Pet Hydration Month – July 2023
With summer in full swing and heatwaves on the horizon, it’s important to pay close attention to our pets and make sure they stay cool and hydrated in the warmer weather.
And with July marking Pet Hydration Month, PDSA has pulled together some fun recipes for homemade pet summer treats that will keep your furry friend hydrated without breaking the bank.
PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “Keeping our furry family members cool in the heat can be a challenge, but one easy way to keep their temperature down, and make sure they are hydrated, is by giving them a range of easy to make treats they can enjoy.
- Ice ‘n’ easy treats
“Ice – and your freezer in general – is your best friend in the summer,” Nina explains. “One simple thing you can do is fill up your pet’s water bowl three quarters of the way and put it in your freezer overnight. Next morning, take it out and top it up with fresh drinking water and voila, they’ll have refreshing, cold water to drink as the ice melts.
“For dogs, if you own a suitable lick mat or kong, then scoop a tablespoon of xylitol-free peanut butter or pet safe liver paste into it and pop it in the freezer to keep your pooch entertained and cool the next day. For an extra challenge, you can also press soaked dog biscuits into it before freezing too.
“If you have a cat, then freeze their favourite wet food in an ice cube tray overnight for tasty frozen patties the next day. Bonus: the ice cubes are also fun to play with, especially if you sprinkle some catnip on top, but be careful, as they can be a slip hazard for you!
We would always recommend keeping a close eye on your pet if you are introducing them to anything new and if they are having smaller sized ice treats, ensure they don’t pose a choking risk.
- Paw-some frosties and smoothies
“We all love a cold smoothie in the summer – and so do our pets.
“Dogs can be partial to a mixed mashed banana and chopped berry (strawberries, raspberries or blueberries) puree, just pop it all in an ice cube tray. If you want to reduce the calories, especially if you have a smaller pet, or one on a diet, then you can dilute it slightly by mixing in some water too. Freeze overnight, and you’ll be left with a delicious, ice cool snack that your furry friend can enjoy the next day.
“For all veggie-loving pets – small and big – you can also whizz up some carrot, watermelon and ice cubes into a slushie. This is a great recipe that you can adjust to suit your pet’s tastebuds too, as long as you use pet-safe fruits and veggies.
- Meaty pupsicles and freeze-pops
“Summer is the perfect occasion to make some delicious chicken pupsicles for your dog – another tasty, cost-effective way of keeping them cool.
“Mix some cooked, chopped chicken (ensuring bones are removed) with pureed pet-safe fruit, some of your dog’s normal food and a bit of water. Pour the mixture into regular popsicle moulds, add a bone-shaped dog biscuit as a handle, and watch the magic happen in the freezer overnight.
“For cats, you could use a tin of tuna in spring water – not brine or oil, as it won’t freeze the same and they are too rich and salty for your cat – and pour it into ice cube trays to freeze overnight. The next day, pop one or two fish cubes into your cat’s water and watch them try and fish for them!”
Nina adds that while it’s great to give your pet a treat, you need to keep their overall calorie intake in mind.
“Remember to keep calories in mind,” she explains. “A whole can of tuna for a cat may be the equivalent of 35 chicken nuggets for a human, so these treats will last you a few weeks.”
Also, if your pet has a sensitive tummy, it is always a good idea to stick to foods they are used to, the above recipes can be tweaked to suit your pet.
PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity providing a vital service for pets across the UK whose owners struggle to afford treatment costs for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, PDSA is there to help when there is nowhere else for their owners to turn. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk