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.
The above picture is the “X-Large” tray. The frozen pieces fit large Kongs as well.
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.
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.
Here it is with vanilla yogurt filling.
And here are the cute little frozen treats. 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.
And here’s the best thing. Now you have something easy to do with all those leftover dog 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- The Secret to Quick Non-Crumbly Homemade Dog Treats
- The Secret to Filling a Food Tube
- Flavors: Ideas for Ultra High-Value Treats
Copyright Eileen Anderson 2015