This article has been updated.
With the start of summer, temperatures are climbing. Finding ways to cool off isn’t a luxury but a necessity for health, especially for our dogs, who wear a fur coat even with their summer cuts. One of the greatest cool-down traditions is ice cream. Everyone loves this delicious treat, dogs included, but with the amount of sugar in human ice cream, it isn’t healthy for our pups.
Don’t worry: We collected some of the best do-it-yourself dog-friendly ice cream recipes out there. You don’t even need an ice cream machine! Not only will your pooch love them all, but they are healthy and totally safe.
For all these recipes, you’ll need ice cube trays or silicone molds, and a blender or food processor.
1. Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Ice Cream
This recipe is not only delicious, but the pumpkin is great for your dog’s digestion. Look for pumpkin puree, but steer clear of pumpkin pie mix, which has extra, not-good-for-dogs ingredients in it.
As for peanut butter, look for jars that do not include the artificial sweetener xylitol, as it is extremely toxic to dogs.
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- ½ cup peanut butter
Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into ice cream trays or molds. Place in freezer and serve when frozen.
2. Banana Blueberry Delight
Brimming with vitamins and antioxidants, this recipe also adds flax seeds for some extra nutrition. If you can, buy organic to avoid pesticides. (Check out this list for fruit that is grown with the highest levels of pesticides.)
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 banana
- 1 6-ounce plain yogurt
- 1 tsp of ground flax seed
Mix all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor, and then pour into silicone molds. Freeze for around 2 hours.
3. Strawberry Coconut Butter Ice Cream
This dog-friendly ice cream recipe has the added ingredient of coconut butter, which has a number of benefits for your bestie. Like blueberries, strawberries are loaded with antioxidants, as well as vitamin C and fiber. Strawberries are at the top of the list of “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables, meaning this is one fruit that if you can, buy organic.
- 32 oz. tub plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup pure coconut butter
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and dried
Add yogurt, then strawberries, then the coconut butter to a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into ice cube trays, molds, or small food and freezer-safe containers. Cover and freeze before serving.
4. Ice Cream Cloud Nine
This recipe is unique because it works well with toppings. There is also more than one way to make it: You can either blend by hand or use a food processor. For an ice cream party, invite your pup’s best friends over and offer a selection of dog-friendly ice cream toppings.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup of peanut butter
- 2 cups of natural plain yogurt
- 2 tbsps. of honey
To make by hand, peel and mash the banana, and then stir into the yogurt. Warm the cup of peanut butter in a microwave or on the stovetop, and then mix into yogurt and banana mixture. Mix until all the ingredients are well blended and smooth. You can also add the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend well. Pour into non-stick containers or molds and freeze overnight.
- Small amount of honey
- Puffed rice
- Small bits of crispy bacon
- Toasted sesame seeds
- A few carob chips
5. Chicken Ice Cream
This recipe is not in most human’s wheelhouse, but your dog will love it. To cut down on prep time, this is one recipe that could benefit from an ice cream machine, but if you’re willing to freeze and blend several times, a food processor will do fine.
- 2 cups cooked chicken, diced small and frozen
- 1 cup low-fat, low-sodium, onion free chicken stock
- 1 cup of plain yogurt
Put the frozen, diced chicken into a food processor and slowly add stock until you get a thick, smooth paste.
For use in an ice cream machine, pour mixture inside the machine, turn on, and let it churn for around 10 to 15 minutes until firm. Stop the machine frequently to scrape down the edges of the bowl so it doesn’t freeze to the sides.
If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour mixture into ice cube molds and freeze. Remove from freezer, pop back into food processor or blender, and blend again. Return to molds and freeze again for half an hour. Repeat the process until the ice cream is firm enough to scoop out.
6. Very Berry Pupsicles
Our very own recipe is perfect for dogs that are allergic or don’t tolerate dairy products. You’ll need some mixed berries and a few trays of silicone molds. Don’t use human popsicle molds that use sticks, which may splinter in your dog’s mouth.
- 2 ripe bananas, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1 slice raw beet
- 6 carrots
To get different layers, you need to break up the blending process. First, place the banana and yogurt in the food processor. Pour 3/4 of the mixture into a cup.
For the second layer, add the blueberries into the blender with the remaining banana mixture and blend to liquefy. Scrape blueberry mixture into a second cup.
Clean out the blender as best as you can. Then return 1/4 of the plain banana mixture from the first step into the blender and blend with the beet slice. Scrape into a cup.
Spoon the blueberry mixture into the bottoms of the molds, dividing it evenly. The add the white banana mixture evenly into the molds using the same technique. Lastly, top with the beet mixture leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top of the mold. Add a carrot “stick” to each mold.