Summer Pups: Doggie & Puppy Popsicle Recipes, Games & More | Pupford
December 18th, 2023
Filed under Lifestyle + Stories
Summertime, and the livin’s easy!
But it’s also different from the rest of the year. It’s typically hotter and/or more humid, and you spend more time outdoors. So for dog parents, this might mean making a few adjustments to your routine to help your dog enjoy the… well… dog days of summer.
We’ve put together this guide to help you keep your dog cool, happy, healthy, and engaged all summer long.
Here’s a table of contents for all the things we’ll be covering:
- Doggie popsicle recipes
- Summer tips to keep your dog happy and healthy
- Enrichment games and activities perfect for summer
Now let’s dive into this guide!
DOGGIE POPSICLE RECIPES, ALSO FOR PUPPIES
Keeping your dog cool is the top priority in summer months. By nature, dogs aren’t as efficient at regulating their body temperatures as we are. Sometimes they need a little help.
Making doggie popsicles, also known as “pup-sicles” for your dog can keep them cool while giving them a delicious treat to enjoy. We definitely recommend making your own rather than giving your dog a bite of your popsicle, so you can avoid the sugars, sweeteners, and artificial ingredients in some human popsicles that are not good for your dog.
All you’ll need for a sweet summer treat is an ice cube tray or popsicle mold (bonus points if you have a dog bone mold) and a couple of healthy ingredients.
Need some puppy popsicle recipe inspiration? Here are some tasty ways to give your dog a popsicle:
- Greek yogurt + berry pops - Fill your popsicle mold with plain Greek yogurt and top with berries of choice. You can’t go wrong with strawberries or blueberries.
- Tropical pops - Blend pineapple and watermelon separately and pour a little of each into your mold. The difference in color and consistency between the fruits makes a really fun swirl effect. Save some for yourself too, they make a great addition to iced tea or a cocktail!
- Peanut butter and berry popsicles - Blend plain yogurt, peanut butter (with no sugar or xylitol!) and some unsweetened frozen berries. You may have to add some water to get the right consistency.
- Sweet pumpkin - Blend plain pumpkin puree with a dash of honey and/or peanut butter. Be sure to use only pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling!
- Savory and protein packed popsicles - Fill your mold with low sodium chicken broth. Add small pieces of shredded cooked (plain) chicken or turkey breast or your dog’s favorite treats.
You can get creative here -- really any healthy ingredients that freeze well will make a great popsicle for your dog or puppy. Be sure to leave your dog’s favorite recipe in the comments for other people to try.
EASY DOGGIE POPSICLE RECIPE
If you're looking for another bonus recipe, check out this 3 ingredient puppy popsicle recipe!
All you need are carrots, apples, and water. Blend it and freeze it in ice cube trays.
SUMMER TIPS TO KEEP YOUR DOG HAPPY AND HEALTHY
While your pup is enjoying their popsicle, you want to make sure they’re healthy and happy. Don’t forget these essential tips:
- Keep your dog hydrated by giving them plenty of cool water, especially on days where they’re outside in the heat. We recommend taking a portable water bowl and an extra water bottle with you whenever you take your dog somewhere!
- Give your dog plenty of breaks during outdoor activity. Give them some water, find some shade, and let them cool down before jumping back into activity.
- Take your dog for an activity that will cool them off, like swimming or running through a sprinkler (have your camera ready for that one).
- Move your walks or outdoor training sessions to early morning or late evening when it’s cooler.
- Familiarize yourself with the signs of dehydration and heat stroke: Dry mouth, excessive panting, lethargy, drooling, inability to move, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. -- contact a veterinarian immediately if your dog shows any of these signs! Learn how to keep your dog cool this summer here.
DOG ENRICHMENT GAMES AND ACTIVITIES PERFECT FOR SUMMER
Nothing beats being able to incorporate the season into your dog’s physical and enrichment activities. Here are some that are perfect for summer:
Outdoor activities - Here are some ideas to take on the great outdoors with your pup this summer:
- Kayaking - This is great for dogs who want to enjoy the fresh air but may not need as much activity. Check out these tips from Trainer Traci on kayaking with your dog.
- “Before I go with a dog for the first time I practice having them sit in the kayak just on the lawn. I might put some treats on it if they seem afraid. So we do some lawn work first, and then we hit the lake! I always put a life jacket on my dogs just in case they decide to jump in. I take doggy snacks (like Salmon Training Treats) with me to associate kayaking with yummy treats. The first time I take a dog I will leash them just in case they jump in or get scared - then I still have a hold of them. As soon as I can see that they will do well and like it I can take the leash off. So far I’ve never had a dog not love to go with me!”
- Paddleboarding - This activity is best suited for dogs who are experienced around the water and can be calm in that environment.
- Swimming - Does your dog love swimming but maybe isn’t the strongest swimmer? Get them a doggy life jacket so you can take them into the water with more confidence! Learn how to teach your dog to swim here.
Related Reading: Teaching Your Dog to Run Next to a Bike
For even more ideas, check out our summer pups bucket list. Download it here. And while you're at it, take a look at our recent article 25 Activities To Do With Your Dog This Spring/Summer!
Indoor activities - If it’s just too hot outside for you and your dog, or there’s a classic summer thunderstorm rolling in, there are plenty of fun activities you can do indoors:
- Obstacle courses - Use household items, furniture, and anything else you can think of to get your dog to move and to think -- and to have fun! We’d love to see how creative you can get with your obstacle courses, so be sure to tag Pupford in your pictures and videos!
- Tug of war - An outlet for appropriate chewing + exercise + a way to incorporate training for “drop it” and “leave it” = ultimate indoor enrichment activity. Just remember to use a high quality tug toy that won’t fray!
- Treat hide and seek - Send your dog on a hunt where they’ll have to use their nose, paws, and brains to get the goods. Pro tip: hiding treats in their crate is a great way to get your dog comfortable with it!
For even more ideas check out our article How to Exercise Your Dog Indoors!
YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST
Summer is a great time to try new things with your dog and strengthen your bond even more. The best part is you can keep them cool and happy while giving them treats and having fun -- what’s better than that?
Check out this summer playlist as you start adventuring with your pup this summer.
Related Reading: Backpacking with Dogs Guide
RECAP OF SUMMER WITH DOGS & PUPPY POPSICLE RECIPES
We can’t wait to see your summer adventures with your pup. Be sure to tell us your dog’s favorite summer activities in the comments, and tag us on Instagram (@pupford) to show us!
And remember, you can take almost any dog-safe fruits and veggies, blend them and freeze them in ice cube trays for the perfect puppy popsicle.
What doggie popsicles have you tried?! Tell us in the comments!