Imagine enjoying your favorite ice cream, and your dog looks at you with their puppiest eyes and drooling mouth. Will you melt first or your ice cream? Well, if you do, then you must wonder about “can dogs eat ice cream?”

It’s good to ask because no! You should not feed your dog ice cream. Even though a small bite won’t harm your dog, it’s best not to. Here is everything you need to know about ice creams and dogs!

Is Ice Cream Bad For Dogs?

One of the primary reasons this popular human food, ice cream, is not good for your dog’s health is its negligible nutritional value! But there are other reasons why ice cream should not be on your dog’s menu, such as:

1. Lactose intolerance

If your dog is lactose intolerant, then basically any dairy product is a no-no for them! As far as we know, most ice creams are made out of milk or cream, which makes them an allergen for your dog. So, this was the first reason why ice cream is bad for your dog. 

2. High sugar

Ice cream is high in sugar products, which is a poison for anyone with diabetes, including humans and dogs. So, if your dog already has diabetes, please do not feed them anything sweet unless your veterinarian approves you to. 

3. Xylitol poisoning

Oh, so you are saying that your ice cream cup says “sugar-free?” Well, 10 points for effort, but also check whether it has an artificial sweetener called xylitol. If yes, then it’s time to put that ice cream back on the rack! Xylitol is toxic to dogs, and if consumed in high amounts, it can be deadly or make your dog super sick (study).

4. High fat

We are sure you do not expect this from ice cream, but these yummy frozen creams are packed with unhealthy fat. You will be shocked to know that 10- 11% of ice cream consists of fats, which is far more than the proteins in it (1,2). So, ice cream math ain’t matching for sure! As a responsible dog owner, you should know that high fat can trigger pancreatitis in dogs, which is a common health problem in dogs (study). 

a happy dog with scoop of vanilla ice cream in his mouth

How to Feed Your Dog Ice-Cream?

Now that you know your dog should not eat ice cream, what do you do? Well, here are some things that you should know about feeding your dog ice creams:

1. Homemade

Don’t be upset! Your dog cannot eat commercial ice creams, but they can eat homemade ones! Here are some variations you can experiment with:

2. Check for allergens

Even when making ice cream at home, ensure you do not add anything your dog is allergic to. For example, some dogs can be allergic to berries or cinnamon, so it would be best to avoid such additives. Also, please do not add any sugar or spices to your dog’s ice cream. 

3. Moderation is key

Even though ice creams are yummy and irresistible, they should be fed in moderation. And when we say you can feed your dog ice cream—we are talking about homemade ice creams that might be healthier and safer than the ones in the market. 

Conclusion

Our final thoughts on “can dogs eat ice cream?” are no! We understand that ice cream is delicious, and your dog might look at you with puppy eyes and ask you to share your ice cream with them, but the answer will always be no. There are several reasons like sweeteners, sugar, additives, and preservatives can be a total bummer for dogs. However, what you can do is freeze some dog-friendly ice cream for them! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat ice cream cones?

We do not recommend giving your dog ice cream cones, as they can pose choking hazards to especially small dogs. So, even when feeding your dog homemade ice cream, it would be best to avoid the cone.

Can vanilla ice cream kill a dog?

No! Small amounts of vanilla ice cream are not fatal to dogs; they can make your dog sick due to the additives. Most ice cream includes tons of sugar, xylitol, and chocolates, which can be toxic to dogs, and that’s what you should avoid 100%.

My dog ate ice cream and had diarrhea. What should I do?

If your dog experiences diarrhea after consuming ice cream, it might indicate a sensitivity or intolerance. For such cases, please get in touch with your veterinarian immediately to ensure your dog’s best health.

At what age can puppies eat ice cream?

Puppies should be given any ice cream, including homemade ice cream, until they can tolerate solid food. You should introduce them to solids slowly and gradually.

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