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We all enjoy popsicles. Ice cream popsicles are particularly great to have around during the hot summer months. Apparently, pups love them too!
In fact, when it heats up, the first thing which comes to mind, especially when you are with your best canine buddy is a popsicle. Dogs need to cool off during hot weather days to avoid dehydration. Therefore, popsicles serve both as a treat and protection against summer dehydration.
But first things first…
- Can Dogs Eat Popsicles? Is It Safe To Give Your Dog Popsicles?
- Benefits of Giving Popsicles to your Dog
- How to Make Homemade Dog Popsicles
- Top 10 Homemade Dog Popsicles Recipe Ideas
- Useful Tips for Making Safe and Healthy Dog Popsicles
- Final Thoughts
Can Dogs Eat Popsicles? Is It Safe To Give Your Dog Popsicles?
Quick answer: Yes, popsicles are okay for dogs if they are made of safe and natural ingredients. However, human popsicles like sugar-laden popsicles, dairy-based ice creams, or artificially flavored slushies aren’t safe for your pup. Even worse, if your dog is obese, sugar-filled popsicles could cause major health issues for your dog.
But if you are certain that your frozen popsicles are sugar-free and don’t contain preservatives, then you have nothing to worry about—you can always enjoy this tasty treat with your pup occasionally.
That being said, the best popsicles to give your dog are those you’ve prepared yourself (homemade) because you have control over the ingredients that they contain. And moderation is critical. Don’t be tempted to overfeed your dog with any kind of dog Popsicle recipe. Only give popsicles to your dog as special treats. And if your dog is overweight, endeavor to talk to your vet before giving him popsicles—even as treats.
Benefits of Giving Popsicles to your Dog
There are many perks you stand to gain when you decide to spoil your dog with homemade dog popsicles:
- Your dog can suffer heatstroke when it gets severely dehydrated. Once your canine friend becomes weak and vulnerable, the damage can worsen and this is why hydration is key.
- Homemade dog popsicles are easy and straightforward to make. You only need simple ingredients, most of which are already in your kitchen.
- You can rotate popsicle flavors, which means that your dog won’t get bored. You can surprise him with a new popsicle treat every time. And it doesn’t hurt to get as creative as you want—provided you know foods that are safe for your dog.
How to Make Homemade Dog Popsicles
As hinted above, dog popsicles are easy to make. All you need to do is to spoon the mixture of whatever ingredients you are using onto a cookie tray and freeze it. You can also spoon the mixture into ice cube trays then freeze it. Alternatively, fill Kong toys with the mixture then freeze them. You can also use silicone molds that come in a wide range of funs shapes.
And talking of molds, here are the best 5 options that we recommend:
These molds are plastic and are meant to make 6 easy popsicles at a given time. Notable features include:
- Versatile: The molds allow you to make popsicles out of fruits, candy melts, desserts, and mixed dog recipes.
- Mess-free: During preparation, your hands are kept clean as each mold comes with its stick and drip guard for making the popsicles.
- BPA-free: Molds are free from Bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic chemical present in most plastics.
- Reusable molds: The molds are BPA-free and are meant to be reused. You can wash them using a machine or by hand.
- 24 disposable average-size wooden sticks: The sticks are meant to give you endless possibilities of making pops.
- Durable set: The aluminum frame is strongly-built and so are the plastic molds.
This popsicle maker comes with 6 molds, 6 silicon covers, 6 plastic handles, a storage bag, and a cleaning brush. Notable features are:
- Recipe e-book: Allows you to try different popsicle recipes.
- Simple design: Allows you to use the molds with ease.
- Maximum cleanliness: The design is sturdy to avoid spills. Additionally, the maker comes with a cleaning brush.
- FDA-approved: Meant to guarantee safety.
Unlike Zoku Classic Pop Molds, Zoku Round Pop Molds come with only 4 easy release round-shaped molds. Notable features are:
- Simple design: The molds are simple to use. A stick is included in each mold plus a drip guard to make popsicles effortlessly.
- Versatile: You can mix different ingredients to make your popsicles.
- Fun shapes: The rounded molds allow you to make attractively-shaped popsicles.
- BPA-free: This is to guarantee the safety of usage.
If your dog is crazy about sea creatures, then you should get this popsicle maker. It allows you to make 6 different popsicles at a given time. Notable features are:
- Unique Design: You can make popsicle shapes like the whale, the octopus, the shark; just to name a few.
- Simple Design: Molds are easy to use. You can make and remove popsicle easily. The cleaning is also easy
- BPA-free: Are safe from the toxin BPA chemical.
- Versatile: Other than popsicles, you can also make candies/chocolate molds.
Bonus Buy: KTOJOY Wood Popsicle Stick
If you buy a Popsicle mold that doesn’t include a stick, you may need to purchase popsicle sticks (or craft sticks) separately. We highly recommend KTOJOY Wood Popsicle sticks because they are made of high-quality natural wood and come with rounded edges, making them safe for your dog.
Remember to supervise your dog as he enjoys his treat so that he doesn’t eat the sticks. Hold the stick for your pup as he enjoys his popsicle. If you have to leave your pooch to enjoy the Popsicle on his own, leave him with a stick-less popsicle.
Top 10 Homemade Dog Popsicles Recipe Ideas
There are several ways of making popsicles for your dog. The type of recipe or ingredients to use depends on what you want for your dog—it can be as simple or as complicated as you deem fit. Depending on what you have in your kitchen and which flavors your dog loves, you can always whip quite a few creative concoctions. Here is a quick overview of the ideas that you may find useful:
1. Banana-Peanut Butter popsicles
- 4 cups of vanilla yogurt
- 1 medium banana
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (without salt)
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender then pour into ice cube trays. Freeze for 4 hours or more. Pop out the trays when ready and place the popsicles in a bowl.
