Smart Dog Owners want to give their dogs a sweet reward now and then, so they’ll look for delicious sweet treats to cheer up their doggos.
Ice cream is the easiest treat to give dogs in the summer because it helps them cool off and gives them a sweet taste to remember. And while most Smart Dog Owners let their dogs have a few licks of ice cream, most don’t know that not all flavors of ice cream are safe for dogs.
Let’s be honest here; chocolate is one of the most delicious flavors of ice cream to date. There’s something quite delightful about eating chocolate ice cream, so Smart Dog Owners would ponder and ask:
Can dogs eat chocolate ice cream?
Unfortunately, NO! dogs can’t eat chocolate ice cream because chocolate is highly toxic and will severely harm them. It’s also not the best idea to frequently serve ice cream to dogs because they can get sick from overeating.
Yet, there are still safer flavors and ways to serve ice cream to dogs, so you don’t have to completely restrict your puppy from the cold treat. There’s a lot to soak in, so let’s discuss this in a little more detail.
Can I Give Chocolate Ice Cream to My Dog?
You must never serve chocolate ice cream to your dog because chocolate is highly toxic to dogs and will risk their lives.
Dogs can eat particular flavors of ice cream in moderation, but chocolate ice cream is not one of them. Chocolate ice cream can make your dog extremely sick and can prove to be fatal.
Small accidental doses of chocolate ice cream may not be dangerous, so many smart dog owners will try to utilize this loophole to serve some to their dogs.
However, you must not deliberately serve chocolate ice cream to your dog since you don’t know when your dog could experience an adverse reaction.
It is best to serve safer flavors of ice cream or offer a completely different sweet treat instead of chocolate ice cream.
Dogs and Ice Cream
Can dogs have ice cream flavors other than chocolate?
Yes. Although ice cream isn’t the best treat for a dog, it is acceptable to serve some flavors of ice cream to your dog.
The problem with serving ice cream is that it contains various ingredients that may harm a dog. However, you can serve ice cream if you are careful with the serving, and it contains dog-friendly ingredients.
The most common ice cream ingredient harmful to a dog is xylitol.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener in various vegetables and fruits; we frequently use xylitol in mass-produced sugar-free desserts and treats.
While xylitol is safe for us to eat, it is highly toxic to dogs and can cause xylitol poisoning, triggering severe health problems.
Ice cream also contains milk, cream, or yogurt, which many dogs are allergic to. Lactose-intolerant dogs will get extremely sick after eating any dairy product, including ice cream.
While not all dogs are lactose intolerant, most are, so it’s best to avoid serving ice cream to your pupper unless your vet approves.
There are numerous risks to serving ice cream to dogs, but your pupper can have a few licks now and then. It is best to stick to simple flavors like vanilla and avoid chocolate and fruity ones.
5 Risks of Serving Chocolate Ice Cream to Dogs
Dogs will get sick if they overeat ice cream, so you must be careful with the serving and flavor. Here are just some of the common risks that present when dogs eat ice cream:
1) Severe Stomach Problems
Many dogs are lactose intolerant, so they can’t process dairy products. A lactose-intolerant dog will get extremely sick from eating ice cream and experience diarrhea, vomiting, stomach aches, and bloating.
Some dogs are also allergic to particular flavors or ingredients in ice cream and can get severely sick from even a small bite.
2) Risk of Obesity
Ice creams have a high concentration of sugar and are loaded with fats. Although fats aren’t directly responsible for increasing a dog’s weight, they can push it toward obesity when combined with sugar.
Frequently eating ice cream can lead to weight gain, which can be troublesome even if it doesn’t cause additional health problems.
3) Increased Chances of Heart Problems
An overweight dog is much more likely to get sick from cardiac diseases than dogs with a healthy weight, so eating ice cream can risk your dog’s life.
Chocolate is highly toxic and can kill a dog.
Even if ice cream isn’t chocolate-flavored, it may contain additives like caffeine or xylitol that are highly toxic to dogs, so ice cream isn’t the best treat for your doggo.
5) Brain Freeze
Dogs can’t handle too cold food and might get a brain freeze after eating ice cream.
