Dogs have a sweet tooth, there’s no denying that… and with the heat rising, they might start hungrily eyeing your tasty ice cream. ? We’ve all been there, and given how hard it is for us to cope with the hot weather we can’t help but feel tempted to let them have a taste. But can dogs eat ice cream at all, or in trying to help our buddies are we actually putting them at risk? Here’s your answer!
Can dogs eat ice cream?
You know some of our favorite and apparently harmless snacks turn out to be toxic foods for dogs, so it’s only fair to wonder: can dogs eat ice cream? ? If we’re talking about the traditional ice cream we can buy at a store, then the answer is no.
Strictly speaking, ice cream is not toxic for dogs, so no need to panic if you buddy already had a little taste of it. However, even if you go for healthier varieties of this tasty snack, it still contains ingredients that can be toxic or cause discomfort to our friends. It is not the end of the world if you concede once in a while, but you shouldn’t give in to their pleading eyes – even if the weather is hot and they could use a refreshment.
Why can it be bad for them?
For starters, ice cream is made with milk and dogs’ digestive system is not able to digest lactose after they are weaned. ? Just like with humans who are intolerant to this protein, feeding milk or milk based food to dogs can lead to diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas and vomits.
Second, ice cream has a lot of sugar, which is not healthy at all for our pups, with the first consequence of it being weight gain. You could go for a sugarless variety but, in this case, you need to pay extra attention to the ingredients as some sugar substitutes like Xylitol can be especially toxic to our pals.
Finally, you also need to take into consideration the ice cream flavor. For example, dogs cannot efficiently digest theobromine, a component of chocolate which makes this tasty food toxic to them.
Are there alternatives?
We told you before that the answer to our question – Can dogs eat ice cream? – was negative. However, this is only completely true when we’re talking about traditional ice creams.
You can prepare your own makeshift, dog-safe ice cream at home using tasty fruits for your buddy. For instance, you can blend a banana and freeze it to give it to your pal later, as a tasty and refreshing snack. ?
Frozen yogurt can also be an option, as it contains less lactose due to the milk fermentation. Nevertheless, you should never feed your dog commercial frozen yogurt for the same reasons you cannot give them traditional ice cream – namely the sugar content. Instead, just buy plain unsweetened yogurt and freeze it at home. But, be cautious! Even if it contains less lactose, the protein is still present, so you should use caution when feeding it to your pup.
Sadly, the answer to our question – Can dogs eat ice cream? – is no, at least when it comes to traditional varieties. There’s just too much to consider, ingredient-wise, and the possible consequences to their health are not worth the risk. ? So, don’t fall for their puppy eyes when they see you munching on this fresh snack. If you want your buddy to share a refreshment with you, better to stick to other healthy alternatives like frozen fruit pulp. We know it’s not the same, but it’s for the best.