offers lots of different types of dog treats to help you make treat time extra rewarding for your best buddy. You can find a range of dog lickable treats like dog peanut butter and squeeze treats for filling toys, as well as more traditional soft and chewy dog treats in a variety of textures and flavors. Ice cream treats are a great choice for both hot days and pup birthdays, or you could try some of the cool dog cakes and mixes we carry for special celebrations. Shop our great selection of doggie snacks and rewards to find the perfect treat for any occasion. Check out our delicious dog ice cream range and pick up a pint that’ll make any day feel special for your favorite pup!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs eat ice cream?
Dogs can’t eat ice cream made for humans because the lactose in milk will cause bloating, gas and indigestion. Regular ice cream also has a lot of added sugar, which isn’t great for dogs, plus some varieties contain ingredients like chocolate or xylitol, which are toxic to canines. The good news is that there are several doggie ice creams made specifically for pups, so there’s no need to feed your furry friend anything from your personal ice cream stash. As with all treats, feed dog ice cream in moderation and always monitor your pet for unwanted weight gain.
What kind of ice cream can I feed my dog?
You can feed your dog ice cream made expressly for canines—preferably one made with lactose-free milk and (mostly!) wholesome ingredients. Most dog ice creams come in easy-to-use powdered mixes that you can just mix up with water and freeze. Many varieties are also grain-free and free from unnecessary additives, too.
Is dog ice cream safe?
Dog ice cream is safe, and Chewy only carries dog ice creams that are made to be easy to digest and nutritionally appropriate for dogs. As with all treats, moderation is key to keeping your dog healthy and avoiding unwanted weight gain, so only give ice cream occasionally and keep an eye on how much you give. You should only use treats as a fun supplement to a complete and healthy, balanced diet.