Sometimes dogs get a little worked up when you need to go out. Either they want to go, or they don’t want be left alone. A special treat given only when you leave helps the dog form a positive association with you leaving. Long-lasting treats like frozen yogurt keep the dog busy, too, so he doesn’t think about being alone ’til you’re long gone. They’re sometimes a little messy, but mostly the dogs lap up every last bit and they’re much neater than crumbly dog biscuits or pig ears, not to mention safer and healthier.
Just take whatever plain yogurt you have and freeze it in small containers according to the size of your dog. I have Greyhounds and freeze about four ounces for each. When my daughter makes treats for her Bichons she uses about two ounces. I used to freeze them in the GladWare Mini Round Containers until we adopted a chewer a couple of months ago. Now I use stainless steel pinch bowls I picked up from a discount retailer. They’re a lot more expensive than the GladWare, but they can’t be chewed.
If you want to make more treats, it’s almost as easy. Before I began working from home, I made yogurt treats in batches and each dog got a treat when I headed out for the office. I wasn’t worried about food sensitivities at the time, so I added peanut butter, which the dogs loved. Now, with three dogs it’s sometimes hard to hit on a combination that doesn’t upset anyone’s tummy, so I just keep it simple and stick with plain yogurt. Also, when it comes to dogs, I think many humans tend to anthropomorphize, resulting in recipes with ingredients tasty to us but unhealthy for dogs. My dogs eat their plain frozen yogurt just as eagerly, and they know what “yogurt treat” means!
- 1 quart plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (no sugar, no additives) - optional
- Lay out a dozen small containers on a work surface.
- Empty the yogurt into a tall pitcher or other container with a pouring spout. Add the peanut butter (if using), and blend well with a hand blender or whisk.
- Pour into the containers, dividing evenly. If you're using lidded containers, remember to leave room for the yogurt to expand as it freezes.
- Freeze until solid (2 - 4 hours depending upon your freezer settings).