CAN DOGS EAT ICE CREAM?
If you look in the ice cream section of your local grocery store, you might be surprised to see that many stores sell ice cream for dogs. If you are like me you probably think this is an odd product to sell. When I first saw this product in the cooler, I was pretty confused. Ice cream is a dessert item, and I’ve always been taught not to give dogs things like chocolate, or anything else with higher levels of sugar than normal. However, I never actually did any research into the issue, and just decided I would avoid it.
SO THE QUESTION REMAINS...
Can dogs eat ice cream? Well, the short answer is Yes, dogs can eat ice cream but they shouldn’t. Let me go into a little more detail as to the three main reasons why it’s not really a good decision to feed ice cream to your dog.
1. DOGS DON’T DRINK MILK
The stomachs of adult dogs are not designed to handle lactose. Puppies can drink milk, as all mammals do. However once they grow out of puppy stage, lactose can cause problems for your dog. In most cases, it will probably just give your dog bad gas. Larger quantities can cause larger problems however, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Smaller dogs could also have more severe reactions related to their small size if you feed them a lot of ice cream.
2. ICE CREAM HAS WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR
Next, ice cream contains a ton of sugar. That means that one scoop of ice cream probably contains more than your dog’s daily sugar intake. The sugar in the ice cream can also cause dental problems, diabetes, and serious weight gain if given regularly. Sugar free ice cream is off-limits entirely because Xylitol is often used in place of sugar, and Xylitol is fatal to dogs. There are several articles on our blog about the dangers of Xylitol exposure.
3. THERE AREN’T MANY DOG-FRIENDLY FLAVORS
Finally, many flavors of ice cream are toxic to dogs. Flavors like Chocolate and assorted nut-based flavors like Macadamia etc. are potentially very dangerous. Any coffee or tea flavored ice cream is dangerous because both ingredients contain high levels of caffeine. Any flavor that may contain raisins or grapes are dangerous as well, as raisins and grapes can potentially cause kidney failure in very low doses.
Ultimately I am going to let you make the final call. If you read this whole article, and you still feel like your dog deserves some ice cream, then that is up to you to decide. My official stance is that I would avoid it. However, if you absolutely can’t stand seeing those puppy dog eyes looking at you while you enjoy your ice cream, then go for it. You can get away with feeding vanilla ice cream, some other fruit flavors, or something like mango sorbet but I wouldn’t make a habit of it.
Additionally, there are a ton of things you can feed your dog as a slightly sweet treat that will actually be of benefit to your dog instead of a detriment. Since we’re at the end of the blog post this week, why don’t you click over to our other post, 15 Dog Treats to Spoil Your Dog, on your way out!