Everyone likes ice cream but can you safely share some with a pet dog? You probably suspect that ice cream isn’t the best summer treat for Fido but let’s take a closer look anyway.
Strictly speaking, no, you should not give your best buddy this dessert. Of course, ice cream isn’t as bad as feeding them foods like onions or avocados or even worse chocolate. Yet we still can’t recommend it for dogs.
Actually, it’s best to avoid giving your four-legged friend sugary foods altogether. Ice cream in particular tends to contribute to obesity and dental issues. If given too much and too often, it could lead to more serious health problems such as diabetes.
Can I Give My Dog Some Ice Cream? Answer: Not Recommended
It could be argued that a scoop or two never hurt a dog but we still say no.
Sure, it’s possible to enforce discipline and feed ice cream once every few months. However, most types are basically a sort of junk food with high levels of fat and sugar. If you do provide your dog with some ice cream, hopefully you won’t make a habit out of it. Perhaps, popsicles are better especially if you make them yourself!
The Dairy Factor
There’s another reason not to give ice cream. A good percentage of dogs cannot digest dairy products very well as many are lactose intolerant to some degree. Lactose is a type of sugar that’s found in dairy products including ice cream. It could lead to gastric trouble including diarrhea, which could be fatal in the very worst cases.
For your dog’s sake, it’s a good idea to find out which products contain low levels of lactose. For instance, ice cream contains a lot more lactose than most cottage cheese.
Alternatives to Ice Cream
Anything from popsicles to frozen yogurt to specially-made-for-dogs sweet treats are probably better alternatives. Meltdown Ice Cream Cones is one such product which hits the sweet spot and is a favorite. Dogs literally lap it up!
You could also roll up your sleeves and do some cooking. Pumpkin is really good for dogs and it contains lots of fiber. A vanilla pumpkin pudding, frozen, is also something you could whip up. These are definitely better than feeding regular store bought ice cream which tends to contain a lot of undesirable ingredients.
Doggie Digestion System
Dogs should be fed foods that aid digestion. This is a big reason why ice cream isn’t the best thing for them. It could lead to loose stools among other gastric issues. Does your dog tend to be greedy, eat quickly and in sometimes large amounts? Well, their short digestive tracts are susceptible to gastrointestinal sicknesses so ice cream certainly is not a good match in this respect.
An Ice Cream Accident
If your dog ate a lot of ice cream, hopefully it wasn’t a chocolate variety. As you know, chocolate is poisonous for dogs. In such a case, you’ll need to contact a vet right away. Your pooch may be sick for a few days and diarrhea, vomiting and general discomfort are all possible. However, for the most part, a pet dog eating some ice cream isn’t a total disaster.
Dog Bloat Warning
Since ice cream tastes so good, you should be aware of something called dog bloat. It’s an extremely serious life threatening condition that can develop suddenly and prove fatal. If your dog eats too much and too fast or even drinks, for example, ice water too quickly it can cause this condition. Bloat needs to be treated by a veterinarian immediately.
Conclusion on Ice Cream
You really shouldn’t be serving your dog ice cream, even if it is hot outside. Besides the lack of nutrition, it can lead to a poor lifestyle especially when fed routinely. Sure, your best buddy probably loves ice cream but there are so many reasons why it’s a bad idea. Lactose and the high fat content are just a few factors. The good news is that if your dog accidentally ate some, they’ll likely be fine. Just keep a close eye on them!