Special Treats for the Dog Days of Summer

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The dog days of summer are perfect for whipping up doggone good treats for the two- and four-legged cuties in your backyard. These snacks are easy to make and will add fun to your next cookout on the deck.

Doggy buns

Ordinary fare like hot dogs rise to meet the occasion in these cute dog-faced buns, from Wonderful DIY. These are a snap to make, especially with a bread machine. All you need is dough, cooked black beans, and sandwich fillings of your choice.

Shape bread dough into hotdog-sized buns. With a knife, make two cuts near the round end of each bun to create dog ears (should look something like a 1970s telephone in profile). Press in three beans for the eyes and nose. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. When cool, slice open and stuff. If your kids turn up their noses at these, it will be to take bigger bites!

Chocolate puppy cupcakes

We found these adorable cupcakes, complete with floppy ears, at CupcakePedia. No time to bake these from scratch? No worries, because we think you can get this homemade look from all prepared items. Whether you buy or bake, you’ll need chocolate cupcakes, chocolate icing, Nutter Butter cookies, vanilla wafers, M&Ms, and icing in a couple of colors in cake-decorating tubes.

Nutter Butter cookies are ears, icing makes big puppy eyes, and a vanilla wafer becomes a muzzle to hold a grin and M&M nose. Walk these cupcakes on a short leash to the picnic table, or they may run off before you get there.

Doggy ice treats

Pricey doggie ice cream hit the market a few years ago, but you can make your own for less with this recipe from Desert Living Today, with ingredients on hand. Your kids will love serving up frosty goodies to Fido next time he’s melting down, especially if they help make them.

Swirl together yogurt, peanut butter, ripe bananas, honey, and water in your blender, and pour into ice cube trays or cupcake pan to freeze. Garnish with dog favorites like grated cheese. If you make these often, add to the fun by using a pan with dog bone shaped molds.

The dog days of summer come but once a year and your kids will never be this age again, so don’t forget to paws, er pause, to snap some photos of your kids and dogs cooling off with these cute canine-themed treats.