|A layered frozen dogsicle!|
I have been making these frozen dog treats for Knightley for the last week or so, inspired by other ones I have seen online. It has been particularly warm weather... summer is really starting here downunder, and I think he has appreciated the cold treats, especially because he is on the very end of teething and his teeth are just finishing coming in. I put him in his crate to eat these, so that he can't make a mess. He really enjoys them and I know that he is getting hydrated too. Any left over stock I keep in the fridge, dilute and add to his food in the morning and evening to extra hydrate, and occasionally a diluted drink of it during the day. A dog is much more able to manage heat if they are well hydrated due to the way they do heat exchange with panting and hot wet breath from their lungs. Do be aware that being very well hydrated is not as big a help for your dog if you live in a very humid place, although it certainly won't hurt. Thankfully here we are pretty dry, as is most of inland Australia.
For you northern hemispherers, keep this in mind for your next summer... or try it now anyway!
Shopping list to make Dogsicles
Good quality dog kibble
Pumpkin (I used butternut, but whatever will mash well)
1 or 2 Bananas
Optional: wholemeal rice
2. Make ready containers that you can freeze easily, and will contain a suitable amount. You want to give the liquid room to expand as it freezes, remember. You may also wish to do a range of sizes of dogsicles, some for a quick treat, some to keep them busy for a good while. That amount of kibble (1 cup) was enough for 10 of those cup sized dogsicles.
3. I freeze mashed pumpkin in cubes for when my puppy's stomach is upset, but for those of you who don't! Cut or peel off the skin of your pumpkin, then slice it into small pieces - the smaller they are, the faster they will cook. I cook it in the microwave with a little water, checking after every minute or two its cooked. Steaming the pumpkin would keep more of its nutrients. I drain about 90% of the water, then mash it up with one of those mashing implements - a fork would do. I usually freeze them into ice cubes - it is so easily to add a small handful to my pup's meals to harden up his movements... and he loves the taste too! Add a teaspoonfuls-worth of the mashed pumpkin to each treat.
5. Take the chicken carcass from the chicken stock, and if you feel inspired to hot messy work, get any chicken flesh you can off the carcass to add to the dogsicles. Ladle the stock into the treat containers, so that the kibble starts immediately swelling with the hot liquid.
7. Freeze until solid, it will be several hours at least due to the warm stock - of course it depends on the size of the treat.
Optional, add a spoonful of steamed rice to each dogsicle after step 5, so that it goes pumpkin, kibble, rice, banana/stock - just one more layer than in this photo of my finished dogsicle.. It should be wholemeal rice to keep this treat healthy. If you don't want to preserve the layered effect, you can stir the dogsicle to mix the flavours up - but it's so striking layered!
You could get creative with all sorts of ingredients, but do make sure it is ok for dogs to eat first, and remember whatever you feed your dog during the day should come off his meal allowance later.