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Made with 4 simple good-for-them ingredients, your furry friends are sure to LOVE these pupsicles!
Today we’re partnering up with Stonyfield Organic again to bring you these 4-ingredient probiotic pupsicles! We’re all about utilizing real food when it comes to getting our probiotics in, and we want the same for our pups! While there are probiotic chewables + pills made for pets (and humans!), we want to give them the *good* stuff, and for us, that means giving them a good dose of probiotics through real food. We guarantee that your pup will be happier with that anyway – a tasty probiotic frozen treat reigns supreme over chewables any day!
Benefits of Probiotics
What are probiotics? Essentially, probiotics are live microorganisms that offer health benefits when consumed (1). Our gut is naturally populated with both good and bad bacteria, and it helps us to maintain a balance between the two. Our good bacteria has a wealth of functions and is known to aid in the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal disease (2), improve gut health (which can trigger a domino effect for improved mental health, specifically anxiety and depression) (3), promote heart health (4), reduce inflammatory skin responses (5), and even boost the immune system(6)!
Why choose probiotic food over supplements?
The biggest benefit of getting probiotics via real, probiotic-rich food vs. taking a probiotic supplement is that when you (or your pup!) eat real food, you’re able to consume all of the other micronutrients that the food has to offer, resulting in greater consumption of overall nutrition.
Also, when you eat real-food probiotics (in this case, yogurt) paired with real-food prebiotics (in this case, sweet potatoes), you’re introducing this dynamic duo into your gut, allowing the prebiotics to ‘feed’ the healthy bacteria (probiotics).
Stonyfield Probiotic Yogurt
Not all yogurts are created equal! It’s a common misconception that ANY yogurt is a good source of probiotics, and that’s not the case. When shopping for a probiotic-rich yogurt, make sure to look for yogurt with ‘active’ or ‘live’ cultures. This will ensure that you’re getting that beneficial bacteria in your diet! We LOVE Stonyfield’s probiotic yogurt because, not only does it have live and active cultures, but it’s got BILLIONS of them! We also love that all Stonyfield products are organic, and that this wonderful brand is setting out to make a real difference in our world (read more about their farming practices here) and succeeding!
How can probiotics benefit my dog?
Obviously, the benefits of probiotics are incredible, and things that we all want for not only ourselves, but also our fur babies! Most often, we use probiotics with our pups to help settle their digestive system (think: after they’ve had loose stool or seem gassier than usual), but probiotics can also help with your pet’s bad breath and may even have calming effects on your pup!
Frozen Dog Popsicle Ingredients
Just 4-ingredients make for the tastiest frozen treat that is chock full of all the good things (because our pups deserve the very best!), and none of the bad! While we aren’t vets or veterinary dieticians, we did include each ingredient for a reason, and truly believe these pupsicles are a beneficial (and darn tasty!) inclusion in your pup’s diet!
- Sweet Potatoes – we’ll use a pound of sweet potatoes in these pupsicles! The sweet potatoes will do two things: first, make the pupsicles taste REALLY good (dogs love sweet taters!), and second, they provide a great source of prebiotics so that the probiotics can really do their job (remember the dynamic duo we talked about earlier?!)
- Stonyfield Plain Probiotic Yogurt – we picked this yogurt for a few reasons: we love that it’s organic, full fat (big fans of healthy fats over here) and has *billions* of added probiotics to help support immunity and digestive health! If you aren’t using Stonyfield’s probiotic yogurt, make sure that you pick a yogurt that has ‘live’ or ‘active’ cultures.
- Brewer’s Yeast – brewer’s yeast may support good digestive health in dogs. It’s also super-rich in antioxidants, making it a great solution to dry, itchy skin (an age-old battle with many pups!). For more about the potential benefits and risks of brewer’s yeast, click here.
- Turmeric – turmeric is a superfood, that’s for sure! It has antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties(7), all of which serve to strengthen your pup’s immune system!
How to Make Frozen Dog Treats
The process couldn’t be easier, plus, these 4 ingredients go a long way, so you’ll have plenty of pupsicles!
- Bake the sweet potatoes. Bake the sweet potatoes at 375°F for 45 minutes, or until they’re soft to the touch. Be sure to let them cool completely before moving onto the next step. Note: because the sweet potatoes need to cool completely first, this is a great step to knock out a day or two ahead!
- Peel + mash the sweet potatoes. Once the potatoes are completely cooled, peel and transfer just the flesh to a large bowl. Using a fork, mash the sweet potatoes into a rough paste.
- Add in the yogurt, brewer’s yeast, and turmeric. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, and stir until it forms an even color and mixture.
- Spoon into ice cube trays. Spoon into ice cube trays (this mixture should completely fill 2 trays) and, if desired, insert the popsicle sticks.
- Freeze + serve! Freeze for 8 hours or overnight, and once completely frozen, flex the tray to pop the pupsicles out. Then, serve up for your pup!
To store the pupsicles, keep them in an airtight bag in the freezer.
How to Serve These to Your Pup
There are two kinds of pups out there: the slow, enjoy-every-bite eater, and the scarf down ALL OF THE FOOD eater (maybe it’s the same for people too?!). If your dog fits into the latter group, we recommend letting them slowly lick the pupsicle while you hold the stick (too much cold too fast may upset their tummy.) If you’ve got a slow, savor-the-moment pup on your hands, you can just pop a few pupsicles into their bowl and skip the stick altogether!
So, grab a quart of plain Stonyfield Organic yogurt, and make these pupsicles for a fun summer treat ASAP!
- Hill C;Guarner F;Reid G;Gibson GR;Merenstein DJ;Pot B;Morelli L;Canani RB;Flint HJ;Salminen S;Calder PC;Sanders ME; “Expert Consensus Document. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics Consensus Statement on the Scope and Appropriate Use of the Term Probiotic.” Nature Reviews. Gastroenterology & Hepatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24912386/.
- TN;, Ritchie ML;Romanuk. “A Meta-Analysis of Probiotic Efficacy for Gastrointestinal Diseases.” PloS One, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22529959/.
- JA;, Luna RA;Foster. “Gut Brain Axis: Diet Microbiota Interactions and Implications for Modulation of Anxiety and Depression.” Current Opinion in Biotechnology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25448230/.
- DB;, DiRienzo. “Effect of Probiotics on Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Disease: Implications for Heart-Healthy Diets.” Nutrition Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24330093/.
- JE;, Baquerizo Nole KL;Yim E;Keri. “Probiotics and Prebiotics in Dermatology.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24906613/.
- Yan, Fang, and D B Polk. “Probiotics and Immune Health.” Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006993/.
- Comblain, F., et al. “Review of Dietary Supplements for the Management of Osteoarthritis in Dogs in Studies from 2004 to 2014.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 23 July 2015, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvp.12251.
- 1 pound sweet potatoes
- 1 pint Stonyfield plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup brewer's yeast
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1. Bake the sweet potatoes at 375 F for 45 minutes, or until they're soft to the touch. Let them cool completely before moving onto the next step. Note: this is a great step to knock out a day or two ahead!
- 2. Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer just the flesh to a large bowl. Using a fork, smash the sweet potatoes into a rough paste.
- 3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until it forms an even color and mixture.
- 4. Spoon into ice cube trays and, if desired, insert the popsicle sticks.
- 5. Freeze for 8 hours or overnight, flex the tray to pop the pupsicles out, and serve up for your pup!