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  • Last modified 20 days ago (July 3, 2018)

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Hot dog? Try chicken-leg pupsicle

Staff writer

The pooch is hot. What to do? Give him a chicken leg freezer pop or a yogurt smoothie to cool him down.

Marion County resident Holly Robinson’s dogs love frozen treats.

“Frozen popsicles are a big hit at my house,” she said. “The pops do help them cool off.”

Keeping pets cool during heat and humidity is imperative to keeping them healthy.

If you can’t keep your pets — dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits — indoors, be sure they have water, shade and shelter.

Popsicles for pets can be customized to provide cool, tasty goodies for animals.

How about a banana, carrot, peanut butter, and bacon smoothie? Or a yogurt and strawberry frozen treat?

Use any freezer pop mold or ice tray for all the frozen treats below.

For dogs, drop in some greens like parsley, along with berries, seeds, and meat. Fill the container with beef or chicken broth.

Now comes the fun part — choosing an edible handle. A rawhide strip, carrot, hotdog or a chicken leg (don’t tell the chickens) gives dogs a healthy starting point.

For hot felines, serve them ice cubes with a splash of tuna juice.

Drop ice cubes into their water dish two or three times a day to refresh.

Freeze a spoonful of canned cat food and mix in with their kibble for a surprising treat.

Rabbits have increasingly become backyard pets along with chickens.

Most rabbits don’t tolerate heat well. Drop a frozen bottle of water wrapped in a towel in their hutch in the morning. They will enjoy the coolness all day.

Rabbits also like a cool treat on a hot afternoon. In the freezer container, combine water with dandelion leaves, mint, or carrot tops. Add a few strawberries or bananas as a special treat.

According to an article written by Mary Woita,

She suggests creating a chicken piñata by using a head of iceberg lettuce (big on water content) and hanging it with twine. It creates entertainment for the chickens.

Robinson said, “My hens loved hanging lettuce. At first they didn’t know what to do with it. But after the first hen started eating, they all jumped in.”

Freezer pops with kernel corn, watermelon, herbs, and vegetables are a welcome treat for poultry.

Chickens, as well as ducks and geese, enjoy bathing to cool off. Supply a plastic baby pool with cold water and watch them play. Since chickens can’t swim, only a few inches of water are needed.

If a pool is not available, chickens can take a dirt bath by digging themselves down in loose soil and tossing dirt up on their backs.

Robinson suggested placing a fan in the chicken coop to provide better circulation in the heat. “I put in a small fan and my girls are definitely using it. My egg production has gone up considerably,” Holly said.

Whether you have a traditional pet or something more exotic, keeping them cool in the summer heat will keep them healthy all year long.

Last modified July 3, 2018

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