'frosty Paws' Ice Cream Can Teach An Old Dog New Licks

updated 06/05/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/05/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

How do you make a doggie float? Easy. Just take two scoops of dog ice cream, add a little seltzer.

And thanks to Dr. William Tyznik, a professor of Animal Science at Ohio State's College of Agriculture, doggie ice cream is now available, right there in the freezer section of your local supermarket, next to the people ice cream.

Tyznik (whose previous forays into fauna food include diet supplements for horses) got the idea 10 years ago when he saw two elderly women feeding ice cream to their poodles in a Columbus, Ohio, park. "The women got a bigger charge than their dogs did," he says. A recognized expert in animal nutrition, Tyznik knew that the butterfat and sugar in ice cream are bad for dogs, so he started to experiment in the kitchen, trying out his ice cream on the family's five mutts.

"The only thing dogs can really taste is meat," says Tyznik, 61, "but they do like the coldness and texture of ice cream." Using a blender, Tyznik began mixing dried whey, refined soy flour, corn oil, vitamins and minerals, juggling the ingredients to find a good pooch product that dogs would eat. In the early 1980s, he launched Fido Freeze, but it quickly went out of business, losing $25,000, because of soaring interest rates and limited production capabilities.

Then, about three years ago, the Associated Ice Cream company got wind of Tyznik's idea, sniffed around a little and decided to dig it up and run with it, this time calling it Frosty Paws. The product, which retails for about $1.89 a pint, was introduced in more than 10,000 supermarkets across the nation last month. No sales figures are available yet, but according to Seymour Greenstein, president of a Michigan dairy, "Frosty Paws started powerfully. It has potential if people can figure out how to find it. The dogs can't read the label, but they really love it." Meanwhile, Tyznik is looking to the future: He's working on something similar for cats, which he plans to call—what else?—Frosty Claws.

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