METRO DETROIT — There’s nothing better in the summertime than cooling off with a frozen treat.
Well, your dog happens to feel the same way.
But it’s tough to include Fido in summer sundae fun when ice cream doesn’t sit well with many dogs, according to Janet Platt, owner of Maestros Dog Haus in Bloomfield Hills and Ferndale.
“The problem with getting your dog a regular ice cream is that most dogs are lactose intolerant. A large dog with a little ice cream probably won’t have a problem, but my Maestro, who’s all of 11 pounds, would definitely have a reaction,” she explained.
Maestros Dog Haus creates its own grain-free dog food and treats. So it was only natural for Platt to mix up a frozen option too.
“We do frozen yogurt that’s one part raw goat milk, which is wonderful for the dogs with the probiotics and prebiotics, and one part pure fruit or protein,” she said.
While the Ferndale store sells more of the peanut-flavored frozen yogurt and fruit options — like strawberry, blueberry, coconut and pineapple — the Bloomfield Hills store’s sellers are the savory flavors, with beef and chicken.
All flavors come in an edible cup created with eggs, lentil flour and cinnamon, and the human-grade ingredients are as tasty as they are tummy tolerant, she said.
“When the dogs get them in front of them, it’s just lick, lick, lick and eat,” Platt said with a laugh.
Andreana Pena wants to expand her own line of frozen dog treats, which she launched five years ago with her Plymouth-based mother, Marsha Droz.
“We’ve not only come out with an ice cream that we base with meat, because dogs are carnivores, but we have a second line of raw goat milk ice cream with bone broth,” Pena said. “So that’s super nutrition for super-sensitive stomachs.”
For Arrf Scarf, which just started selling at Premier Pet Supply in Beverly Hills, the peanut butter and peanut butter bacon flavors are big hits with four-legged customers.
“They love it,” said Pena. “Some other dog ice cream options on the market contain some natural flavorings or preservatives, and ours just doesn’t have any filler, grain or anything else.”
Peanut butter bacon is also a great seller for Samme’s Special Dog Treats, sold each week at the Northwest Detroit Farmers Market. But the entrepreneur behind the handmade biscuits isn’t looking to build a conglomerate anytime soon.
Samme Hejka, 28, of Detroit’s Rosedale Park neighborhood, is just happy to spend some time with his dad.
“Samme is our adult son who has autism and Tourette’s (syndrome). He makes these doggie treats as a way to earn a little money for the things he likes to do,” said his father, Edward Hejka. “People ask all the time about a website and if they can order them online, but it’s not like that. This is just Samme and me at the dining room table, cutting out treats by hand with a cookie cutter in the shape of the bone.”
The father-son pair make about 60 to 70 treats each week from peanut butter, whole wheat flour, eggs, vanilla and water. Sometimes they throw some real bacon in. The resident dog at Samme’s Special Dog Treats gives the not-so-secret recipe two enthusiastic paws up.
“Our dog, Dora, just loves them,” Edward Hejka said.