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What to Feed Dogs in Hot Weather: 10 Vet Approved Choices

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on May 28, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever sitting on the grass with bowl in its mouth

What to Feed Dogs in Hot Weather: 10 Vet Approved Choices


Dr. Amanda Charles Photo


Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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While there are so many fun summer activities that we can do with our dogs, hot summer days often bring additional challenges to dog care. Dehydration and heatstroke are serious risks that increase in the summer, and it’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure that their dogs are staying cool and drinking enough water.

Fortunately, there are many fun and creative ways to keep your dog hydrated and cool in hot weather. Here are some foods and treats that will help cool down your dog and keep them occupied in the heat.

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Top 10 Things to Give to Your Dog in Hot Weather

1. Water

beagle dog drinking water from a metal bowl
Image Credit: Soho A Studio, Shutterstock

While it seems like a given, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is for your dog to drink enough water to stay well-hydrated. Dogs are more prone to dehydration and heatstroke during the hot summer months. So, dog owners must be extra mindful of their dog’s water intake during hot weather. In general, dogs should drink at least 1 ounce of water for every pound that they weigh per day but the heat will mean your dog needs to drink more water than normal.

It’s often beneficial to place extra water bowls around your house in the summer so that your dog has easier access to water. Make sure to also invest in a dog travel water bottle or a travel water bowl that you can carry with you on walks.

2. Pupsicles

Pupsicles are tasty treats that any dog will enjoy snacking on during the hot summer months. You can find all kinds of fun and creative pupsicle recipes that contain frozen versions of foods that dogs typically enjoy.

Most pupsicle recipes are fast and easy, and the longest part is waiting for the pupsicles to freeze. You don’t really need special popsicle molds to make a pupsicle. A standard ice cube tray will suffice. Most pupsicle recipes have a broth, water, or yogurt base. Then, they’re filled with fruit, vegetables, and other treats that are safe for dogs to eat.

3. Doggy Ice Cream

golden retriever puppy eating ice cream
Image Credit: Mariana Alvarez Calvo, Shutterstock

Several pet food brands create their own line of doggy ice creams. They make feeding your dog frozen treats fast and easy by placing a dog-safe ice cream recipe in a convenient package that you can store in your freezer.

Doggy ice creams have all kinds of recipes that suit a variety of tastes and dietary restrictions. You can find dairy-free options and limited-ingredient recipes that can be safer for dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs to eat.

4. Frozen Yogurt

When we’re talking about frozen yogurt, we’re not thinking of the sugary soft serve treat. This type of frozen yogurt often has a high sugar content, and it can contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs such as xylitol. Therefore, the safest version of frozen yogurt is freezing plain yogurt or plain Greek yogurt that you’d buy from your local grocery store.

Most dogs will enjoy snacking on an ice cube-sized piece of frozen yogurt and won’t experience any issues. However, dogs can be lactose-intolerant and experience digestive issues or discomfort after eating dairy products.

5. Frozen Peanut Butter

senior dog licking a peanut butter popsicle
Image Credit: Merrimon Crawford, Shutterstock

Very few dogs won’t pass up on a spoonful of peanut butter, and they often become fans of frozen peanut butter once they have a taste. So, if you have a particularly picky dog, it doesn’t hurt to feed them frozen peanut butter to help them stay cool on a hot summer day.

If you plan on feeding your dog peanut butter, make sure to purchase peanut butter that’s safe for dogs to eat which does not contain xylitol. Certain low-quality brands may also contain added sugars, artificial flavors, and preservatives that can make them sick.

6. Frozen Bone Broth

Frozen bone broth is often a safe choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and it helps dogs stay hydrated. It can also be a good option for dogs requiring weight management because there are many low-calorie options.

If you want to give your dog frozen bone broth, choose bone broth that’s specifically made for dogs. Bone broths sold in grocery stores often contain high levels of sodium and can include ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like garlic and onions.

7. Frozen Fruit

frozen mango cubes
Image Credit: Atsushi Hirao, Shutterstock

If you want to feed your dog all-natural frozen treats, you can freeze fruit that’s safe for dogs to eat. Many dogs can safely enjoy eating frozen apples, bananas, berries, and watermelon. Fruits that can make dogs sick include avocados, grapes, cherries, and tomatoes. Also remember that fruits are generally high in sugar and so to only offer fruit treats in moderation.

For added hydration you can choose fruits that have a high water content like watermelon or cucumber, or place the fruit in ice cube trays and fill them up with water before freezing them.

8. Frozen Carrots

Most dogs won’t be as enthusiastic about frozen vegetables as they are with frozen fruit. However, many dogs are fans of frozen carrots. Carrots are ideal for dogs because they’re low in calories and are a good source of fiber and vitamin A. Many teething puppies also enjoy gnawing on frozen carrots because of their hard texture and the cooling feeling that alleviates gum irritation. Just make sure to keep an eye on your dog when they’re chewing on frozen carrots. Once the carrot gets reduced to a nub, replace it, as it can be a choking hazard.

9. Frozen KONG Treats

dog jack russell terrier plays with yellow kong
Image Credit: Valeriya Dzyuba, Shutterstock

Frozen KONG treats simultaneously keep your dog cool while providing entertainment for them. Some of the best frozen KONG treats are stuffed with xylitol-free peanut butter or frozen yogurt. You can also place pieces of fruit, cheese, or your dog’s favorite treats inside before freezing the KONG.

These toys provide enrichment opportunities for dogs and can alleviate boredom. So, playing with a frozen KONG toy is an excellent activity to add to your dog’s daily schedule in the summer.

10. Frozen Lick Mat

Licking is a natural behavior in dogs, and dogs can enjoy licking because it releases endorphins in their brain. Therefore, frozen lick mats can also be fun enrichment toys for dogs. Frozen lick mats often start with a peanut butter or plain yogurt base. They’re then topped with fruit, vegetables, or dog treats. After that, they’re placed in the freezer until all the toppings are thoroughly frozen.

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Whether it’s a creative pupsicle or plain water, you can give your dog all sorts of foods that will keep them cool in hot weather. So, get creative and see what kinds of frozen treats your dog likes to eat. Your dog will appreciate the variety while staying cool and hydrated all throughout the summer. Remember any treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake and to check with your vet before introducing new foods to your pup’s diet.

See Also: 15 Hot Weather Dog Breeds: With Pictures & Facts (Vet-Approved)

Featured Image Credit: Rohappy, Shutterstock

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