We’ve seen the videos before, dogs eating ice cream is both adorable and hilarious; there’s no disputing that! but is it actually good for them, or is it a bad idea? This article will explain whether your dog can eat ice cream.
The super-quick answer: Although traditional ice cream can be given to dogs, it’s best to avoid it. Ice cream contains high amounts of sugar, xylitol (which is toxic for dogs), and most dogs are lactose intolerant so dairy is not recommended.
But wait, not all hope is lost! I will explain below…
Is Ice Cream Good or Bad For Dogs
I know the videos look just pawfect online, your dog gets their first ice cream, he loves it, you love it, everyone who sees’s it loves it! It seems amazing.
But if it’s traditional ice cream using dairy and a lot of sugar, then it’s almost guaranteed to negatively affect your dog. Most dogs will physically show discomfort shortly after eating it, and some may not, but dairy and sugar are never good for dogs. And not to mention xylitol, which is toxic.
So unfortunately traditional ice cream using dairy, sugar, and xylitol is not good or healthy for dogs or any dog for that matter. The occasional “good boy” treat once per week may not be bad, but frequent consumption of ice cream is definitely not recommended.
Three quick reasons why normal ice cream is bad for dogs:
Nearly all adult dogs are lactose intolerant, some more than others. When your dog is a puppy, his body will actively produce an enzyme called lactase. Lactase helps to break down a natural sugar called lactose, which is found in milk.
Puppies actively produce the important lactase enzyme all the while they are feeding on their mother’s milk. As soon as they are weaned off their mother’s milk, the production of this enzyme naturally stops or is extremely limited. This results in the inability to properly break down lactose, which results in being lactose intolerant.
From then on, digesting dairy will usually cause stomach and digestion issues.
High-sugar and Xylitol
Sugar is never good and traditional ice cream has a scary amount of it inside. Sugar should always be avoided when possible.
I could ramble on here with proven statistics and charts showing the correlation between sugar consumption and a plethora of health issues, but I don’t think I need to.
Xylitol is even worse. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is used in hundreds of everyday products for humans. But for dogs, it’s considered to be a toxic ingredient and the consumption of it can have very bad side effects.
Can I Give My Dog Ice Cream as a Treat?
So although it’s fairly clear that ice cream is bad, I know some owners will still desperately want to try it.
Under the following circumstances, it may be ok to occasionally offer your dog some ice cream, but I would first consider the following:
- There is no Xylitol included.
- Plain ice cream only (fewer additives, flavorings, and nasty stuff)
- If your dog has known issues digesting dairy, don’t give him ice cream
- Make this treat as infrequent as possible. Once per week ✔️. Once per day ❌.
When it comes to rewarding your dog it’s important to keep it healthy. At the end of the day, your dog’s health is what’s at stake. If you can avoid creating health issues for your furry friend, you should do so.
This leads me to the next section! Ice cream alternatives.
Ice Cream Alternatives for Dogs
Let’s run through some better options for those ice-cream-loving dogs out there.
So the worst three ingredients of traditional ice cream are dairy, sugar, and Xylitol. So let’s avoid those!
Simple Non-Dairy Homemade Ice Cream for Dogs
There’s no better way to ensure your dog enjoys a healthy treat than to make the treat yourself!
And the best part is that you don’t even need an ice cream maker.
- 3 Ripe bananas (peeled) 🍌
- 1 cup of peanut butter (salt-free, xylitol-free) 🥜
- 32 Ounces dairy-free yogurt 🥛
- Ice cube freezer tray 🧊
How to make:
- Mix all ingredients together in a blender. If you don’t have a blender then you can do this by hand. Just mash the bananas first!
- Separate the mixture evenly in an ice cube tray or any alternative
- Place in the freezer for a couple of hours
Dogs usually go nuts for peanut butter (excuse the pun) and bananas. This is practically the same as ice cream but a whole lot healthier. Your furry friend will be none the wiser and he’ll get to enjoy a super tasty treat that’s actually healthy. Plus, you won’t feel guilty giving it to him. Everyone wins!
Shop Bought Doggy Ice Cream
If you’re not into homemade stuff or you just love buying things online, I totally get it, and dog ice cream is probably going to be your next purchase 😂.
You can get some awesome ice cream made specifically for dogs! It can’t get much better than that.
It’s made using lactose-free whole milk and comes in powder form for longevity. All you need to do is add water to the powder and freeze it for 8 hours.
I seriously recommend Pooch Creamery. It seems like this company has yet to receive a single bad review and it’s really inexpensive. 👍
They also have a range of other flavors (including peanut butter) you can check out once you are on Chewy.
Can Your Dog Eat Ice Cream Cones?
Unfortunately, ice cream cones are not off the hook. Many ice cream cones contain Xylitol, that nasty artificial sweetener that’s toxic for dogs.
If the cone doesn’t contain Xylitol it will still likely contain a range of cheap artificial preservatives and additives, which you always want to avoid whenever you can.
So I would stick to making your own dog-safe cones that you can give alongside dog-safe ice cream.
- 1 cup of oatmeal or oat flour
- 1 egg
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
How to make:
- Mix all ingredients together
- Pour mixture into waffle iron or spread in thin circles on a baking tray
- Cook for 5 minutes or until light golden brown
- Let them cool down
- Serve ice cream on top of the homemade cones/pancakes
So there you have it! You now know that although technically dogs can eat ice cream, it’s not recommended. There are three main ingredients that are known to cause issues for all dogs. Sugar is always bad, Xylitol is toxic and most dogs do not handle dairy products very well.
So, after knowing that, I hope you opt for either making your own healthy homemade ice cream using bananas, peanut butter, and dairy-free yogurt. OR you purchase ice cream made for dogs.
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DisclaimerThe advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here
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