BY REBEKAH OLSEN
Apart from fall’s pumpkin spiced latte, summer is the most delicious season of the year. Ice cold bananas, frozen strawberries, chicken ice popsicles? My mouth is watering as we speak!
Okay, so maybe my mouth isn’t watering at the thought of chicken popsicles, but my dog’s sure is. After all, summer is right around the corner! Yummy frozen treats aren’t just for kids, of course. It’s a great time to whip up some easy frozen bites for your pup so their taste buds not only get a change, but to also prevent that wagging tongue from drying out in the southern heat. Here are five of my pup's faves!
1. PB & Fruit Ice via doggydessertchef.com
This is an easy recipe that doesn’t involve any fancy cheffery (that’s a word, right?). All you need is water, peanut butter, fruit and flax seeds!
2. Frozen Banana Yogurt Pops via todaysmama.com
Need a frozen treat for your dogs AND kids? Check out this tasty recipe that your whole family can enjoy!
3. Chicken Pops via doggydessertchef.com
If you’re having a hard time keeping your pup hydrated, try combining dinner and drinks with this all-in-one recipe.
4. Red, White and Blues Treats vis mydogsbreakfast.com
This is a berry easy and delicious recipe that will leave you and your dog playing tug-o-war over the last bite.
5. Frozen Kong Toy
Having a lazy Sunday? Simply tape off the end of a Kong toy and then fill it with chicken broth-or water--and peanut butter. Freeze the toy in a plastic bag and voila! You have a frozen treat your dog will lick on until it melts!
Recognizing Dehydration in your Pet
Dehydration occurs when fluid levels drop below normal. In the hot summer sun, your dog is unable to sweat, but they will pant more to regulate their body temperature, which causes a quicker loss of fluid. Dogs also lose moisture through body surfaces and their feet---can you imagine the smell if dogs wore shoes?
Dogs replenish their fluids by drinking water or eating moist foods, but that one water bowl that normally lasts through the day in the spring, may not cut it in 100-degree weather.
If your dog is exhibiting any of the signs listed below, they may be dehydrated and you’ll need to quickly take them to your local veterinarian or emergency animal clinic. Often, getting an ill pet to drink enough water to correct dehydration is near impossible, so your vet will administer the fluids intravenously at a slow pace to allow the body to compensate and replenish the tissues.
Beginning Signs of Dehydration:
- Visibly tired
- Slowed pace/less animation
- Excessive panting, signs of warmth
- Changes in attitude
- Eyes appear sunken and lack moisture
- Dry mouth, gums, nose
- Skin loses elasticity (Pinch a little skin between your thumb and forefinger on your dog’s back. When you release it, it should pop back up immediately. If it doesn’t, the tissue under the skin has lost moisture.)
- Delayed capillary refill time (Place your forefinger firmly against their gums until it turns white. Remove your finger and see how quickly the blood rushes back and returns the gums to their normal color. The slower it takes for their color to return, the more dehydrated they may be.)
- Weak in the hind end
- Wobbly and unsteady on feet
You can easily prevent dehydration in your pets by providing cool water at all times. Leave two to three water bowls around the house and outside so your pet has enough to drink. If your dog hasn’t had a sip in awhile or just exerted in heavy exercise, you should replenish their water slowly. Allow your dog to only take small sips every few minutes to prevent over-drinking. You can also mix electrolytes into their water if they’re beginning to show signs of dehydration.
Since you can lead a dog to water, but not force them to drink, preparing frozen treats for your pet to lick on all day will keep them hydrated and happy.