Cool Chow

Icy Treats for Hot Summer Days

In 2015, manufacturers of commercial dog and cat foods and treats issued 28 recalls, some for multiple products, due to the potential presence of listeria or salmonella bacteria, mold, dangerous levels of cumulatively harmful propylene glycol, inadequate thiamine, elevated levels of vitamin D, off odors or labeling problems (Tinyurl.com/PetFoodRecallList). In response, homemade treats have grown in popularity to ensure that pets enjoy safe and healthy snacks.

“Most summer fruits work naturally to cool the body,” advises Cathy Alinovi, co-author of Dinner PAWsible: A Cookbook of Nutritious Homemade Meals for Cats and Dogs, in Pine Village, Indiana. “Healthful treats, made from the best ingredients, are a good way to take a break from summer heat.”

She suggests taking a refreshing look at low-calorie fruits and veggies such as stuffed celery used in creative, tasty ways. After removing strings, fill celery logs with plain yogurt and freeze. To serve, cut into one-bite pieces appropriate for a dog’s size.

Another easy favorite is filling an ice cube tray two-thirds full with Greek-style or traditional plain yogurt mixed with diced strawberries or whole blueberries and freeze overnight. For cats, omit the fruit and instead add bits of mercury-free water-packed tuna or salmon as a special treat. Add fresh or dried catnip to catch Kitty’s attention.

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