Summer Dog Treats for Travel

Importance of Hydration

Ensuring your dog stays hydrated during summer travels is critical. The heightened temperatures and increased activity can lead to quicker dehydration in dogs. Unlike humans, dogs don't sweat through their skin; they regulate their temperature largely through panting, which intensifies their loss of moisture.

Dehydration is a potentially serious condition which can result in lethargy, kidney stones, or even organ failure if unaddressed. The primary sign to watch for is elasticity in your dog's skin. Gently lift the skin on the back of their neck; if it doesn't quickly snap back, they need more fluids. Other symptoms include dry gums, sunken eyes, and excessive panting.

Always offer fresh water, ensuring multiple stops for longer journeys. Frozen water bottles can double as a coolant near your pet and as a drink as they melt.

Accompany water with creative hydrating treats. Options include ice cubes with chicken broth (sans onions) or apples and carrot slices frozen into them. These refresh and deliver some sensory stimulation and nutrients. Commercially available hydrating treats specifically formulated for dogs can be a practical choice for busy travellers.

Take every precaution to ensure water balance in your dog's body, combining moisture-rich treats with ample water stops to provide a shield against heat-induced health issues—maintaining their hydration status is vital.

Choosing Safe Ingredients

When preparing snacks for your dog, especially during warmer months, choose ingredients that are safe and offer cooling benefits. Common safe foods that can also aid hydration include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Watermelon (sans seeds)
  • Blueberries

These can be served in small amounts as treats or added to ice cubes to make cooling snacks. Each ingredient is rich in water content and packed with essential nutrients that support overall health and hydration.

Several foods should be avoided as they can pose health risks to your dog. Grapes and raisins are extremely toxic to dogs and can lead to sudden kidney failure. Similarly, chocolate, garlic, and onion should never be featured in dog snacks due to their harmful effects that range from gastrointestinal upset to serious toxicity.

Nutrients such as vitamins C and E can be particularly beneficial during the summer as they help reduce inflammation and support the body's natural defences against heat stress. Small pieces of strawberry or apple (without the seeds) are excellent sources of these vitamins and can be incorporated safely into your dog's diet during travel.

Always ensure any added element in the travel snack is suitable for your dog's overall health and dietary needs. Avoid any food that is toxic or unfamiliar to ensure their safety and well-being during your adventures. This proactive approach ensures your dog remains hydrated, healthy, and energetic, even on the hottest days.

Portable Treat Options

Portable treat options are essential for maintaining your dog's nourishment and satisfaction during road trips. Opt for compact and simple-to-serve treats that reduce the likelihood of messes while travelling. Dehydrated meat treats, such as chicken, beef, or lamb strips, are light, occupy minimal space, and provide a rich protein source that dogs generally love.

Preparing simple, homemade biscuit treats is another versatile and tidy option. Using basic ingredients like whole wheat flour, eggs, and peanut butter (ensuring it's xylitol-free), you can create bite-sized biscuits that are convenient for on-the-go feeding. These homemade biscuits tend to crumble less than store-bought options, which is perfect for keeping your motorhome clean.

For a refreshing and hydrating treat, consider preparing frozen vegetable puree sticks. Blend safe vegetables, such as carrots or pumpkins, with water, and freeze them in ice cube trays or small moulds suitable for your dog's size. These help keep your dog cool and are easy to portion.

Commercial no-mess treats, particularly those designed as chew sticks or dental sticks, serve both as a portable snack and a way to help keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy while you're on the move. These products are specifically formulated to be long-lasting, ensuring that your travel companion remains occupied and less likely to seek out other interests, like the interiors of your recreational vehicle.

Each of these treat options provides a balanced mix of convenience, cleanliness, and canine enjoyment, making your journey as pleasant and hassle-free as possible.

Frozen Dog Treat Recipes

Frozen Watermelon and Coconut Oil Treats


  • Watermelon, deseeded and chopped: 200 grams
  • Coconut oil: 2 tablespoons


  1. Puree the watermelon pieces until smooth.
  2. Warm the coconut oil until it turns into a liquid then mix it thoroughly with the watermelon puree.
  3. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays or a silicone mould designed for pet treats.
  4. Freeze for at least 4 hours until solid.

Variations: Substitute coconut oil with plain Greek yogurt for a creamier texture, or add a tablespoon of chopped mint for a fresh twist.

Peanut Butter and Banana Pops


  • Banana, peeled: 1 large
  • Peanut butter (xylitol-free): 2 tablespoons
  • Ground flaxseeds: 1 teaspoon


  1. Mash the banana in a bowl until there are no large lumps.
  2. Mix the mashed banana with peanut butter and ground flaxseeds until combined.
  3. Spoon this mixture into ice cube trays or small silicone moulds.
  4. Freeze until firm, typically about 3 to 4 hours.

Variations: Mix in a tablespoon of finely chopped parsley to help freshen your dog's breath, or use sweet potato instead of banana for a different flavour profile.

Chicken and Parsley Ice Blocks


  • Chicken broth (low sodium, onion-free): 250 ml
  • Parsley, finely chopped: 2 tablespoons


  1. Mix the chicken broth and chopped parsley together.
  2. Pour into an ice cube tray or suitable moulds.
  3. Place in the freezer and leave to freeze entirely, usually about 4 hours.

Variations: Add a little turmeric to the broth for anti-inflammatory benefits or carrots for an extra dose of nutrition and flavour.

Blueberry and Greek Yogurt Frozen Delights


  • Fresh blueberries: 100 grams
  • Greek yogurt (plain and low-fat): 200 grams


  1. If the blueberries are large, cut them in half, or else leave whole.
  2. Mix the blueberries with the Greek yogurt.
  3. Spoon the mixture into ice cube trays or desired moulds.
  4. Freeze until solid, generally at least 4 hours.

Variations: Substitute blueberries with diced strawberries for a tangy treat, or mix through a spoonful of honey for sweetness if your dog's diet allows.

These frozen dog treat recipes offer a cooling respite during hot weather while providing a nutritional boost and satisfying your dog's taste for something different. Each can be easily adjusted to suit any specific dietary needs or preferences your canine might have.

  1. Freeman L, Becvarova I, Cave N, et al. WSAVA Nutritional Assessment Guidelines. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2011;52(7):385-396.
  2. Machado GS, Pezzali JG, Schenkel OM, Kessler AM. Nutritional adequacy and digestibility of homemade dog diets. Translational Animal Science. 2020;4(4):1-5.
  3. Kovalkovičová N, Šutiaková I, Pistl J, Šutiak V. Some food toxic for pets. Interdisciplinary Toxicology. 2009;2(3):169–176.






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