The Pros of Ice Cream for Dogs
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Rich and creamy, cold and refreshing, it’s a go-to summer treat. As humans, we love to share our joys with those we love. It’s no wonder that many dog owners feel tempted to share some of this joy with their canine companions. There are a few additional bonuses of giving your pup ice cream.
- It’s a great way to cool them down on a hot day.
- Dogs love the taste, so it can be a fun way to reward them for good behavior.
- Ice cream is high in calcium and protein, so it’s good for their bones and muscles.
So, can dogs eat ice cream? Stick around to find out!
The Cons of Feeding Your Dog a Cone
There are a few cons to giving your dog ice cream as well.
- Ice cream contains sugar, which can cause tooth decay or other health problems over time if eaten too often (and dogs will eat anything!). The so-called sugar-free ice creams may actually be even harder on your pooch’s stomach, since they use sugar alternatives like xylitol or other artificial sweeteners.
- Dairy products including ice cream can also cause stomach upset like bloating or other digestive issues in some dogs due to the high levels of lactose present in them. Obviously, that is especially true for dogs that are lactose intolerant, which all adult dogs are to some extent, as they lose the enzymes needed to process lactose once they’re weaned as puppies.
- Too much ice cream can lead to weight gain, which isn’t good for dogs any more than it is for humans!
- Many ice cream flavors contain additional ingredients or toppings that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, raisins or macadamia nuts. The ice cream flavor that is relatively safe for dogs in small amounts is plain vanilla ice cream, but even so you have to be cautious with it.
How Much Ice Cream Can You Give Your Dog?
Can dogs eat ice cream? It’s all in the quantity. It is okay for your puppy to have a scoop of ice cream, but too much can be hard on the stomach and cause diarrhea or vomiting. So if you want your dog to enjoy some frozen treats this summer, make sure he doesn’t overdo it! Dogs need about one tablespoon per pound of body weight, so if Fido weighs 50 pounds, he can have up to 50 tablespoons of ice cream per day.
Dog-friendly Ice Cream Alternatives
If you want to give your dog all the benefits of ice cream without the downsides, we got you. There are several healthier alternatives to ice-cream available.
- The simplest way is to just try frozen yogurt, ideally plain; you can find yogurts that have active cultures in them, which will help with digestion and aren’t as likely to cause stomach issues like lactose intolerance.
- Another option would be frozen bananas mixed with peanut butter – this is a great way to give your dog some extra nutrients and help them stay cool on a hot day.
- It might also be a good idea to give your dog a piece of watermelon straight out of the fridge to bring him some relief from the heat.
- Alternatively, you can give your dog an ice cube to lick and play with, as it will keep him entertained as well as cool – just match the size of the cube to your dog, since too big a cube can be a choking hazard!
- Finally, there are a few commercial ice cream alternatives made specifically for dogs, that are lower in sugar and calories. Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions about what’s the best food choice for your pup!
Our recipe for homemade pup-friendly ice cream
If you have free 5 minutes on your hands and want to feed your dog ice cream safely, you can try this simple recipe, which you can even enjoy together with your furry friend!
- One cup of plain Greek yogurt
- One banana, sliced or mashed
- Two tablespoons honey
- One teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Add all ingredients in blender until smooth.
- Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Serve immediately or store in freezer for later.
Of course, consult it with your veterinarian first to estimate whether the ingredients used in this recipe suit your dog’s individual needs.
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? The Final Verdict
So, is it safe to give your dog ice cream? Yes, but only in moderation. Stick to a small scoop once or twice a week and make sure your dog doesn’t have any dairy allergies. Also, stay away from any ice cream that uses xylitol as a sweetener, as it’s particularly bad for dogs. And always keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not getting sick after eating ice cream! Thanks for reading!
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