Brain freeze will give a dog severe headaches and cramps and might even trigger further health problems.
What Kinds of Ice Cream Can Dogs Eat?
While ice cream may not be an ideal dog treat, it holds some nutritional benefits, so many Samrt Dog Owners want their doggos to have a lick or two of ice cream despite knowing it isn’t the safest treat.
However, many want to know whether particular flavors or types of ice cream are safe for dogs.
It is best to serve homemade ice cream-like treats to dogs, but you may occasionally allow your dog to indulge in store-bought ice cream.
Let’s discuss which ice cream is safe for your pupper:
● Low Fat Ice Cream
Although fats are an important part of your dog’s diet, too much can be dangerous.
It is best to look for low-fat ice cream.
● Nut-less Ice Cream
Nuts like Macadamia nuts, Black walnuts, and pistachios are toxic to dogs and can be very dangerous when paired with ice cream. You should also avoid ice cream flavors containing pecans, almonds, or nuts that can easily mold.
You may serve ice cream that contains plain hazelnuts and peanuts, but ensure you’re not overfeeding your dog.
are dogs’ safest ice cream flavors. Avoid serving nutty or fruit flavors.
You must never serve caffeinated or chocolate ice cream to dogs.
Sugar and Xylitol Free Ice Cream
Dogs can’t easily digest sugar and will get sick from overeating, so owners tend to pick out sugar-free food for them.
However, most sugar-free desserts contain xylitol which is highly toxic to dogs.
Ice cream that has a low sugar count but contains no xylitol is safer for dogs.
Caffeine-free Ice Cream
Eating caffeine can raise a dog’s blood pressure, interfere with the functioning of the heart and affect muscle and nerve control.
Caffeine-free ice creams are safer for your dog.
What Makes Chocolate Ice Cream Toxic for Dogs
Chocolate is extremely dangerous for dogs, but let’s discuss what exactly makes it toxic.
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both forms of naturally occurring chemical substances called methylxanthine. Methylxanthines are highly dangerous for dogs. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant in tea leaves, coffee beans, and cocoa. Although caffeine is quite safe for us, it is harmful to a dog because it severely affects the functioning of a dog’s organs.
Theobromine and caffeine have nearly identical structures and similar effects on a dog’s body.
Theobromine and caffeine might have been safer in small quantities for dogs if they could quickly digest them. However, Theobromine and caffeine remain in a dog’s body for several hours, making them quite dangerous.
The longer these two components remain in a dog’s body, the more severe their effects will be, which is why serving chocolate to dogs is a bad idea.
Caffeine and theobromine have adverse effects on a dog’s body. Consuming caffeine and theobromine will make a dog extremely nauseous and trigger an upset stomach.
Eating chocolate gives a dog severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea; a high dose can even trigger tremors and seizures and be fatal.
Nutritional Profile of Chocolate Ice Cream
Occasionally, vets and experienced dog parents will moderately serve foods typically considered unhealthy for dogs. This is because various foods you can’t serve in excess are nutritious and safe in small, controlled quantities.
Various ice cream flavors offer dogs a quick boost up the nutrition ladder and are safe in small quantities. So many dog parents will wonder if chocolate ice cream offers the same nutritional value.
Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of chocolate ice cream before discussing its possible nutritious benefits for dogs.
|Nutritional Component||Nutritional Value per 132 grams||Daily Value %|
|Total Fat Saturated Fat Polyunsaturated Fat Monounsaturated Fat||15 grams 9 grams 0.5 gram 4.2 grams||23% 45%|
|Total Carbohydrates Dietary Fiber Sugar||37 grams 1.6 grams 33 grams||12% 6%|
|Minerals Sodium Calcium Iron Potassium||100 milligrams 143 milligrams 1 milligram 329 milligrams||4% 11% 7% 7%|
|Vitamins Vitamin D||0 microgram||1%|
The table tells us chocolate contains various beneficial nutrients a dog occasionally needs. However, there are also several components harmful to a dog, so we wouldn’t exactly recommend serving chocolate ice cream to it.
