Icy Food & Drinks for Your Puppy? (5 Options incl. Ice Cubes)
It is getting hot out there. Can icy drinks or frozen foods help your puppy cool down?
When your fur baby is teething, everyone will tell you to give it something cold, but is it good for your puppy to have icy foods?
Icy Food and Drink Options for Your Puppy
1. Frozen Water
Give a puppy an ice cube on a solid floor, and it is likely to treat it as a plaything – chasing it around and then finally giving it an experimental lick or two.
Ice cubes for teething provide some cooling relief for your puppy and are an inexpensive chew toy.
There have been rumors suggesting ice is not the best idea for your puppy and may cause bloat, but there is no evidence backing up any of these claims.
It makes sense to size the ice cube or ice chip to your puppy’s mouth size – too large a piece may result in that ice (temporarily) sticking to your puppy’s tongue, which may be (temporarily) uncomfortable.
A small amount as a plaything, soothing cooler, and refreshing treat won’t harm your puppy.
In summer, adding some ice cubes or ice chips to your puppy’s water bowl may help keep the drinking water cool. Providing ice water isn’t necessary because your puppy will be equally happy with warm fresh water as ice water.
Your puppy will prefer water above freezing in winter, although your puppy will happily eat snow while playing outside.
Basically, puppies like plain water and not too hot.
An ice cube or ice chips will help hydrate and keep your puppy cool in summer.
2. Ice Cream
Many puppies are lactose intolerant, and dairy messes with their digestion with unpleasant results.
You can buy ice cream formulated for dogs, and these are a better option for your puppy if you want to add a frozen treat to the menu.
The other reasons for avoiding ice cream for puppies are the excess sugar (road to diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay) and the potentially toxic ingredients.
Ice cream may be a lovely treat for you, and the odd lick may not actively harm your puppy, but it is not a recipe for happiness for your puppy.
The toxic for puppies, additions to ice cream include:
What about making puppy-friendly ice cream at home?
If you blend a frozen banana with frozen strawberries, you produce a delightful frappe-style strawberry ice cream that you can share with your puppy.
You want to steer clear of vanilla ice cream because large quantities aren’t healthy for your puppy.
It is best to steer clear of flavorings that your puppy may acquire a taste for because if your puppy accesses your vanilla flavorings, it may overload and poison itself if it believes these are edible.
A lick of your vanilla ice cream is unlikely to necessitate a trip to the vet, but a sugar-free vanilla ice cream may contain Xylitol, and you may need to see a vet because this is poisonous.
Given all the watchpoints, it is best to avoid giving your puppy a taste for foods that do more harm than the treat warrants.
If you want to give your puppy ice cream, you need to be super careful or choose from the puppy food aisle instead of the human one.
3. Ice Lollies and Freeze Pops
As these are basically frozen water, you may think these are a better icy food option for your puppy.
The issues with these are:
- Some fruit juices aren’t good for your puppy.
- Xylitol is a frequent additive, and it is toxic for your puppy.
- Excess sugar isn’t healthy.
- Your puppy may be allergic to some of the additives.
The best option is to purchase puppy-specific frozen treats or make your own from fruit and vegetables.
4. Home-Made Frozen Treats
If it is safe for your puppy to drink, then it is safe for you to freeze and offer as a frozen treat on a hot summer day.
Frozen puppy-safe beef broth may seem an unusual choice for a popsicle for you, but your puppy will enjoy the smell, texture, and iciness.
There are a couple of ways to boost a puppy’s icy food treat – try including a piece of freeze-dried meat inside the ice cube or freeze the liquid inside a puzzle toy to provide a cooling treat and a fun game.
After playing in the hot sun, frozen watermelon chunks are a super-hydration treat.
It’s best to remove the seeds to avoid potential choking hazards or intestinal blockage.
Other melons like cantaloupe also work as a frozen treat.
These are sweet treats and not empty calories when working out your puppy’s daily food allowance – just because it doesn’t go in the food bowl doesn’t mean it isn’t adding to your puppy’s fat layers.
If you want to make a lolly or popsicle, use an edible chew instead of a wooden stick.
Pure peanut butter (no sugar, no xylitol) remains soft when frozen and provides a delicious (high calorie) frozen treat.
5. What About Frozen Meat?
Your puppy likes steak, and you have frozen chunks of steak in the freezer.
Would a frozen meat cube be a treat for your puppy?
It is worth noting that some dogs live in arctic conditions and often get frozen food as part of their diet. A wolf won’t turn its nose up at a frozen deer carcass.
But it takes energy for your puppy to chew and digest frozen meat.
A small piece of frozen meat (no bones) on a hot day may keep your puppy busy for half an hour, and your puppy will probably need a long nap afterward.
Your puppy will probably enjoy the icy meat treat but keep an eye on its energy levels. It is easier for your puppy to digest raw meat at room temperature rather than frozen.
A frozen lump of beef may be a choking hazard for a tiny puppy, and a frozen minced meatball may be a better option.
Be sure that the meatball is pure beef because onions, garlic, and high salt levels in a commercial meatball are toxic for your puppy.
Do’s and Don’ts of Frozen Treats for Puppies
Do feed your puppy:
- Specially designed puppy food.
- Safe puppy foods and drinks in frozen form.
- Pieces appropriate to mouth size to avoid choking.
- Small quantities.
Don’t feed your puppy icy food:
- In cold weather – it uses up too much energy for your puppy.
- Containing dairy or toxic ingredients.
- Containing high sugar levels.
The best frozen foods for your puppy include:
- Plain water – ice chips, ice cubes, and ice water.
- Frozen puppy drinks like beef stock.
- Frozen puréed fruit like bananas and puppy-friendly berries.
- Frozen watermelon chunks without seeds.
- Peanut butter without sugar or Xylitol.
Are Icy Treats Good for Your Puppy?
Appropriate icy treats in moderation will not harm your puppy.
A diet heavy in frozen foods isn’t optimum for your puppy because your puppy’s digestion must work harder with icy foods.
On a hot day when your puppy is feeling listless and at risk from dehydration, frozen water or watermelon is a refreshing way to rehydrate your puppy and provide some play opportunities.
Water is calorie-free, but all other frozen treats count toward your puppy’s daily calorie allowance.
As a rough guide, your puppy treats form less than 10% of your puppy’s food intake for a healthy approach.
Any icy treat will help cool your puppy’s hot gums.
But if you prefer to give your puppy something to chew instead of eating, consider soaking a facecloth in water and freezing it as a twisted stick.
The frozen facecloth gives your puppy a safe teething chew that you can refresh overnight.
No matter how much your puppy’s sad eyes imply that it will really enjoy a lick of ice cream, stay clear on what frozen food your puppy can enjoy.
Stock a section of your freezer with puppy-friendly icy foods and dish them out when it is hot to keep your pup cool in the sun.