Dogs Love Ice Cream Too by Jo Elizabeth Pinto #BeatTheHeat #DogDaysofSummer #HomemadeDogTreats

Dogs Love Ice Cream Too by Jo Elizabeth Pinto #BeatTheHeat #DogDaysofSummer #HomemadeDogTreats


It’s another sweltering August day in Colorado, and with the horrendous air quality we’ve had because of the wildfires raging across the western half of North America, my guide dog Spreckles and I are hanging out at home. We’re both bored, but what can we do?

The happy music of the ice cream truck makes itself heard over the drone of the air conditioner in my living room window. I briefly consider rushing outside to buy treats for myself and Spreckles. But money is tight, so I abandon that idea. There’s a carton of Blue Bell® coconut cream pie ice cream in my freezer that’s nothing short of heavenly. Seriously, people, if you haven’t tried it, the stuff will make your taste buds dance. I know it’s the expensive brand, but I heard it advertised over the loudspeaker at the store last time I was shopping. Once in a while, a splurge pays off. I can’t tolerate much dairy, so I only eat a few bites at a time. The tub will last me for months.

But what about poor Spreckles? It’s been a long week. She stuck with me through an interminable Historical Commission meeting last night at City Hall. She trudged to my daughter’s Back to School night Wednesday evening and amiably zigzagged up and down the crowded corridors as we got lost searching for one identical classroom after another. She lay patiently by my chair Tuesday afternoon at the bank while the teller and I tried to figure out why I’d gotten locked out of my checking account and then lay quietly under the table at Village Inn® waiting for my dad and me to finish solving the world’s problems over pie and coffee. Yes, okay, that’s her job. But if I deserve a bite of ice cream, she deserves a gallon.

An idea suddenly pops into my head. Google to the rescue!

Homemade Frozen Dog Treats!

1 ripe banana, broken into pieces
1 cup dairy sour cream
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter (NOT sugar free)

Combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend till smooth. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze till solid, at least a few hours. Press a small dog treat into each cube before completely frozen, if desired. Warning: Do not use sugar-free peanut butter, since artificial sweeteners are poisonous for dogs.

I don’t have ice cube trays, but I do have disposable dipping cups with lids that salad dressing comes in from fast food restaurants. The recipe fills three of them almost to the top. I could probably have made at least twice as many ice cubes.

Spreckles definitely licked up her homemade treat as enthusiastically as my other dogs ever scarfed down the commercially prepared ones, although she was a bit more ladylike about it. Still, now that I know how to mix up doggy ice cream in my own kitchen, I’ll be able to keep it on hand and serve it more often.

About the Author

Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. She freelances as an editor and a braille proofreader and is a contributor of The Writer’s Grapevine Magazine where more such articles as this may be found.

As an author, Pinto entertains her readers while giving them food for thought. In her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she draws on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.

Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband, her preteen daughter, and their pets.
Her website is:


  1. Love this, thanks, Jo!`

  2. I’m glad you like it, Joan. I was happy to find an easy and inexpensive frozen treat recipe for dogs. 🙂

  3. I don’t have a dog but the recipe sounds delicious. What a tragedy for you to be kept indoors because of the air quality – so many people will be affected. Keep safe.

    1. Hi, I thought this was a great post. However, I doubt Blue having such treats except on extremely rare occasions. After what I went through with Campbell and his serious weight gain and stomach issues which I’ve since learned Labs are prone to I’ve decided Blue will stick to his food and nothing more.
      Currently, when I eat he goes without my asking and lays down and does not even try to beg a bite. I hope to keep it that way.
      Campbell was very food aggrassive right from the start and I increased that by giving him a tidbit here and there and I’ll not make that mistake twice.
      It’s wonderful to eat a meal without a dog’s nose on my knee.

    2. Oh, how I know about the nose on my knee! Spreckles doesn’t even come over to look at my food, and I love it. She was well trained in her puppy home. I’ve also had dogs with everything from tummy troubles to serious food allergies, so I know what it’s like to travel that dreadful road. Spreckles seems to be okay for now, so a delicious treat she had, but she definitely doesn’t get them every day. Oh, and thanks, Barbara. I’ve been wearing a mask against the smoke when I go out.

      1. It’s a blessing when they’re not so food aggressive you cannot have a snack without them right underneath you.
        Blue has gotten so that when i start making my food he goes to his crate without my asking.
        Of course he sighs theatrically as if he has not eaten in ten years.
        I imagine the smoke is a challenge.

  4. Interesting article. My dogs don’t like bananas. They spit out the pieces I’ve tried. When growing up my Uncle Joe used to buy a vanilla ice cream cup for his beagle mix Joe-D (pronounced Jody), when we got ice cream while out driving.

  5. I’ve never tried plain banana with any of my dogs. It’s high in potassium, so I figured it would be a good treat. I bought my third guide a plain vanilla ice cream cup a few times because it was cheaper than the one made for dogs.

    1. Dogs are lactose intolerant so they should not have dairy products at all.
      Also, their livers are not set up to process as ours are and so we must also watch the fat content they receive. Their pancreases don’t process sugars as ours do either so diabetes is also something to be careful of and is why they shouldn’t have sugary snacks.
      I no longer allow dog treats except on very rare occasions and am very particular about what kind I give when i do allow.
      I used to share a banana with Campbell each day when he was older, but I made sure he only got small bites and only a small portion of the banana because it is also advised to watch their potassium levels.
      When training at The Seeing Eye, we are required to attend a lecture provided by their veterinarian during which she profiles exactly what dogs should and should not eat, how their bodies process foods, fats and proteins and how their organs work among many other things we must know to keep our dogs as healthy as is possible.
      As I previously stated I made some mistakes with Campbell because I became a bit lax in some of what I allowed, but live and learn and I do not intend to make those mistakes again.
      Luckily, we were also provided a thumb drive which contains every lecture we attended during class so I can go back and review them any time I wish.
      I believe the two most important ones on that thumb drive are the lecture done by the vet and the traffic lecture which was actually done by a trainer who is now retired named Peat Jackson.
      His lecture is by far the best on traffic I have ever heard.

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