2. Blueberry Dog popsicles
- Plain yogurt
- Fresh blueberries
- Mix ½ cup of well-crushed blueberries with ½ cup plain yogurt
- Scoop the mixture into a popsicles mold or ice cube tray
- Freeze for a few hours until solid
3. Chicken Broth Dog popsicles
• Sodium-free chicken broth
• Chicken scraps
• Peel the meaty scarps of your leftover chicken (if you don’t have
one, you can cook up chicken breasts)
• Fill the popsicle mold or ice cube tray with the broth
• Add some chicken meat into the molds (ensure that there are no bones in scraps)
• Freeze the mixture for a few hours then serve your pup
4. Pumpkin Dog Popsicles
• Plain yogurt
• 1 can of homemade pumpkin puree (avoid canned pumpkin pie filling with spices, added sugar or flavorings)
• Mix equal parts of
the plain yogurt with pumpkin puree
• Place the mixture in popsicle molds and freeze until solid
5. Watermelon-Honey Dog Popsicles
• A little honey
• Blend all the ingredients until smooth
• Freeze in a popsicles mold, Kong toy or ice cube tray (Alternatively, simply freeze small chunks of watermelon on a tray)
6. Strawberry-Yogurt Dog popsicles
- Fresh strawberries
- Plain yogurt
• Remove the stems from your farm-fresh strawberries
• Dip then in a small amount of unsweetened yogurt
• Freeze the mixture in popsicle molds for 4 or more hours
7. Apple–Honey Dog popsicles
• 2 six-ounce Plain yogurt
• 2 tablespoons of honey
• 2 tablespoon of peanut butter
• 1/3 cup of applesauce
• Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
• Pour the mixture into ice cube trays or popsicle molds
• Freeze until solid
8. Frozen Meat Dog Popsicles
• ¾ cup of plain yogurt
• Chunks of cooked meat
• Finely chopped parsley
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• Add all the ingredients in a bowl
• Spoon the mixture into ice cube trays or popsicle molds
• Freeze until solid
9. Peach Popsicles
• Fresh peaches
• Coatings of oat
• Take fresh peaches and roll them in a coating of oats, cornstarch,
• Freeze for 4 or more hours to create a frozen treat stick
10. Breath Mint Popsicles
• Blend mint, applesauce, parsley, and water
• Add the mixture into ice cube trays or popsicle molds
• Freeze until solid
Useful Tips for Making Safe and Healthy Dog Popsicles
- Besides apple, strawberry, blueberries, and watermelon, you can use any other fruit that your pooch loves. You only need to discard seeds or pits of the fruit you decide to use. The procedure is the same: mix 1 cup of chopped fresh fruit of your choice with 1 tablespoon of yogurt or molasses and 4 cups of water in a bowl. Pour in ice cube trays or popsicles and freeze until solid.
- For a fancier popsicle treat, you can use a carrot stick or your pooch’s favorite long crunchy treat as your popsicles stick. In case you are using popsicle molds, allow your ingredients to partially set then ‘stick’ the carrot stick into the molds then allow it to freeze for a few hours.
- To get even fancier and keep your pup dehydrated at the same time, you can use Gatorade (avoid lemon/lime flavors) and Pedialyte as the main ingredients of your DIY dog popsicles. Mix a sufficient amount of the Gatorade and Pedialyte in water and freeze the mixture in a suitable popsicle container or mold.
- Keeping everything simple doesn’t hurt. Your dog will enjoy even popsicles that are made of plain water. If you have popsicle makers, just put water into the molds and freeze. Your dog can enjoy a cold treat anytime.
- Dog popsicle treats can be messy, so they are best served outside.
- If your dog is allergic to some ingredients or has any other medical condition, avoid ingredients that can trigger more problems and always consult your vet about any ingredient that you are not sure about.
- Avoid popsicle molds with plastic or wooden sticks that remain attached to the frozen treat as your dog may ingest the sticks along with the popsicle treat, and that would be dangerous—it can be a choking hazard and can cause intestinal obstruction. Don’t assume that holding the stick while your pup licks it is safe. Many dogs will still swallow the stick even when being held by someone. So, use a carrot or a favorite treat stick as highlighted in point 2 or simply play safe by using safe Kongs, popsicle molds, or ice cube trays.
- The trick to getting the popsicle out with ease is letting them warm up at room temperature for a few minutes and gently twisting the treat. This will release the whole frozen popsicle treat.
- While the active cultures in yogurt are really good for your pooch’s digestion, ensure that you are using 100% plain yogurt when you are making yogurt-based popsicle recipes. Avoid flavored yogurts as they contain a lot of added sugar. Sugar is bad for your dog, so always ensure that whatever you give your dog has no added sugar or cane syrup. Another good alternative that will still give a creamy texture is vegetable milk like rice milk.
- To make your popsicle even more nutritious, add Kefir Grains. This is a natural probiotic that is known to strengthen your dog’s immune system, stimulate intestinal transit, and prevent a wide range of diseases.
- When you want to try another recipe or when you want to get fancier with your ingredients, it never hurts to talk to your vet. If you have any doubts or worries, just call your vet’s office. The vet should be able to approve the recipes you have in mind depending on the needs of your dog.
During hot and humid months, the heat can get scorching hot, and it is always a good idea to share some homemade dog popsicles with your furry friend. As aforementioned, make your own so that you can be certain that they won’t cause any health hazard to your dog.