Can Dogs Eat Ice-cream?

Nothing beats an ice cream cone for a tasty, cold treat on a hot day. When you go to the ice cream shop, you may wonder if it's okay to give your dog ice cream. In other words, can dogs eat ice cream? Is it safe?

To put it simply, no, your dogs can’t eat ice cream, unless they are made to be dog-friendly and safe like Petcubes Doggie Ice-cream. However, there are some safe alternatives to it, which we will discuss in this article. Why can’t dogs eat ice cream?

Here are a number of reasons, among them are:

Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance in adult dogs varies widely. Adult mammals aren't supposed to drink milk after they've been weaned. Puppies can digest their mother's milk because they have lactase enzymes, which helps in breaking down the milk but this enzyme isn't produced in adults. Hence, it is possible for dogs who eat ice cream to experience diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or gas if they are fed milk based products.

Allergies

Milk and dairy products like ice cream can cause allergic reactions in dogs. Milk protein allergies cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as skin problems such as red, itchy rashes.

Obesity

Sugary treats like ice cream can cause obesity, diabetes, and other health problems when overconsumed.

Toxic ingredients

Some ice cream flavours may be poisonous to dogs. For example, chocolate which contains theobromine and caffeine, makes it impossible for dogs to break it down, which leads to being toxic for them. Xylitol, a sweetener found in some sugar-free ice cream, is extremely toxic to dogs.

Harmful ingredients

Ice cream with only basic ingredients can cause adverse reactions in dogs, especially when consumed in large quantities. But is there only one ice cream flavour? Absolutely not and this is where things get tricky for dogs. If you like green tea ice cream, macadamia nuts, and chocolate, you should avoid eating it around your dog. Here are some harmful ice cream ingredients for dogs:

1. Cocoa

Chocolate toxicity is commonly treated in veterinary clinics. Theobromine and caffeine, both present in chocolate, are toxic to dogs. It is a serious condition that can lead to death. Symptoms to watch for include:
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypertension
  • Fever
  • Tremors
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Heart failure

2. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs as it has high-fat content, which will put your dog at risk for pancreatitis. If your dog eats a small amount of macadamia nuts, watch for these symptoms:
    • Tremors
    • Body ache
    • Leg weakness

    3. Caffeine

    Caffeine-rich foods are similar to chocolate toxicity. While a small lick of coffee-flavored ice cream or green tea won't cause caffeine toxicity, a lick of coffee ice cream with chocolate-covered coffee beans is a different story. Coffee can cause seizures, coma and even death in dogs.

    4. Xylitol

    In sugar-free products like ice cream, xylitol is a toxic artificial sweetener that is mixed inside. It can cause a sudden drop in a dog's blood sugar by causing an insulin surge. If a dog accidentally consumes it, vomiting or a seizure may happen. Dogs can suffer liver failure as a result of exposure to this toxic substance.

    5. Grapes and raisins

    It can cause dehydration, abdominal tenderness, an increase in thirst, and an increase in urine production. This toxicity can lead to fatal acute kidney failure if left untreated.

    Giving your dog ice-cream safely

    To give your dog an ice cream treat, stick to fruit-flavoured or plain vanilla flavours. Start with a small amount. This is to make sure it doesn't upset your dog's stomach. If the food isn't right for your dog, you'll notice symptoms like bloating, gas, vomiting, gastrointestinal distress, and diarrhea as soon as two hours after consuming.

    Can dogs eat lactose-free ice cream?

    Yes, dogs can consume lactose-free ice cream. However, keep in mind that it is still a high-sugar treat. You should limit their intake unless it is sugar and lactose-free ice cream.

    Can dogs eat vegan ice cream?

    Yes, as long as there are no toxic ingredients and still given as a treat. Same suggestions apply on how to slowly introduce it.

    Can dogs eat ice cream cones?

    Yes, dogs can eat ice cream cones, but only those that are made with natural ingredients. This is to avoid any type of indigestion and toxic ingredients like xylitol.

