Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? Is Ice Cream Safe For Dogs?

(Picture Credit: Firn/Getty Images)

Can dogs eat ice cream? Maybe you’ve enjoyed a cool ice cream on a scorching hot day and wondered whether your faithful canine friend can also have a lick of ice cream. If humans can eat ice cream, can dogs safely eat it too?

There is no short yes or no answer as to whether dogs can eat ice cream safely. Technically, a small amount of ice cream is unlikely to be toxic to your dog. But there are a number of drawbacks that come with adding ice cream to a dog’s diet. Also, any dogs that are lactose-intolerant should always avoid ice cream.

As always, you must ask your regular vet before sharing any human food with your canine pal, including ice cream. Here’s what you need to know about ice cream and dogs.

When Is Ice Cream Okay For Dogs To Eat?

If you notice that your dog has stolen a lick of your ice cream, you probably don’t have to worry right away. A small amount of ice cream is usually not toxic to dogs.

However, due to the number of additional ingredients often added to ice cream, it’s usually best to stick to an all-natural, dog-formulated ice cream if you find that your canine likes the taste of ice cream.

In some cases, using a combination of frozen bananas and natural yogurt can be an appealing ice cream substitute for dogs. Higher end pet stores might also carry dog-specific ice creams that can be consumed as a safe treat.

When Is Ice Cream Bad For Dogs?

close up of a German Shepherd Mix Dog licking a rainbow colored ice cream cone on a summer day

(Picture Credit: ChristinLola/Getty Images)

First of all, if your dog is lactose-intolerant, make sure to always avoid letting them sneak in any ice cream. After being successfully weaned at a young age, most dogs are not really able to digest milk effectively.

If a lactose-intolerant dog eats some ice cream, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Stomach issues
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Pancreatitis (in extreme cases)

In general, another issue with feeding ice cream to dogs is that commercial brands often add extra ingredients that could be toxic or harmful to your canine. Chocolate is a chief offender, and also be on the lookout for the artificial sweetener xylitol. Avoid these ingredients whether your dog is lactose intolerant or not.

On a daily basis, ice cream also fails to offer proper nutrition to your dog. This, in turn, could result in a case of canine obesity, which can then result in further issues and ailments.

So while you don’t need to panic if you notice that your dog sneaks in a quick lick of your ice cream while you’re not looking, it’s generally best to keep ice cream out of your dog’s diet.

Have you adopted a dog who loves ice cream? Have you discovered any tasty ice cream alternatives for your dog? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

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