If you’re looking for a fun way to keep your dog cool this summer, ice blocks are a fantastic way to keep your dog cool and hydrated and they are totally customizable to your dog’s diet!
Who’s ready for summer?
I am and I’m making sure that the boys are too!
I love coming up with fun ways to keep them cool in the summer, like our bobbing for ice cubes game and this year I’m going to add ice licks to the list!
We tried out ice licks or ice blocks last month when we had a few days of warm weather and they were a hit with Odin and Finn!
If you’re wondering what an ice lick is, it’s just a big mass of frozen glory that helps your dog beat the summer heat and it keeps them entertained and hydrated too.
And since you can combine almost any dog-friendly ingredients into a wonderful long-lasting treat, you can have these all summer long or just as a special frozen dog treat on those super hot summer days.
Ice licks are also a great activity for a teething puppy!
Supplies Needed To Create An Ice Lick Treat For Your Dog
One of the best things about creating a frozen dog treat is that you can customize it to fit your dog’s diet and favorite things!
If your dog is watching calories, you can simply use water or non-fat plain yogurt mixed with water.
If your dog is ball crazy, skip the food and freeze their favorite ball.
Looking to get more fruits or veggies into your dog’s diet? Add those to the lick cube mixture.
Want to make sure that your dog is hydrated on a hot day? Add some bone broth!
Here a few basic supplies you’ll need to get started:
- A size-appropriate freezer-safe container. I like to use the Ziploc freezer containers because they come in different sizes and they’re really easy to remove the ice block from but you can use a bowl, bucket, bundt pan, muffin tin or silicone molds.
- A liquid. This can be water, bone broth, plain yogurt, goat milk, kefir, or even dog-safe flavored water.
- Tasty treat and/or fun dog toy. The options are endless with this but you can use dog-safe fruits, vegetables, dog treats, meat sticks, chicken feet you name it! Be creative and do a mix or keep it super simple!
- Room in your freezer! Before you even begin to put together your lick cube, make sure to clear out some room in your freezer for the cubes! If you have a Newfie, you’re probably going to have a big flavored ice block so make sure you have room in your freezer!
- Ice blocks can get messy depending on what your making, so if you plan to give this frozen dog treat outside, you can place it in a large bowl or a small plastic kiddie pool.
Tips on Creating A Flavored Ice Block
Now it’s time to make the masterpiece!
It’s usually best to create the lick cube the day before you’re going to give it to your dog, especially if you’re going to create one with layers but the directions are pretty simple.
- Add the liquid
- Add treats or toy
- Freeze for 2 hours
- Repeat steps until you have the desired layers
- Freeze overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- Once your frozen treat is ready, run some warm water over the outside of the mold/container and serve it to your dog outside!
Keep in mind that some liquids will take longer to freeze and if you’re using yogurt, you can dilute it with water so that it’s not as thick.
Lick cubes are meant for a dog to lick them, not to swallow them whole or bite off large pieces so make sure to monitor your dog while they are enjoying it.
But wait, I thought ice was dangerous for dogs?
If you’ve heard that ice can cause dogs to bloat, that’s a myth that has been debunked several times.
Ice cubes do not cause bloat in dogs but drinking water too fast can cause it in some dogs.
Lick cubes are a type of canine enrichment activity that is meant to keep your dog calm and cool.
Now, ice can sometimes cause damage to teeth, especially in senior dogs so they shouldn’t be trying to chomp on it, rather lick it.
If you have any questions about giving your dog an ice lick, speak to your veterinarian about it!
Looking for some ideas? Here’s are a few I’ve made for Odin and Finn so far.
Ball is life where Finn is concerned so his favorite balls are the main ingredients in his lick cubes.
He also doesn’t need many extra calories so I used fruit, water and plain non-fat Greek yogurt.
I diluted the yogurt with water and layered the fruit.
Odin is treat motivated so I used his favorite chicken jerky for one of his ice licks and a meat stick broke in half for the other.
I like to use something sticking out so it’s easy for them to grab and carry!
I used strawberries, bananas and blueberries and mixed 1/2 water and 1/2 plain yogurt and froze them overnight.