    Vanilla ice cream

    Something simple like vanilla is the best bet if you're looking for a sugar-free ice cream that is not toxic to your dogs. However, please make sure to check the ingredients for xylitol.

    Strawberry ice cream

    Strawberries are a yummy treat for a dog, it is also a potent antioxidant. This fruit has potassium, magnesium, iron as well as calcium. But just like any other fruit it is always best to feed in moderation.

    Coconut ice cream, pistachio ice cream

    Coconut can be eaten by dogs without any problems. The average coconut contains a wealth of nutrients and minerals that benefit our four-legged friends, making it both safe and beneficial. As for pistachio, it is a good source of protein, fibre, vitamins, healthy fats, and other nutrients.

    Chocolate ice cream

    No, Unlike humans, dogs cannot break down caffeine and theobromine. Chocolate poisoning can cause severe symptoms and even death. Also, it is high in sugar and can cause pancreatitis.

    What dog ice cream can dogs eat?

    It is possible for your dog to eat ice cream, provided that they are not lactose-intolerant, but only under certain conditions. Lactose-intolerant dogs can still enjoy ice cream if they're given lactose-free varieties.

    When it comes to ice cream, vanilla is a good choice. Other than that, popsicles or sorbet from natural fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and bananas are all excellent dog treats!

    As a precaution, please avoid feeding ice-cream with mixed-ingredients to dogs such as chocolate, raisins, or xylitol. It is very important to read the label to ensure none of the toxic components are listed in it.

    What to do if your dog ate ice-cream?

    If you see your dog eating ice cream, avoid yelling at them and remain calm. Then, determine the ice cream flavour and how much your dog ate. Your dog should be fine if no harmful ingredients were consumed. They may be gassy or need to poo more frequently, so keep an eye on them all day.

    However, if your dog accidentally consumes artificial sweeteners, macadamia nuts, coffee chocolate grapes, or raisins, it could be dangerous. So, call animal poison control for advice and bring your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

    In general, ice cream is not a good treat for dogs. Instead, make frozen peanut butter, banana, and yoghurt treats, because ice cream contains far too many potentially harmful ingredients.

    How to make dog ice-cream

    If you want to make homemade ice cream for your dog that is quick, simple, and nutritious, this recipe is for you. Here are the top three ice cream recipes:

    1. Frozen Banana

    Ingredients:
    • Banana

    Directions:
    Peel and chop bananas into pieces that fit in your blender. Freeze the banana bits (on parchment paper) for a few hours. Put the frozen banana bits in the blender and blend until smooth and done!

    2. Coconut blueberry Ice Cream

    coconut blueberries ice-cream
    Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels
    Ingredients:
    • 32 oz. coconut milk
    • 1 cup washed blueberries
    • 1 cup honey

    Directions:
    This recipe is easy to make. Pour everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into an ice tray or popsicle mould and freeze for several hours. Scoop them out and serve them frozen.

    3. Fruit Chewy

    fruits chewy
    Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

    Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
    • Banana
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup dry fruits (you can use mango, banana, or any other dog-safe fruit)

    Directions:
    Blend first the pineapple, banana, and coconut oil. Then fill a mould or ice cube tray with dried fruit. Pour the blended mixture into the mould to finish it. After freezing, serve.

    Where to buy dog ice cream?

    If you do not have time and still want to get your doggo ice cream you can purchase them from PetCubes.com and have it delivered right to your doorstep.

     

    They have a specially made dog ice-cream that is low sugar, lactose and gluten-free. Made in collaboration with Creamier, one of Singapore’s top ice cream companies, PetCube’s Doggie Ice Cream Collection is a delectable, yet healthy fun filled treat that your dog will love. You can choose from three delicious flavours - supper berries, birthday cake and banana surprise.

    Conclusion

    It is not a good idea to give your dog human ice cream because of the ingredients it contains. However, feeding your dog a frozen treat of peanut butter, banana, and yogurt mash is a delicious option. As a pet parent, it's critical that you understand exactly what's in any food you intend to feed your dog before giving it to them because even the smallest mistake can cause you a lot of trouble.

    Reviewed by: 

    Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.

    You have successfully subscribed!