Owners will commonly find photos online of dogs taking a big lick of their owner’s ice cream. After all, this cold treat keeps us cool on a hot summer’s day, so why not share it with our pets? But, if you find that your dog has eaten a whole bunch of ice cream, you may be wondering if this sugary dessert is truly safe for them to consume.
When fed on the odd occasion and in extremely small amounts, plain ice creams, like vanilla, can be perfectly safe for your dog. Take note, however, that while the odd lick here and there may not be dangerous when consumed in large amounts can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system. Some ice cream flavours and mixings are also toxic.
Continue reading to learn more about what happens when dogs eat ice cream, including whether dogs can eat ice cream, why ice cream is considered dangerous for your dog, as well as what to do if your dog eats ice cream, and more.
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Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?
- What Are the Downsides of Letting Your Dog Eat Ice Cream?
- What Should You Do If You Think Your Dog Ate Ice Cream?
- Final Thoughts
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?
Ice cream is, unfortunately, not considered a dog-friendly meal. Take note, however, that certain types of ice cream can be shared with your dog, in modest amounts, without causing an adverse reaction. For example, the best and safest ice cream flavour for your dog is Vanilla.
When it comes to dogs and most ice cream flavours, it’s vital to remember that certain dogs are lactose intolerant and should, therefore avoid the creamy treat. The majority of ice creams are also high in sugar, which dogs do not need in their diet.
Dogs should also never be fed chocolate-flavoured ice cream, as chocolate is considered extremely toxic to dogs. Any ice cream flavours or mixings that also contain xylitol or raisins should also be avoided for the same reason.
At the end of the day, it can be tempting to give your dog an ice cream cone, but instead, try a dog-friendly recipe. After all, considering that these dog-friendly ice creams have been created specifically for dogs, this tasty ice cream alternative has the same cold, creamy appeal that your pooch will crave.
Dog-friendly ice creams can be made at home from scratch or bought pre-made from most local pet stores, or online at Amazon.com (click on picture below to see on Amazon).
What Are the Downsides of Letting Your Dog Eat Ice Cream?
Dogs Can’t Digest Large Quantities of Dairy
When it comes to lactose intolerance, unfortunately, humans are not the only creatures that suffer. Many dogs are also lactose intolerant, meaning they have trouble digesting milk, and dairy products.
Depending on how sensitive to dairy they are, eating ice cream could give your dog an upset stomach or even worse. For example, dogs with lactose intolerance who eat ice cream can develop uncomfortable symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Your Dog May Have a Food Allergy
Dogs can be allergic to dairy products in the same way that some people are. Unfortunately, the majority of dogs are lactose intolerant. Since dogs have a lesser lactase enzyme than humans, they cannot digest lactose properly. As a result, due to the lactose concentration, it is better to avoid providing dogs with dairy products.
Furthermore, keep in mind that while chocolate does not include lactose, your dog may still develop an allergic reaction to this ingredient.
Ice Cream Is High In Sugar
Sugar is, unfortunately, also harmful to dogs. This means that your dog may put on weight due to the sugar in the ice cream they’ve consumed. This added weight can, unfortunately, also result in other life-long health concerns, like diabetes.
While one scoop of ice cream may not seem harmful for your pooch, consider how many calories your pet consumes each day. After all, what seems like a modest treat to you may have more calories than your dog needs for an entire day.
Some Ice Cream Flavours And Mixings are Toxic to Dogs
Unfortunately, many of the items mixed into your favourite flavour of ice cream can also poison your dogs. For example, dogs are poisoned by the sweetener xylitol, which is present in some ice creams.
Additionally, other items, like peanut butter and certain candies, can also be added to ice cream. These things can also contain xylitol.
Chocolate is, unfortunately, also toxic to dogs. This means that any kind of ice cream containing chocolate, including chocolate ice cream and toppings like chocolate sauce and chocolate chips, pose added risk to your dog.
Take note that rum raisin ice cream should also never be fed to your dogs since raisins are also toxic to puppies.
What Should You Do If You Think Your Dog Ate Ice Cream?
Overall, the flavour of ice cream your dog ate will impact how you should react.
For example, if you’ve done your research to determine that the flavour of ice cream your dog ate does not contain any harmful substances like chocolate or xylitol, they should be just fine with a spoonful or two.
Unfortunately, one of the most prevalent side effects of ice cream consumption for dogs is lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is characterized by stomach pains, loose stool, diarrhea, vomiting, and gas.
Milk proteins can also cause food allergies in dogs. This can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and/or rashes, making their skin itchy and red. If you see any of these symptoms, stop giving dog ice cream immediately and consult your veterinarian.
If, on the other hand, your dog has taken a flavour of ice cream that has hazardous or harmful substances, visit your veterinarian immediately in order to avoid any harmful or fatal side effects.
When it comes to most dogs and ice cream, keep in mind that certain canines are lactose intolerant and should, therefore, avoid the creamy treat. Most ice creams are also considered high in sugar, which can increase the chances of health problems arising in your pooch.
While vanilla ice cream and other basic flavours are fine for your dog when provided on rare occasions and in modest portions, keep in mind that when given in large quantities, these flavours can still wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive tract.
If, on the other hand, you think your dog may have consumed some ice cream and they are starting to exhibit symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, it is best to consult your vet immediately in order to determine that no further damage has been caused.
My name is Ken and I’m one of the staff writers at Petloverguy.com. I’ve cared for pets most of my life starting with hamsters, turtles, and snakes. Then moving up to parakeets, guinea pigs, and even ducks.
I currently live with two yorkies and a chihuahua mix.