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Homemade Ice Cream for Dogs

Friday, August 02, 2013 by

Earlier this summer we ran a post on how to make simple savory popsicles for pups. As the summer continues and the heat refuses to let up, you might find yourself wanting to change up your frozen dog treat game. We recently ran a post on frozen cat treats which dogs will surely love as well, but maybe you’re in the market for something a bit fruitier.

dog attached to ice cream cone

Dog and ice cream cone via Wikimedia

Here’s a recipe for homemade 3-ingredient ice cream for dogs, inspired by this Dog Milk post. We’ve chosen peanut butter banana for this recipe, but this ice cream is easily customized to suit your dog’s tastes, and some additional flavor combinations are suggested following the recipe. These recipes use human-grade ingredients, and some of the combinations sound so tasty you might just want to taste them yourself! Recipe yields 4.5 – 5 cups of ice cream.

homemade dog ice cream

Homemade doggie ice cream via Dog Milk

Supplies:

Blender

Freezer

Freezer-safe container

32 oz. plain yogurt

½ cup natural peanut butter

Try to avoid brands with additives such as corn syrup, preservatives, or excessive amounts of sugar.

3 medium bananas, peeled and sliced into chunks

This recipe is a good use for extra ripe bananas, as they are softer in consistency and blend more easily.

Step 1: Blend Ingredients

Add the yogurt, peanut butter, and bananas to your blender. Bananas should be cut into chunks before added to the blender to make sure they blend evenly. Blend ingredients until smooth (it’s alright if it’s not perfectly smooth, this is for your dog, after all).

Step 2: Pour Into Container

Pour the blended mixture into a freezer-proof container. If you’d like to pre-portion individual servings, use an ice cube tray.

Step 3: Freeze

Place container in freezer and freeze for several hours or until frozen.

Step 4: Scoop and Serve

Once frozen, scoop individual servings out of the container using an ice cream scoop or sturdy spoon. Serve to your dog in his bowl, and watch him lick up his new favorite frozen treat. Give this ice cream to your dog as you would any other treat—small servings given only once a day or so. Leftover ice cream can be stored in the freezer.

yellow lab smiling

“Can we eat the ice cream now?”

Other flavor combinations

Try these additional flavor combos to diversify your dog’s ice cream offerings. The process for preparation is the same as with the above recipe.

Strawberry Coconut Butter

32 oz. plain yogurt

½ cup pure coconut butter

1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and dried

Pumpkin Peanut Butter

1 (29 oz.) can pure pumpkin puree

½ cup peanut butter

1 cup plain yogurt

Coconut Blueberry

32 oz. unsweetened 100% coconut milk

¾ cup fresh blueberries, washed and dried

¼ cup honey

Savory Cheddar Bacon Ice Cream

32 oz. plain yogurt

¾ cup shredded cheddar

¼ cup cooked bacon, roughly chopped

Have you ever made ice cream for your dog? What flavor combinations does your dog enjoy? Let us know in the comments below!

 
 

Pet Travel Debate: Cabin v. Cargo

Thursday, August 01, 2013 by

chihuahua lying down

Very small dogs such as Chihuahuas have the option of flying in-cabin or as cargo

So you’re planning a trip via airplane and you’re wondering how your pet should accompany you. The cargo hold has more room, but you’d be able to stay with your pet throughout the duration of your travel if she rides in-cabin with you.

As discussed in yesterday’s post, there are limits on which pets are capable of flying in-cabin, so this debate is really only applicable for people who have pets small enough to have the option of riding in-cabin. If your pet is not small enough to comfortably fit in a carrier which can be stowed under the seat of an airplane, she will have to ride as cargo.

Here’s the lowdown on how pets ride in-cabin or as cargo, and some pros and cons of each option.

Cabin

The Skinny

Because of the size restrictions imposed by airlines, very few pets are capable of riding in-cabin on planes. These pets are typically toy dogs or small cats, who must be small enough to comfortably fit in a carrier that can be stowed under the seat of an airplane. Kennels for in-cabin riding can be either hard-sided crates or soft-sided carriers. Many airlines also place a limit on how many pets can ride in-cabin per flight, and typically only one in-cabin pet per customer is allowed.

dog in carrier on plane

Only very small pets meet the in-cabin size requirements of most airlines.

Pros

  • For pets/owners with separation anxiety, staying together throughout travel can reduce stress
  • No time spent waiting on the tarmac to be loaded into the cargo hold
  • Ideal for small pets, such as rodents and reptiles, who don’t need much space

Cons

  • All of the stimuli (sights, smells, sounds) of a flight full of humans might overwhelm pets who are already stressed out by travel
  • A very small carrier is required, which can be uncomfortable for any pet on the border of needing a larger size
  • Smells, sounds, and allergens produced by pets might annoy other passengers

Cargo

The Skinny

The majority of pets traveling by air will ride as cargo. Most flights which accept pets have cargo holds which are temperature-controlled and pressurized, so the environment your pet experiences in the cargo hold is essentially the same as the one you experience in-cabin. Typically, pets ride in darkness when they travel in the cargo hold, which makes the experience less stressful and encourages pets to sleep during the flight. Riding as cargo requires an airline-approved crate, such as the Petmate Sky Kennel, which has ventilation holes on all sides and which has water bowls attached.

cat kennel

Cat in airline-approved kennel via Petmate

The most stressful part of riding as cargo for most pets is the time spent between the airport and the airplane. Pet-friendly airlines (such as United, KLM, and Lufthansa) have procedures in place to minimize this time, making sure that pets are the last items loaded onto the plane and the first items taken off upon landing. Additionally, these airlines use trained pet handling professionals who know how to keep pets safe and happy during the transition from airport to cargo hold.

Pros

  • Less stressful for pets and other passengers who might not want to share their flight with pets
  • More comfortable for pets, as they are allowed to have larger crates in which they can stretch out and move around
  • If flying with a pet-friendly airline, handlers are trained professionals who know what is best for pets. You may love your pet, but that doesn’t make you an expert on her safety!

Cons

  • Owners might be anxious if they cannot see their pet at all times throughout travel
  • Might be stressful for pets/owners with separation anxiety
  • If not flying with a pet-friendly airline, time spent waiting to be loaded onto the plane can be stressful or dangerous for certain pets, especially in the summertime

 

Though each option has its pros and cons, PetRelocation always recommend that pets fly in the cargo hold, even when the option of riding in-cabin exists. The bottom line is that riding as cargo is generally safer and less stressful for pets and people. For more information about this debate, check out these PetRelocation posts about Cabin v. Cargo and dispelling Pet Cargo Myths.

Which option would you choose when traveling with pets? What do you like or dislike about the options presented here? Let us know in the comments below.