What Do Dogs Gain from Chocolate Ice Cream?
The few nutritional components that could benefit a dog include protein, vitamins, and minerals. Eating a small serving of chocolate ice cream would give a dog these health benefits, but since the risks outweigh them, we wouldn’t recommend serving it.
Even so, there’s nothing wrong with looking at what a dog would gain if it ate chocolate ice cream:
● Protein Promotes Growth
Protein is an essential part of a dog’s diet. It aids growth and development by improving immunity, building muscle, accelerating cell generation, and growing and protecting a dog’s coat.
Although both insufficient and excess protein harms a dog, a single serving of chocolate ice cream contains up to 5 grams of protein, which is quite balanced.
● Vitamins Improve Balance and Aid Body Functions
Vitamin D manages a dog’s ability to absorb and control essential minerals like calcium, so it maintains chemical balance and improves immunity.
● Minerals Strengthen the Body
Calcium strengthens bones, improves bone strength, and keeps your pupper’s health in check.
Health Risks of Eating Chocolate Ice Cream for Dogs
The few nutritional benefits of chocolate ice cream don’t outweigh the risks. The risks are far more in number and intensity, so it isn’t the best idea to serve chocolate ice cream to a dog.
Here are just some of the many risks of serving chocolate ice cream to dogs:
● Vitamin D Toxicity
Although dogs need vitamin D to keep chemical absorption in check, consuming too much is dangerous.
Over consuming Vitamin D leads to Vitamin D toxicity, where an excessive amount of vitamin D settles within a dog’s body and interferes with normal body functions.
Dogs can easily get rid of excessive minerals in their urine, but Vitamin D is not water soluble, so a dog’s body won’t be able to remove vitamin D in urine. The vitamin D instead settles in the liver and fat tissue, disrupting the body’s balance.
Vitamin D toxicity causes vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, excessive drool, sudden weight loss, and lack of appetite in dogs. In severe cases, vitamin D toxicity can even cause death.
Although chocolate ice cream contains very little vitamin D, it could trigger toxicity if your dog already keeps up with its vitamins.
● Adverse Reaction to Caffeine
Caffeine is highly dangerous to dogs and can be deadly. Chocolate ice cream contains caffeine, so eating even a small amount can trigger an adverse reaction.
Consuming caffeine can impact a dog’s stomach, making it difficult to eat and digest meals and even increasing the risk of heart disease.
● High Cholesterol
A balanced amount of cholesterol is safe for dogs and aids body function, but too much can be extremely dangerous.
Consuming too much cholesterol makes it easier to build up fats in the blood, triggering hyperlipidemia. Dogs with hyperlipidemia will experience seizures, tremors, patchy or bumpy skin, and severe stomach aches.
A small serving of chocolate ice cream contains a lot of cholesterol, which is why serving it to dogs is dangerous.
● Greater Fat Count
Chocolate ice cream is a high-fat dessert, so it’s not the best dog treat. Limited fats are safe for dogs, but chocolate ice cream has a concentration high enough to trigger obesity, cardiac problems, and stomach issues.
How Much is Too Much?
You may occasionally and moderately serve ice cream to a dog, but we wouldn’t recommend trying it with chocolate ice cream.
Some dog owners will wonder whether there’s a safe amount to serve chocolate ice cream. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t recommend purposefully serving it to a dog since every dog’s reaction to chocolate differs.
A dog’s health and size impact its ability to digest foods, so bigger dogs might get away with small doses of chocolate while smaller dogs won’t handle it.
But you must remember chocolate ice cream contains multiple ingredients and nutritional components that are dangerous for dogs, so you can’t serve it by assuming your dog can handle it.
We recommend not looking for safe servings at all since there are various alternatives you can try that are healthier and much yummier than chocolate ice cream.
Help; My Dog Ate Chocolate Ice Cream!
Dogs tend to eat anything in sight hastily, so they might steal a lick or two of chocolate ice cream meant for someone else when given a chance.
The toxicity of chocolate depends on the dose and the dog’s health, but since even a minor dose can be dangerous, it is best to keep your dog away from the treat.
