From pet-safe smoothies to pupsicles
Vet shares top cooling recipes for pets as the mercury rises
With the UK heatwave this week, it’s important to pay close attention to our pets and make sure they stay cool.
In addition to keeping our furry friends hydrated and avoiding outings during the day, there are many tasty ways to help them with the heat. Vet Nurse Shauna Walsh from PDSA Pet Insurance has shared her favourite recipes for delicious home-made pet summer treats that do not break the bank.
- Ice ‘n’ easy treats
“Ice – and your freezer in general – is your best friend in the summer. One simple thing you can do is fill up your pet’s water bowl three quarters of the way and put it in your freezer overnight. Leave it next to your furry friend’s regular water bowl and voila; they’ll always have cold water to drink as the ice melts.
“For dogs, if you own a suitable lick mat or kong, then scoop a tablespoon of xylitol-free peanut butter into it and pop it in the freezer to keep your pooch entertained and cool the next day. For an extra challenge, you can also add soaked dog biscuits into it before freezing too.
“If you have a cat, then freeze their favourite wet food in an ice cube tray overnight to get tasty frozen patties the next day. Bonus: the ice cubes are also fun to play with, especially if you sprinkle some catnip on top.
- Paw-some frosties and smoothies
“We all love a cold smoothie in the summer – and so do our pets.
“Mix mashed banana with chopped berries to make a puree, then pop it all in an ice cube tray. If you want to reduce the calories, especially if you have a smaller pet, or one on a diet, then you can mix in some water too. Freeze overnight, and you’ll be left with a delicious, ice cool snack that your furry friend can enjoy the next day.
“For all veggie-loving pets – small and big – you can also whizz up some kale, watermelon and ice cubes into a slushie. This is a great recipe that you can adjust to suit your pet’s tastebuds too, as long as you use pet-safe fruits and veggies.
- Meaty pupsicles and freeze-pops
“Summer is the perfect occasion to make some delicious chicken pupsicles for your dog – another tasty, cost-effective way of keeping them cool.
“Mix some cooked, chopped chicken with pureed fruit, some of your dog’s normal food and a bit of water. Pour the mixture into regular popsicle moulds, add a bone-shaped dog biscuit as a handle, and watch the magic happen in the freezer overnight.
“For cats, you could use a tin of tuna in spring water – not brine or oil, as it won’t freeze the same and they are too rich and salty for your cat – and pour it into ice cube trays to freeze overnight. The next day, pop one or two fish cubes into your cat’s water and watch them try and fish for them! Remember to keep calories in mind; a whole can of tuna for a cat is the equivalent of 35 chicken nuggets for a human, so these will last you a few weeks.”
PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity providing a vital service for pets across the UK whose owners struggle to afford treatment costs for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, PDSA is there to help when there is nowhere else for their owners to turn.
The charity’s insurance arm, PDSA Pet Insurance, offers a range of policies to cover cats and dogs for accidents and illness, as well as providing access to a 24/7 veterinary helpline. Every policy sold raises funds for the charity’s life-saving veterinary work.
To find out more visit pdsa.org.uk/petinsurance-pdsa