Ice cream is yummy, but is it something you can give to Fido? You are either the dog type, or you aren’t. There really is no in-between. If you are the former, chances are you are a dog-lover. You never really hear of a dog-liker, so to speak, there are only dog-lovers. You’ll want to know if there are certain foods that you must not feed your dog, like ice cream.
Strictly speaking, no, you should not. It’s not really the best thing for them. And while it’s not as bad as feeding them onions or avocados, or worse, chocolate, ice cream is not recommended for dogs.
In fact, if you want to be really careful about what to feed your canine friends, you should avoid giving too many sugary foods, which could lead to obesity and dental issues, apart from causing more serious problems, like diabetes mellitus, or sugar diabetes.
Can I Give My Dog Ice Cream? Answer: No.
It could be argued that a little scoop never hurt any doggy, and while that’s probably true, the thing to think about it is that once you give it to them, there’s bound to be begging the next time your dog sees ice cream – and then what’ll you do?
If you’ve caved once, chances are you’ll do it again with the “just-this-once” kind of feeling, which of course is never really the case. It takes nerves of steel to look into your dog’s large, expressive, sad eyes and deny him or her that treat. Anyone who has had a dog knows how difficult this can be.
But, if you do have it in you to enforce discipline and make it a once-in-a-while treat – like once every few months – then it’s alright to give it, as long as your dog does not have a reaction to it. Just like junk food is terrible for humans,but we still eat it, the same applies to dogs as well.
Dogs and Dairy
There is another very good reason not to give your dog any ice cream, and that is lactose intolerance. Most dogs cannot digest dairy products too well. This is due to the presence of lactose, a kind of sugar, found in dairy products. It could lead to moderate to severe gastric trouble including diarrhea, which could be fatal in the worst cases.
However, if you must give dairy to your dog, then find out which products contain the least amount of lactose and give that. For instance, ice cream contains more lactose than cheese, so if your dog likes cheese, then that’s the one dairy product that you could give.
Alternative Treats to Ice Cream
But, if you really cannot meet your dog’s doleful eyes and must give them ice cream, then try the next best alternative – which could be anything from frozen yogurt to specially-made-for-dogs sweet treats. Frosty Paws is one such alternative which seems to hit the sweet spot in dogs. It’s not readily available everywhere though, and comes in bites and cups. Most dogs and their owners seem to love it. Then there’s Meltdown Ice Cream Cones which, again, is a favorite and dogs literally lap it up.
Apart from the ones you can buy off the shelf you could, if you really love your dog, roll up your sleeves and do some cooking. Pumpkin is really good for dogs, as it has a lot of fiber, so a vanilla pumpkin pudding, frozen, is something you could whip up for your little friend.
Dog’s Digestion System
You must remember that you have to strike that fine balance between pleasing your dog with great treats and watching out for their health. Dogs need to be fed foods that aid their digestive system, which is prone to bloating, flatulence and diarrhea. This is the reason why ice cream is not the best thing for your dog, it could lead to loose stools.
Experts recommend including a digestive enzyme supplement in your dog’s diet. Dogs tend to be greedy, eating quickly and large amounts at one time. Try to stagger the food intake over the day, giving smaller but more frequent meals – every 4-5 hours – to help the food get digested better. Dogs actually have a short digestive tract and need to be fed the right amounts, otherwise they get sick. They tend to overeat and then vomit to relieve themselves.
What to Do if Your Dog Accidentally Eats a Lot of Ice Cream
If your dog eats a lot of ice cream, hopefully it wasn’t chocolate ice cream, because chocolate is poison for dogs, you need to contact a vet just to be safe. What will happen is that your dog will probably be sick for a few days, expect diarrhea and vomiting and general discomfort.
However, you need to watch out for bloat, which is an extremely serious life threatening condition that can develop suddenly and prove fatal in no time. Many vets will tell you that giving your dog ice or ice water can cause bloat. So, if your dog accidentally eats too much ice cream, you need to keep an eye on them. Bloat must be treated immediately.
Looking after a dog is not easy, but it’s worth it. Dogs, more than any other animal, make wonderful companions. As goes an old French saying that “the best thing about a man is his dog”.