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Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?

Everybody loves Ice Cream! Having a spoonful of sweet, soft and cold gelato can easily lift anyone’s spirit and satisfy their taste buds. Especially, during the summer months, people look for various treats which can cool them down and Ice creams are one of the best summer desserts that are known to make everyone happy.

Now if you are a dog owner, then this question must have definitely crossed your mind at some point in time, Can dogs eat Ice cream? Or should you feed your dog ice cream? And surprisingly there is no simple answer to these questions. Overall, there are no major health advantages of feeding a dog ice cream and if there are any, there is always an alternative present which you can instead feed your dog so as to get better results. But due to the various ingredients from which most ice creams are made, there are a lot of disadvantages of feeding a canine this cold dessert.

Risks of feeding ice cream to a dog:

  • High level of sugar.

Most Ice creams contain a really high level of sugar content inside them which can be very harmful to a dog’s health. Along with several health problems, high sugar content can make a dog overweight which is not ideal for any canine.

  • Inability to digest lactose properly.

As a puppy, canines don’t have a lot of problems in digesting milk (or lactose). But as they grow up into an adult, it becomes more and more hard for the dogs to properly digest dairy. And as most ice creams are made from milk, it can prove to be really bad for an adult canine as he/she will not be able to properly digest it. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating (swollen stomach) in dogs. Also, because puppies can digest milk a bit better than the adults, it doesn't mean they can be given a lot of ice cream to eat as this can also lead to various kinds of health issues for a puppy.

  • Harmful artificial sweeteners.

Now, many ice creams claim to be sugar-free or sugarless and thus, many owners tend to feed this kind of ice cream to their dogs as they think this not be harmful to their health. But, this type of ice cream can prove to be even more dangerous for a canine and it is because of the presence of various artificial sweeteners that are known to be highly toxic for a dog. One such sweetener is known as Xylitol that is majorly used to sweeten up sugar-free ice creams. Ingesting some amount of Xylitol can lead to a canine's blood sugar level going down and a dog may also suffer from seizures. In some severe cases, liver failure can also occur. Hence it is extremely important not to feed a dog any kind of treats that may contain artificial sweeteners like Xylitol.

  • Stay away from nutty ice creams.

A lot of ice creams are also known to contain various kinds of nuts. Cashews, Almonds, Macadamia et cetera can be all present inside these tasty summer treats. And these kinds of nutty ice creams can prove to be more harmful to a canine than regular ice creams. Ice cream containing walnuts, pecans, macadamia et cetera are considered to be really bad for a dog as they are rich in fat content which is not ideal for a pooch.

  • Harmful ingredients in particular flavor of ice creams.

Although most ice cream flavors are not good for a dog, there are some flavors that can be extremely harmful to a pooch's health. One particular flavor is Chocolate which contains a component that is not very easily digested by dogs. That component is known as theobromine and this makes the chocolate ice cream (and other products containing chocolate) highly toxic for the canines. Also, some fruity ice creams that might contain raisins or grapes are also not very suitable for a dog and thus shouldn’t be fed to them.

Apart from these risks, dogs that are suffering from some prior health issues such as obesity, liver problems, and diabetes should be kept as away from any kind of ice cream as possible. Also, the quantity or amount of ice cream fed to a dog is also a very important factor in determining how much this sweet treat will affect the overall health of the canine. If a dog is given a lot of ice cream or somehow the pooch has accidentally eaten too much ice cream, then it is highly recommended to immediately take that dog to a vet's clinic for health check-up and consultation.

So now you know why a dog shouldn’t be fed ice cream, but is there any kind of ice cream that is not very harmful to a canine? And if there is any, what is the correct quantity that can be fed to a dog? And finally, if there is no such ice cream that is good for a pooch, are there any decent alternatives that can be fed to a pooch so that he/she can also enjoy and have something tasty to eat?

The Right kind of Ice cream and some alternatives to this tasty treat:

First of all, it is very important to clarify that you shouldn’t feed ice creams to your dog on a regular basis. Secondly, whenever you do feed it to your pooch, you should stop after 1-2 small spoons. Feeding more than that is not ideal. And lastly, Ice cream can be used as a kind of treat for a dog that can be given to him during the training sessions or when he’s learning something new from his owners.

Now, that’s out of the way, let's discuss what is the best flavor or kind of ice cream that is okay to feed a dog (obviously, in small amounts)? And the answer is Vanilla. This plain white ice cream is not only loved by most human beings but it is also the best kind of ice cream that is somewhat alright for our dogs. Vanilla ice cream has the least amount of flavors and artificial sweeteners added to it which makes it a lot safer for the dogs as compared to other types of ice creams.

Now if you don’t want to feed ice creams to your pooch and you are looking for some great alternatives that you can provide to your dog, especially during this summer season, then the list below will surely help you out. Some of the best alternatives to Ice Creams for your dogs are:

  1. Frozen Yogurt (homemade)
  2. Ice popsicles (sugarless and homemade)
  3. Vegan Ice cream (made with frozen bananas and also known as "nice cream")
  4. Chilled fruits like watermelon (without seeds), strawberry, raspberry et cetera.
  5. Homemade summer treats which can be made by using all those items that are safe to feed a dog.

Now you know how to keep your dog healthy and happy this summer. It is very important for all dog owners to understand what is right for their furry friends and what is not. Dogs have a different outer and inner structure as compared to us, human beings and thus, there are a lot of things which are fine for us but are highly harmful to our dogs' health. Hence, every dog owner should do proper research before feeding anything to their four-legged companions and in the case of Ice cream, it is important to understand that feeding this summer treat to a pooch can prove to be immensely dangerous for it. And if someone still wants to feed it to their dogs, then it is highly crucial to know what is the right quantity and what is the right kind that is suitable for a canine.