Tricks for Frozen Dog Treats

I am all about efficiency. You could also say I’m lazy. Also, my freezer is usually stuffed full.

So rather than freeze whole filled food toys for three dogs, I use several gadgets that let me freeze things separately. Then I can put frozen dog treats (of all sorts–just look!) into food toys for a quick treat for the dogs that they can enjoy for a few minutes.

Custom Freezer Trays

Kong puts out a product called “Easy Freeze Dog Treats Kit” that includes a plastic freezer tray. It makes Kong-stuffer shaped treats. Their kit includes a treat mix you can use, but once you have a tray, the genie is out of the bottle. They don’t market this product heavily. I think it’s because it costs only a few dollars, but it frees you from buying their premade products (crackers and paste) for a quick filler.

Kong easy freeze tray with peanut butter yogurt filling

Kong Easy Freeze Tray with peanut butter and yogurt mixture

The above picture is the “X-Large” tray. The frozen pieces fit large Kongs as well.

Black Kong with frozen treats

Frozen treats from Kong mold

Stay tuned for an explanation of those funky looking treats.

There is a smaller size Kong tray that is rather hard to get ahold of. Here’s what you can use instead.

Silicone Molds

You don’t even have to buy molds from Kong. There are now food-grade silicone molds that are used for soapmaking, candy making, custom ices cubes, and yeah, dog treats! Just search on “silicone molds” and you’ll get there.

You can find practically every shape and size you ever dreamed of. Here’s one that has a nice shape for small food toys.

Silicone mold in shape of dog bones for making frozen dog treats

Here it is with vanilla yogurt filling.

Silicone mold in shape of dog bones with vanilla yogurt filling

And here are the cute little frozen treats.

Frozen vanilla yogurt dog treats for Kongs

These go nicely in small and puppy Kongs.

Ice Cube Trays

Of course you can use standard plastic ice cube trays too. You’ll have to experiment to see how much filling you should put in the cavities so you can fit the treats into your own toys.

What Kinds of Fillings?

Here’s the cool part. You can freeze just about anything in them that’s safe for dogs to eat.

Leftovers. How about some pasta? (Hold the onions and garlic.) Keep the tops of the treats entirely flat, or they will be difficult to insert into the toys. You’d be surprised how hard they are to insert if they are just a little bit lumpy. You can do a two-part freeze with things like this. I don’t have a photo, but after the ones in the photo below froze, I poured some broth over them and put them back in the freezer. It made them nice and smooth. I did the same for the treats pictured with the black Kong above. I don’t remember what was in the bottom half, but after they were frozen, I put more liquid on top, along with a chunk of a cookie.

Kong easy freeze tray with pasta filling

Frozen pasta treats

And here’s the best thing. Now you have something easy to do with all those leftover dog treat crumbs.

Plate with crumbs

Treat crumbs…

These are big “crumbs” from some specially made dog cookies that I tried, rather unsuccessfully, to break into training treats. I did use some for treats, but I got tired of dealing with the non-uniform shapes. So I soaked the rest in water in a bowl in the refrigerator.

Bowl with crumbs

Add water and soak…

Edit: I removed a reference and photo of adding another leftover food. Barbara Korry DVM cautioned me in the comments that it could be dangerously salty for some small dogs. Bad idea on my part. Thanks Dr. Korry.

Here’s how they looked after freezing.

Easy freeze frozen Kong tray with cookie crumb treats

Frozen crumb treats

Putting the Treats in the Kong (and Giving them to Dogs)

In case you want to see it done, here is a very short movie that includes inserting the frozen treats into the Kong.

These do not take nearly as long to eat as an entire, frozen-solid Kong, but for dogs who lick them (rather than crunching the whole Kong in their mouths), they still take 5-10 minutes. You can also put a few loose treats of another sort in the Kong first, so they are blocked at first by the frozen treat.

Doubling Up

A reader asked whether one could put two of the frozen treats in at once. I didn’t think so, but I tried it and it worked! You need to put them in one at a time, with the small end pointing down to the small end of the Kong. Get the first one all the way in. Then insert the second one such that the flat faces will face each other. I was able to do this with two full-sized treats. Again, this probably wouldn’t work if they were at all bumpy.

Kong with two fillings

Kong with two frozen fillings

Do you freeze stuff for your dogs? Just this week I also made a batch from some leftover scalloped potatoes, and another from the copious crumbs from the bottom of a package of dehydrated raw dog treats.

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About eileenanddogs

Passionate amateur dog trainer, writer, and learning theory geek. Eileen Anderson on Google+
This entry was posted in Enrichment, Food reinforcers, Treats and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Tricks for Frozen Dog Treats

  1. Bridger says:

    For clarity, are you able to double these up? In the video you only put one piece in. I had been imagining it as two halves. Or is it too wide to get through the opening once the first half is in there?

    • Eileen Anderson says:

      EDITED: Yes, you can! Two normal sized frozen treats will go in. You have to do it one at a time, with the smooth sides facing. I’m so glad you asked. I will add this to the blog as soon as I can. Kong with two frozen fillings

    • Eileen Anderson says:

      Yes you can! I’m adding details to the blog. Kong with two frozen fillings

  2. Jane Jones says:

    This is genius! Just ordered a Kong easy freeze kit from amazon. Thanks Eileen =)

  3. meghan says:

    Ooh, this sounds like a much easier way to have easy, different flavored kongs on hand than my current “stuff a few every few days and then try to remember what I did” strategy. For a while I was using a loaf pan to make a week’s worth of kongs at once (it’s hilarious that I even own one, as I am allergic to wheat and gluten free baking is very hit or miss, particularly since I am also allergic to eggs). This sounds like a much better fit for my chronically disorganized freezer!

    • Eileen Anderson says:

      If you are like me, you’ll soon get a large but ugly ziplock bag full of unidentifiable premade treats. Let’s see…I think this one was sweet, oh wait, that looks like some chicken in there…this one must be yogurt since it used to be white, even though it has grungy brown crumbs all over it now… Clara and Zani like the yogurt ones but Summer doesn’t always; would it be fair to give her scalloped potatoes when they are getting yogurt?

      There was a reason I didn’t show my bag of “premades.” But I use them every other day or so! Plus the bag takes up a lot less space than rows of Kongs and doesn’t leak from the bottom.

  4. Barbara Korry DVM says:

    Feta cheese is very salty. For small dogs with mitral valve disease a salt load like that (water follows salt, increasing blood volume ) could push them into congestive heart failure. Be aware of salty foods for small dogs, even a little is a lot of salt for them!

  5. Christina says:

    One of my dogs has a sensitive stomach, so I hesitate to give him many food scraps (grains, cheese, chicken). So I have gotten into the habit of using his regular canned dog food that he tolerates well. I stuff and freeze, but this method would work, too!

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