Ice cream is one of the world’s favorite frozen treats. It brings joy to adults and children alike and comes in a variety of flavors for everyone.
Does ‘everyone’ include your dog? Let’s find out.
Is Icecream Appropriate For Dogs?
Most ice cream products are made from dairy, and dairy is a big no-no for dogs. As puppies, they can digest their mother’s milk, but as they age, it becomes difficult for them to digest. The other problem with ice cream lies in its ingredients. Ice cream is loaded with fats and sugar, which can lead to weight gain and obesity!
What About Vanilla Ice cream?
You may have seen ice cream shops and stands selling “doggie ice creams”, but oftentimes it is just vanilla ice cream. In comparison to other flavors such as chocolate and coffee, vanilla contains less sugar and artificial sweeteners. However, it still contains dairy and fat. Your dog may sneak a lick here and there, but don’t let him/her go overboard.
What About Whipped Cream?
Well, whipped cream is still a dairy product, and contains fats and sugars, but a little whipped cream isn’t toxic or poisonous. The possibility of an upset stomach still exists so be sure to only give your dog a small amount. Note that ‘small amounts’ will vary depending on the size of your dog, so less is always more!
Effects of Ice cream on Dogs
The main side effects are digestive-related, and it may take a few days for the symptoms to present themselves. Be on the lookout for:
- Decrease appetite
- Abdominal pain
Steamed white rice or plain chicken can help ease your dog’s symptoms, along with a steady supply of water. If these symptoms worsen or persist, contact your vet immediately. The worst-case scenario is pancreatitis which is caused by excess fat in the diet. This may lead to severe pain, hospitalization, and even death.
Alternatives to Icecream
If your dog tolerates ice cream well, a little now and then should be okay. Some dog companies have created specially made ice cream for dogs. Just be sure to read the ingredients carefully and serve them in small portions. Another great alternative is frozen bananas for your dog to lick on, which are much healthier and safer.