Ice Licks Keep Your Dog Cool and Happy All Summer Long [Recipe]

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  • Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

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!

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.

Here’s what you need to have on hand before making one:

  • 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 ice lick 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!

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!

Veggie Surprise Summertime Ice Lick

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

Get the full recipe here.

Berry Delicious Summertime 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.

Get the full recipe here. 

The Summer 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.

Get the full recipe here.

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,” writes veterinarian Dr. Audrey Harvey. “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.

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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