Can My Dog Eat Ice Cream?
We have seen tons of videos on the Internet of dogs eating ice cream. And we have to admit—it’s adorable. If you are both an ice cream lover and a dog owner, you probably thought of sharing your cone with your fur buddy at least once. But before you do that, you need to ask yourself first: “Can my dog eat an ice cream?”
No, it’s best to avoid it.
You should not give your canine companion ice cream. Most people would think this treat is safe for dogs since it’s just a dessert. Honestly, a small amount might not cause any harm, but many ice creams contain an ingredient that may cause allergies or even poisoning. It’s better not to risk it! In this article, we’ll explore all the issues surrounding dogs and ice cream.
Keep reading for the facts!
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?
It’s best to keep ice cream away from your dogs, even if it’s only one or two scoops. Even if we humans enjoy it, it is not a healthy treat for dogs. So, please refrain from giving your dogs this creamy dairy treat whenever possible.
Why Dogs Cannot Eat Ice Cream
Dogs become intolerant to milk as they grow. Since ice cream contains milk, it can cause digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting in your dog. Another problem is the sugar content. Ice cream is high in sugar, which can lead to weight gain, tooth decay, diabetes, and other health complications.
Although dogs need to consume sugar and carbohydrates to function well, the sugar content from sweet treats like ice cream does not provide any real value. Excessive amounts of sugar are unnecessary, and it can cause inflammation throughout the body. Though some ice creams are labeled “sugarless,” they may contain xylitol, an artificial food sweetener that is extremely dangerous for canines.
Xylitol can be fatal to dogs, so ensuring they don’t consume it is crucial. Chocolate-flavored ice cream is also especially harmful to dogs since chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine. These compounds can speed up heart rate and stimulate your dog’s nervous system. Too much of these substances in a dog’s body can cause serious issues.
Alternatives to Ice Cream
If you can’t resist treating your dog to dessert, you can choose frozen yogurt instead. Yogurt is fermented, so it has less lactose and will be easy for your dog to digest. Commercial frozen yogurt is also not good for your dog as it has lots of sugar. Please buy plain yogurt that does not have any type of sweetener. Keep it in a freezer before you give it to your dog.
There are also vegan ice cream variants that are usually made from bananas. Though these products are designed for humans, you can try giving them to your dog in moderation. Since these ice cream alternatives contain fruit instead of milk, they provide nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and fiber. These can help dogs with gastrointestinal problems.
Potential Health Concerns
Allowing your dog to eat ice cream can lead to severe health conditions. Dogs cannot digest many dairy products, so ice cream consumption will often lead to bloating, diarrhea, gas, and vomiting. If your fur baby already has diabetes and weight-related issues, you need to keep them away from ice cream at all costs.
How to Safely Serve Ice Cream to Your Dog
If you REALLY want to give your dog just a little bit of ice cream, make sure it is fruit-based ice cream or just plain vanilla only. Only give them a small amount to prevent upsetting their stomach. By making organic ice cream at home, you can control how much sugar goes into the cream. You can let your dog have a small taste of homemade ice cream during the summer season if you make it responsibly.
What to Do in Case Your Dog Ate Ice Cream
If your dog ate ice cream while you weren’t looking, just stay calm and figure out what kind of ice cream they ate and what it contains. This way, you will know what to do next. If you think there are no dangerous ingredients in the ice cream, you should walk your pup in your backyard for some potty time.
But if the ice cream your dog ate contains artificial sweeteners, chocolate, coffee, grapes, or raisins, then it’s better to consult Animal Poison Control. They can guide you through the next steps or refer you to a veterinarian. Even if there are safe ice cream variants that are fairly safe for your dog to eat, it may still be a bit risky.
To avoid a poisoning incident, keep your freezer locked and all ice cream off the countertops.
Dog & Ice Cream: The Scoop on Why You Should Avoid It
Owners find it cute to share their food with their dogs, but it’s best to keep your dog far away from ice cream. Here are the reasons:
- Dogs don’t digest milk well.
- Ice cream contains lots of sugar.
- Ice cream may contain toxic ingredients for dogs.
Remember, dogs become lactose intolerant as they grow. If you feed them ice cream, it can harm their digestive system. Aside from milk, you should avoid giving your fur baby sugary foods that can lead to obesity. Obese dogs are more prone to ailments. Sugar can contribute to diabetes and dental diseases as well.
There are also ingredients in ice cream like xylitol and chocolate that are harmful to dogs’ health. If your dog consumes a large amount of these ingredients, prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. These compounds can cause severe sickness in your four-legged fur buddy.
Dog-Friendly Ice Cream Alternatives
If you love ice cream and can’t resist the look on your dog’s face when you give it to them, why not make homemade ice cream alternatives that you and your pet can both enjoy? You can try making ice cream from bananas. You can get creative by mixing in apples, pumpkin, or peanut butter, which are all safe for dogs to eat.
You can also freeze plain applesauce and pumpkin puree and mold it into a popsicle for a delicious frozen treat. If you’re not good at preparing food or you simply don’t have time, you can try giving ice cubes for your dogs instead to help them freshen up on hot days. This is the perfect alternative since it is just water and has no additional calories.
Safe DIY Frozen Treats for Your Dog
Here’s a list to guide you on safe DIY frozen treats and recipes you can give your dogs and how to prepare them. Please refer to this list as often as possible to ensure you are only giving your pup the best treats.
This easy recipe is usually made from bananas or other frozen fruits. Your dog will love this dairy-free ice cream, and it’s safe for them to eat in moderation.
What You Need:
- Fresh bananas or any frozen fruits such as apples, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, or watermelon
- Blender, food processor, or ice cream machine
- Put the frozen fruit in a blender or ice cream maker machine.
- Run the machine until it achieves a cream-like texture.
- Transfer it to a container and place it inside a freezer for a few hours.
- Once it is frozen, remove it from the freezer. Thaw it for several minutes before it’s ready for your dog to eat.
This is another super simple recipe made from fresh apples and chicken broth.
What You Need:
- Apples (sliced and seedless)
- Chicken or bone broth
- Ice cube tray
- Fill every compartment of the ice cube tray with chunks of apple.
- Pour the chicken broth on the top.
- Freeze it for 24 hours,
- Remove the cubes from the tray, and now they’re ready to serve!
- Ripley, K. (2017, July 14). Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?. American Kennel Club. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-ice-cream/
- Faught, J., DVM. (n.d.). Reasons Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Have Sugar. https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/6-reasons-why-your-dog-shouldnt-have-sugar
- Merck Manual Veterinary Manual (n.d.). https://www.merckvetmanual.com/