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Cold treats for hot dogs

Who doesn’t love a popsicle on a steamy summer day? Our dogs are no different -- the Labrigator loves crunching on an ice cube or two after a short walk when it’s hot outside. But popsicles and ice cream can be full of additives and ingredients that aren’t so good for dogs, and they’re fattening to boot. Dog ice cream is available, but expensive.

My friends at Lab Rescue sent me a solution via their Facebook page a few weeks ago, and we finally got around to trying it last night. The recipe is found in several variations all over the Internet, and it’s easy:

32-ounce plain yogurt (we used lowfat)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 banana, mashed
Squirt of honey (I used about 2 tbsp)
Blueberries (optional--we skipped them)

Stir together by hand or using an electric mixer and freeze in individual portions. I used extra-small Gladware containers and put about a half-cup in each, which gave me eight doggie ice cream cups.

Last night, I nuked one in the microwave for five seconds, popped the treat out of the container, broke it up in the dog bowl with a fork, and let her at it. (I tried holding it for her in the container and letting her lick it first, but she lost patience and my hand was a sticky mess.)

She loved it. In fact, she’s raced to the kitchen every time I’ve opened the freezer since! My vet tells me it’s a nice treat for her (check with yours, though, as some dogs are sensitive to different things), and that we could use pumpkin instead of peanut butter if the Labrigator were watching her figure.

There you have it -- a super-simple homemade frosty treat for your best furry friend, filled with good stuff. Let us know in the comments if you try it or have another variation!

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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