However, dogs might get into their owner’s share of chocolate ice cream, so it’s best to know what to do if your dog eats some.
Symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually depending on the dose and toxicity level. Here are common symptoms that present when a dog eats chocolate ice cream:
➔ Severe Stomach Problems
Chocolate ice cream can trigger diarrhea and severe vomiting in dogs. Throwing up immediately after eating chocolate ice cream is a sign of concern.
➔ Unusual Behavior
Excessive panting, weird and out-of-the-ordinary movements, whining, howling, gnawing paws at the face, crying, and sudden lack of appetite are signs your dog might be in pain.
Your dog might also become restless and follow you while whimpering or shivering to get your attention.
➔ Excessive Urination
Frequent trips to the bathroom are a cause of concern.
➔ Tremors and Involuntary Movement
Eating chocolate ice cream can cause sudden shakes, chills, tremors, and seizures in dogs.
You can tell your dog ate something toxic if it suddenly collapses after eating.
What to Do to Help Your Dog
Here’s what to do if you suspect your dog ate chocolate ice cream:
➔ Keep Calm
Panicking will only make things worse for your dog, so you must keep a calm and cool head.
Don’t make any frantic movements, and approach your dog calmly with reassurance.
➔ Contact the Vet and Poison Control
Immediately contact the vet or the Pet Poison Helpline. The vet and Poison Control will let you know how to proceed to help your dog.
You can request video calling services from Poison Control if your dog needs urgent and sudden attention.
Schedule an emergency appointment at the vet.
You can contact the Pet Poison Control Hotline at 1-855-213-6680. You can also contact Animal Poison Control through the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) at 1-888-426-4435.
➔ Don’t Leave Any Details
Ensure you’re providing Pet Poison Control or the vet with adequate information. The possible dose of chocolate ice cream, the type of chocolate in the ice cream, and your dog’s health are all the valuable information that can help the vet/Poison control figure out how to help your dog.
➔ Induce Vomiting
The vet or poison control might ask you to induce vomiting to eliminate the excess chocolate ice cream in your dog’s stomach. Vomiting can help reduce toxicity by immediate removal.
The faster the removal of the toxic substance, the quicker your dog recovers.
However, a dog already vomiting means the toxicity has spread to your dog’s body, so it’s best to seek advice before trying anything of the sort yourself.
➔ Treatment and Care
Vets may prescribe certain supplements or medicines to counter toxicity and boost health.
Are There Any Dog-friendly Ice Creams?
A few brands make dog-friendly ice cream you can easily serve to your pupper. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Hoggin Dogs is a popular ice cream by Puppy Cake that makes doggy-friendly sweet delights.
Hoggin Dogs serves a dry ice cream mix to which you add water and freeze to make a yummy dog-friendly treat. This ice cream is available in various flavors, including peanut butter and maple bacon.
You can safely serve Hoggin Dogs to your pupper because it offers dog-approved flavors and is quick and easy to make. It’s a highly nutritious blend of dog-friendly ingredients and makes the perfect summer treat.
Smart Scoops is another product by Puppy Cake that serves dog-friendly ice cream. Smart Scoops offers pupper-friendly flavors like blueberry.
Smart Scoops makes its ice cream from goat milk, which is easier to digest than cow milk and contains beneficial nutrients.
Dog-friendly Alternatives for Chocolate Ice Cream
There are numerous healthy dog-friendly alternatives for chocolate ice cream you can serve to your dog:
Peanut Butter and Banana
Peanut butter and banana are the healthiest and yummiest combinations for dog treats.
You can follow this generic recipe and include as many dog-safe fruits as you like.
A cool dog treat doesn’t necessarily have to be sweet; you can make dog-friendly savory delights too.
The Final Bark | Can Dogs Eat Chocolate Ice Cream?
Can dogs eat chocolate ice cream? Unfortunately for your puppers, chocolate ice cream and other chocolate products are completely off the table because they contain various toxic substances.
Eating chocolate ice cream can make a dog extremely sick and even fatal.
You can serve dog-friendly ice creams or make dog-safe popsicles at home instead of chocolate ice cream.