Who doesn’t love ice cream? This creamy, sweet treat is good any way you serve it. While ice cream makes you feel good when you eat it, it doesn’t have quite the same effect on your dog. It definitely tastes good to your dog, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them.
Can Your Dog Have Ice Cream?
Dogs can have ice cream, but that doesn’t mean that they should. A lot of people like to buy their pup a vanilla ice cream cone from their favorite ice cream joint, but they don’t realize that dogs can’t digest dairy as well as humans do. An excess of dairy will lead to a party in their digestive tract, and it’s not a fun party. It causes some pretty bad gastric upset, including gas, vomiting, and diarrhea that can last for a few days. If they’re actually lactose intolerant, the vomiting and diarrhea will be quite severe and the dog will be miserable until the dairy is completely out of their system.
The Dangers of Chocolate
Most dog owners are aware of the dangers of chocolate. It’s important for them to know, however, that it doesn’t matter what form the chocolate is in. Whether it’s the ice cream with chunks of chocolate or good old fashioned chocolate ice cream, it still has the potential to be toxic. While the actual amount of chocolate required to be poisonous varies based on their size and metabolic rate, small amounts will still make dogs quite sick. If you absolutely have to give your dog a taste of ice cream, stick to plain vanilla.
Too Much Ice Cream Can Be Deadly
While it’s unlikely your dog will have access to enough ice cream that it will cause GDV, or gastric dilatation volvulus, it can happen. This occurs when a dog’s stomach bloats with air and then twists over on itself. It has a high mortality rate even when the dog is seen immediately by a vet. Treatment always requires surgery and intensive hospitalization for days afterwards.
Ice Cream Alternatives
When the temperature is climbing and you’re dying to give your dog a cold treat, there are some alternatives to give your dog. You can whip peanut butter with a little bit of water and then freeze it until it takes on a texture like ice cream. There are also “ice creams” concocted specifically for dogs and made with dog-safe ingredients. If you want to get fancy, there are plenty of recipes online for frozen goodies. To keep it simple, you can freeze water with some sodium-free chicken or beef stock in bucket, put a sturdy post in the middle, and pop the cube out for a giant popsicle you can stick right in the ground.
Sometimes the things we want to share with our dogs just aren’t good for them. In those cases, there are always alternatives. Plus, it’s important to remember that dogs are happy no matter what we give them, whether it’s doggy ice cream or a scoop of frozen peanut butter.