Safe pet treats to make for your pet this summer

Love hanging out with your furry bestie on hot summer days? Try these safe summer treat recipes and tips for your pet this summer.

Did you know that New Zealanders are among the biggest eaters of ice cream in the world? We eat 23 litres per capita per annum and ice cream and edible ices account for about $1 of every $44 spent on food in New Zealand households.1

While ice cream is a tasty treat for humans, it’s not good for pets. Many cats and dogs are lactose intolerant and common ice cream ingredients like xylitol2 (a sugar-free sweetener), chocolate and macadamia nuts are foods toxic to pets.

You can buy dairy and lactose-free ice cream made especially for cats and dogs, but it’s easy to make your own summer pet treats too.

Homemade summer pet treat tips

  1. Don’t share ice cream with your pet. While plain vanilla and fruit varieties aren’t dangerous, they’re still full of sugary and fattening ingredients that aren’t good for your pet’s health.
  2. Make frozen treats in the right size. Watch out if your pet loves to wolf down food, you don’t want them to choke!
  3. Avoid ice cubes and treats that are frozen solid. There’s such a thing as too crunchy. Ice cubes and treats that are frozen solid could fracture your pet’s teeth. 3 Let the treats soften a little before serving.
  4. Hot day? Feed your pet wet food (if they’ll eat it), and provide plenty of shade and lots of fresh, clean water to help your pet stay cool and hydrated.
  5. Everything in moderation. Just like us humans, too many treats can be bad for our pets’ health. Pet treats should be just that – a teat, fed in moderation. Ignore those pleading puppy dog eyes.

Summer pet treat recipes

Use a blender to combine these ingredients, pour them into ice cube trays and put them in the freezer for 3 hours. Add water if the mixture is too lumpy to free well. Remember to let the treats soften before giving them to your pet.

Frozen dog treats

Chicken Delight: cooked chicken, cooked carrot, fresh parsley and plain chicken broth

Peanut Butter Cup: Peanut butter and ripe banana. Make sure the peanut butter is raw, unsalted and doesn’t contain the artificial sweetener – xylitol.

Fruit Salad: frozen green beans, cooked kumara (skin off), strawberries and blueberries

Totally Tropical: watermelon, mango and small peach chunks (fresh is best – avoid sweetened canned fruit and don’t forget to get rid of skins and stone)

Frozen cat treats

Chilled Pacific: plain tinned tuna (not drained) and peas

Salmon Suns: cooked carrot and pumpkin, boneless salmon and cat nip

Pate Cubes: your cat’s favourite pate-style wet food, with a sprinkle of dried catnip or their favourite soft treat

Blueberry Frozen Yoghurt: Goat’s milk or lactose-free cat milk and blueberries


1 The New Zealand Ice Cream Industry, NZ Ice Cream Association, accessed October 2022,
2 Xylitol – Uses, Side Effects, and More, WebMD, accessed October 2022,
3 Can dogs eat ice?, PetMD, accessed October 2022,

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