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Dog dehydration and heat stroke can have some serious ramifications. It happens more often than one might think, especially in dogs with short muzzles (think pugs and bulldogs), and obese dogs. One of our favorite—and most fun!—ways to keep dogs cool on a hot day is with a good ol’ fashioned ice lick.

It’s quite simple. Read on!

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What you need to create an ice lick

In its simplest form, an ice lick is just a big lump of frozen goodness that helps your dog beat the summer heat. You can combine most any dog-friendly ingredients into a wonderful long-lasting treat.

  • Room in the freezer—this is a must!
  • A bowl, bucket, or bundt pan to freeze your concoction in. The container should be large enough that the contents don’t melt immediately once they hit that summer air, but not so large that it won’t fit in your freezer.
  • Tasty snacks like dog treats, veggies, fruit, cheese, or meat to decorate your dog-sicle.
  • A liquid such as low-sodium beef broth or chicken broth, sugar-free fruit juice, watered-down peanut butter, goat milk, yogurt, or just plain water.
  • Lifehack: Some kind of container to keep the mess to a minimum— a water bowl, washtub, or paddle pool could all work.

Assembly instructions

Creating an ice lick for your dog is pretty simple. You can do it in multiple steps to create layers as desired.

  • Place a few choice nibbles in the bottom of your bowl
  • Add your liquid to cover and freeze for 30 minutes
  • Repeat multiple times for multiple layers and flavors
  • Freeze for a few hours or until it’s frozen solid

Once your frozen treat is ready, you’ll need to run hot water over the outside of the mold in order to unstick the contents.

Serve outside, preferably, or any place where sticky cleanup won’t be an issue. It gets messy as it melts!

But wait, can my dog have ice?

You may have heard that ice cubes are dangerous for dogs because they lead to bloat. Turns out, however, that this is a myth.

The real danger lies in your dog drinking water or ingesting ice too quickly, which is a risk factor for bloat. So we want to make sure our licks are big enough that your dog can’t swallow it in one go.

“Dogs are given ice or iced water to drink when they are hot and thirsty, for example after heavy exercise,” veterinarian Dr. Audrey Harvey writes. “Under these circumstances, they are very likely to drink a lot of water very quickly, and this is a known risk factor for bloat.”

So by all means, give your dog some ice. Just don’t let him go overboard and eat large amounts too quickly.

Our favorite ice lick recipes to get you started

Not sure where to get started? Here are some recipes we whipped up to get you inspired!

“Eat your veggies” ice lick

This colorful ice lick is a great way to make use of any leftover bits and bobs of dog-friendly frozen veg in the back of the freezer. To get the clearest frozen ice, use distilled hot water brought to the boil once or twice. Your dog won’t care, but it will make for the perfect Instagram shot!

Veggie Surprise Summertime Ice Lick

Prep

Inactive

Total

Yield 1 Ice lick

Ingredients

We used:

  • 1 cup fresh baby carrots
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Hot water to cover
  • Optional: cooking spray

Instructions

First off, if you care about how clear your ice is, the best thing to do is start with distilled water that you’ve boiled twice. In our test recipe, we used tap water boiled once and found that work, too.

You can spritz your clean dry mold with cooking spray to ease removal at the end of the process.

  • Place frozen spinach in the bottom of your mold and cover with hot water.
  • Add the carrots and peas and top up mold with more hot water. 
  • Freeze 4 hours or until frozen solid.

To serve, hold mold upside down under hot running water until ice lick loosens.

Serve to your dog somewhere you don’t mind getting wet and a little messy!

Take lots of photos and videos.

Courses Summertime Coolers

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @roverdotcom on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithrover.

“Berry delicious” ice lick

It’s like the healthiest version of a rocket pop! This layered confection of fruity goodness combines frozen berries, goat milk, and pureed fruit into a gorgeous frozen treat. You can always use fresh fruit in season, but we opted for what was on sale in the grocery store’s freezer aisle.

Berry Delicious Summertime Ice Lick

Prep

Inactive

Total

Yield 1 Ice lick

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup goat milk (we used powdered)
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen watermelon
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen cantaloupe
  • water
  • optional: cooking spray

Notes: You can make your layers as fruity or as plain as is best for your dog and your budget. Use just a handful of fruit and lots of water for a low-calorie treat, or plenty of fruit and a little water to create a heartier dish.

Instructions

This recipe is well-suited to a fancy mold with little divots designed to hold toppings.

  • First, spritz your mold with cooking spray if you’re using it.
  • Next, place your berries in the divots, and ‘glue’ in place with some yogurt. 
  • Pour in goat milk (or watered-down yogurt) to cover berries.
  • Freeze for at least an hour to set.

Part II

  • Next, blend strawberries and watermelon with water until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into the mold and freeze at least an hour or until set.
  • Repeat with the pineapple and cantaloupe and fill up the rest of your mold.

You can always add extra water to thin out the fruit or to fill the mold.

Freeze for 4 hours or until the ice lick is completely solid.

To serve, hold the mold upside down under hot running water until the pan loosens from the ice.

Serve somewhere you don’t mind getting a little wet and sticky!

Courses Summertime Coolers

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @roverdotcom on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithrover.

“Perky melon” ice lick

This freeform ice lick is the tart and fruity version of the veggie special. Honeydew and watermelon chunks are combined with a handful of cranberries for a refreshing summer cooler.

The Perky Melon Ice Lick

Prep

Inactive

Total

Yield 1 Ice Lick

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups honeydew chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups cantaloupe chunks
  • 1/3 cup cranberries
  • Water to fill your mold

Pro tip: Use distilled water boiled a few times for the clearest ice.

Instructions

Freeform molds are the simplest! Simply add fruit to mold, cover with water, and freeze for at least 4 hours or until frozen solid.

To serve, hold the mold under hot running water until loosened.

Serve outside or anywhere that’s easy to clean.

Courses Summertime Coolers

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @roverdotcom on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithrover.

Looking for more frozen dog treat ideas?

Rover and Kiki’s Canine Kitchen have you covered. Here are some of our favorite seasonal dog treat recipes.

Get fancy with frozen cocktails for dogs. Don’t worry, they’re non-alcoholic! Though you can add alcohol to the human version…

Make it a special occasion with homemade dog ice cream. Includes dairy-free recipes for dogs with sensitivities.

Try popsicles for dogs. All you need is ice cube trays and a chill vibe.

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