UPPER WEST SIDE — The incessant jingle of the ice cream trucks that invade New York City each summer work like snake charmers on children, but they're about to become a magnet for a new breed of customer — dogs.
Laura Diaz, 42, said her 8-year-old Afghan Hound Sisu "loves softees." He drags her towards them panting.
"He goes to the trucks like crazy," she said.
"We started laughing that he tweets to the carts [for their location.]"
But as Sisu's softee addiction increased, Diaz started to worry about the ingredients and chemicals in the ubiquitous soft serve.
"I thought what a shame that he's stuck to vanilla, and maybe it's not good for him," she said.
With Sisu as her inspiration, Diaz, who owned her own catering company in Chicago before moving to New York City a year and a half ago, decided to improve on the softee and started Yappy Treats Cart, the first New York City frozen yogurt cart for dogs.
Yappy Treats Cart's frozen yogurt is hand-crafted in small batches using organic ingredients that are all human-grade and blended with yogurt, which is good for the digestive tract, Diaz said. There's no added sugar, salt, fat or preservatives.
Sisu's current favorite is peanut butter-banana-carob. But he also loves tuna-carrot and chicken-plantain.
And he's been busy tasting in recent months. Diaz started with 17 different combinations and, with Sisu's help, narrowed down the choices.
"He's very picky," said Diaz.
Though the company is still in development mode, Diaz said she plans to hit the street with her cart in January 2013, heading to dog runs, sidewalks and dog parties.
The treats are sized in 3.5-ounce containers that provide easy licking access for dogs, and will cost between $2 and $2.50.