When you think of summer, you probably think about food on the grill, fresh fruits, and refreshing salads. Summertime is full of delicious treats for us, but many summer treats are also perfect for your pup!
When the weather's hot and you're looking for something cool and refreshing to offer your dog, here are ten great summer treat options:
1. Frozen Carrot
Carrots are a great anytime snack for your dog, but a frozen carrot can be a perfect treat for the summer. Not only will it help keep your dog cool, but freezing the carrot also turns this tasty snack into a fun DIY chew toy.
Carrots are low in calories, making them an ideal training treat. They're also rich in Vitamin A, potassium, fiber, and many other vitamins and minerals.
Watermelon is a quintessential summertime snack, and you can share it with your dog as well.
This low-calorie snack option is full of beneficial nutrients and vitamins, including potassium and Vitamins A, B6, and C. It's also 92% water, making it a great way to keep your pup hydrated when the temperatures are high.
Before you give your dog watermelon, make sure that all of the seeds are removed. They are a potential choking hazard, and can cause intestinal blockage in dogs. Remove the rind as well to prevent gastrointestinal issues.
Apples are rich in Vitamin C, a key nutrient for your dog's immune system health. They're also a good source of energy and high in fiber, making them highly beneficial for your dog's digestive health.
For an added treat, you can dip the apple slices into peanut butter and freeze them. Not only is this a delicious snack that your dog will love, but freezing them can keep your pup cool and add an extra crunch.
During the summer heat, hydration is crucial for your dog's health. While the best way to do this is by providing plenty of fresh, cool water, adding broth to your dog's diet can also help them stay hydrated.
Chicken, beef, or bone broths are all nutritious, versatile options. Pour broth over your dog's kibble at dinnertime, blend with other fruits and veggies for a fun smoothie, or pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for a tasty, refreshing enrichment activity.
Make sure that any broth you give your dog is free of onions, garlic, or other flavorings that can be toxic to dogs.
Bananas are a low-calorie snack that's rich in fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. They make a great snack option for dogs with gastrointestinal troubles, and the magnesium content also helps promote healthy bone growth.
Bananas are also another versatile snack that can be fed whole, mixed with other fruits and veggies, or frozen for added fun.
Like all fruits, bananas also contain a high natural sugar content, so only feed them to your pup in moderation.
For dogs that are not lactose intolerant, yogurt can be an excellent source of calcium and protein. Plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt is also a probiotic that can boost your dog's digestive system and improve many gastrointestinal issues.
Stuffing a Kong or food toy with yogurt, as well as fruits and vegetables, and then freezing the toy is a great summertime enrichment activity. This is especially useful if the temperatures are too hot for your dog's usual exercise routine.
Be wary of artificial sweeteners in yogurt. Xylitol, for example, is a common artificial sweetener that can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels for dogs.
Cucumbers are a delicious, refreshing summer vegetable and a perfect snack for your dog. Not only are they low in calories, but their high-water content (96%) also helps keep your dog hydrated in the summer heat.
Cucumbers are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium, all healthy nutrients that are beneficial to your pup's health.
Fresh, sliced cucumber makes a great snack in moderation, but you should avoid pickled cucumbers. They’re high in sodium, which can make your dog sick, and may contain other ingredients that can be toxic.
Strawberries are another summer favorite that you can share with your dog. They're full of antioxidants that can help boost your dog's immune system, fight off disease, and improve their overall health.
Strawberries are also high in fiber and rich in many vitamins and nutrients, like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. Plus, they're low in calories and slices make the perfect-sized training treat.
As with all fruits, feed your dog strawberries in moderation because of the high natural sugar content.
9. Coconut Water
Coconut water is another fantastic way to keep your dog hydrated during the summer because it's full of electrolytes. Coconut water is also packed full of potassium, calcium, Vitamin C, and other nutrients that can boost your dog's energy and overall health.
Add coconut water to your dog's daily meals, or freeze it into ice cubes for a fun treat on a hot summer day.
10. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese can be a tasty, refreshing treat for your dog in moderation. It contains very little lactose, making it easier to digest for dogs that are lactose intolerant, and it's high in protein.
Cottage cheese is also a good source of healthy fats, as well as calcium, probiotics, and potassium. Because of the high-fat content, however, only feed your dog cottage cheese occasionally to prevent weight gain and pancreatitis.
What Are Your Dog's Favorite Summer Treats?
There are so many fun, delicious foods for your dog to enjoy during the summer, from tasty fruits to protein-packed snacks. New treats are a fun way to motivate your dog, keep them refreshed and cool on a hot day, and make their mealtime routine a little more interesting.
Before incorporating any of these options into your dog's diet, always check with your veterinarian first. It's also a good idea to introduce new foods slowly to prevent digestive problems.
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