Nothing completes a day like a good dose of ice cream!

For many of us, it’s a treat we enjoy all year long – sometimes even in the winter! Like many great pet parents, you may want your dog to have a taste of the sweet treat too – but …

Is ice cream safe for dogs?

Here are some precautions to consider before feeding your dog a dish of the good stuff:

1. Lactose Intolerance – Digestive enzymes break down food and help your dog’s body absorb nutrients. Dairy contains a milk sugar called lactose so your dog uses a digestive enzyme called lactase to break down and digest that sugar – sometimes this is not enough. Just like some humans, your dog may not produce enough lactase, leading to an upset stomach and causing symptoms like:

    • Diarrhea
    • Gas
    • Constipation
    • Bloating
    • Nausea
    • Cramps

Don’t know if your pup is lactose intolerant? Try starting with small doses of dairy and see how your dog reacts; in general it’s a good idea to give small doses anyway so you don’t upset your dog’s tummy – even if she’s not lactose intolerant. We all know that sometimes you can have too much of a good thing!

2. Sugar – Sugar is a key ingredient in most ice creams so too much of this treat can cause not only weight gain but dental disease, metabolic disease, and diabetes. Weight gain itself can lead to many health concerns as well; obese dogs have an increased risk of many types of cancer, joint problems, and heart diseases. To cut back on calories, some ice creams use artificial sweeteners; keep an eye out for these in the ingredients list as many of these (xylitol, for example) are toxic for dogs.

3. Dangerous Ingredients – Many of our favorite ice cream ingredients are actually quite harmful for pets! Chocolate is a big no-no for dogs, for example; whether the ice cream is chocolate or it contains chocolate chunks, this ingredient can cause vomiting and diarrhea as well as muscle tremors, hyperactivity, heart failure, or even death. Other harmful ice cream ingredients include things like macadamia nuts or raisins – or the caffeine in coffee flavored ice cream.

Before giving your dog any ice cream, remember to read the nutrition label and check the ingredients for things harmful to your dog.

Remember to always check with your vet – especially if your dog has underlying allergies or medical issues.

4. Alternatives

You may be tempted to think that frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative. This is unfortunately not the case: most frozen yogurts still contain large amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners, and don’t forget that they are full of lactose as well. So what can you do?

  • Puppy Cake Ice Cream – check out our online shop! We sell doggy ice cream so you can rest assured your pup is getting the best of the best – just like he deserves. Choose from delicious flavors like banana, vanilla, and peanut – even maple bacon or cheese! Your dog is sure to gobble them up!
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables are another great alternative; freeze things like bananas, apples, pineapples, watermelon, green beans – fruit and vegetables are a great way for your dog to get nutrients and hydration while avoiding sugar and still enjoying a cool treat!
  • DIY recipes allow you to make your own dog-safe ice cream using things like goat milk (for lactose intolerance); remember to run any recipe past your vet first!
  • Primal Edible Elixirs are another tasty treat your dog will love! Skip the ice cream and check out these savory supplements! Barkery and Bath carries these treats and more so be sure to visit our online store today to have them shipped right to your door!

In every season, Barkery and Bath has your back! For more pet tricks and tips, check out our website barkerybath.com or drop by today! We’re more than thrilled to answer any questions or help you find what you’re looking for.