Who doesn’t love ice cream? Sunny summer days and balmy summer temperatures can make us crave a cool lick of ice cream. This sweet, creamy treat is just the best, any way you serve it.
And I’m sure this yummy frozen treat is most likely one of your favorites, but can you share some ice cream with your furry friend? Can dogs eat ice cream? Good question! The answer is both a yes and no and this is something we will learn below. Please keep on reading.
Is It Safe To Feed Ice Cream To Your Dogs?
“Can dogs eat ice cream?” – Well, this is a very critical subject that it would be hard to summarize with a simple yes or no answer.
Is It Safe To Feed Ice Cream To Your Dogs?
First, let’s discuss why it is not safe to feed your dogs with ice cream
1. Your dog can be lactose intolerant.
As a general rule, it would be much safer if we didn’t resort to feeding our puppies with ice cream as a treat.
Why? Because the ice cream you are about to feed to your dog has all the ingredients that should never be in their system.
Now, what are these ingredients? Ice cream is like any other dairy product with a high amount of lactose, and do you know that most puppies and dogs are lactose intolerant?
Yes, just like us, dogs can be lactose intolerant too! This means that your furry friend can get sick since their body cannot properly digest lactose.
This happens when some adult animals can only produce a small amount of enzyme lactase, whose main role is to break down lactose or the sugar found in the milk.
You will know your dog is lactose intolerant with these most common symptoms: diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, gas, mucus in the stool, and bloating. If your dog has eaten ice cream and has shown any of these symptoms around 30 minutes to 1 hour after, then we can be sure that he is suffering from lactose intolerance.
2. Ice cream can be your dog’s food allergen.
Another reason why ice cream could be bad for your dog is because dairy products are one of the main contributors to a dog’s food allergies.
A study reveals that 55 out of 278 dogs are highly allergic to dairy products, making dairy the second most allergenic food type to dogs.
Dogs suffering from food allergies will show symptoms of non-seasonal itchiness and recurring skin and ear infections.
3. It can make your dog obese and prone to diabetes
Ice cream is relatively high in calories that a half cup of it is already about 250 calories. It also has a high amount of sugar and fat and, worse, doesn’t have much nutritional value for dogs.
So just like us, ice cream can make our pets fat, and too much of it can lead them to obesity, which is the leading disease in pets.
Too many sweets can also make our dog prone to diabetes and even dental issues. Even a very small amount can have an intense effect on your dog’s blood sugar levels. Of course, no one wants to see their beloved family pet sick, and an unhealthy dog only means more vet bills, so make sure you watch what they eat.
Though there are also particular types of ice cream in specific amounts that are safe to feed your dog on special occasions, I know eating ice cream does not have any nutritional value at all. However, still, it can be a fun way for us to share the joyful experience with our pets, as long as he is lucky enough not to be lactose intolerant.
An expert even said she recommends treats like ice cream as part of a behavioral reinforcement training program. So if you are having any difficulties getting your dog to perform a particular action, you might want to use tasty ice cream to reinforce that action.
So what kind of ice cream can your dog safely eat?
- Go for vanilla flavor. Just make sure you stick with flavors that are safe for your dog like vanilla. It is the best flavor and the safest option to feed to your furry friend since it has fewer flavors added to it.
- The chocolate flavor is a no-no! Most pet owners have already heard about the well-deserved reputation of chocolate in making dogs very sick. Though the amount of chocolate in a few licks of ice cream won’t do any harm, it is still very important that your choice of ice cream does not contain any form of chocolate, whether it is chunks of chocolate or your regular chocolate flavored ice cream, it still has the potential to be toxic. Again, stick to vanilla flavor.
- Avoid ice cream with raisins and nuts on its ingredients. You should also avoid any flavor that has raisins on it since raisins are known to be toxic to dogs. This goes the same thing with ice cream that has plenty of macadamia nuts since it can your dog can develop tremors, depression, weakness, hyperthermia, and vomiting after eating them
- Make sure there’s no artificial sweetener on it. In addition, ice creams that are labeled sugar-free could contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is also poisonous to dogs. Xylitol can lead to liver disease and liver damage which is a life-threatening disease.
What Great Alternatives To Ice Cream You Can Give To Your Dog?
If you want your four-legged friend to enjoy some summer treat, frozen yogurt can be a great choice. This is because yogurt has been fermented and only contains a small amount of lactose, so it would be easy for your dogs to digest.
However, you should not feed your dog with commercial frozen yogurt as it has a great amount of sugar. Buy plain, unsweetened yogurt instead and store it in your freezer. Make sure you use caution when feeding this to your dog too. You can start with a smaller amount and observe his reaction towards it. Even though yogurt is much easier to digest, not all dogs can tolerate it.
Another amazing summer treat for your dog is “nice cream” or vegan ice cream, usually made from frozen bananas or blueberries. This fruit-based dessert is not only safe for dogs to eat but can give some nutritional value, plus you can easily prepare it at home using a food processor.
So the next time you are enjoying a scoop of ice cream, make sure to think twice before sharing it with your dog.
Anyway, I hope this article has answered your question can dog eat ice cream. If you find this article helpful, please don’t forget to share it with your friends.