Last Updated on August 29, 2021 by Marco
We have all been there. You’re sitting on the sofa after a busy day, unwinding with the food treat of your choice.
Suddenly, you can feel a pair of eyes boring into you – I want some.
You look down and there is Fido. Your dog looks up at you imploringly, using the power of thought to get you to share your ice cream with them.
A little bit can’t hurt, right? You tell yourself this as you get up and put a spoonful of your vanilla ice cream in your dog’s bowl, which they descend upon with glee.
STOP! Next time that you give your four-legged friend a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, or whatever other food you may be enjoying, think again.
Is vanilla ice cream good for dogs? No, it is not. And here’s why.
Why Is Ice Cream Bad For Dogs?
The main reason why dogs cannot eat vanilla ice cream is due to its very high-fat content. A dog’s digestive system is simply not cut out to process it.
Besides, just like us humans, dogs do not benefit from a food source that is essentially fat and sugar. This can lead to unwanted weight gain.
Plus, ice cream is a dairy food. Dairy foods are not good for dogs because, like us humans, they can suffer from lactose intolerance (especially puppies), or even allergies to dairy products.
Is Vanilla Ice Cream Safe For Dogs?
If you have relented and given in to your dog’s pleading looks, then a little bit of vanilla ice cream is safe for dogs. It is not toxic, unlike some human foods, such as chocolate.
But just because it is ‘safe’ in small quantities does not mean that it is suitable for your dog!
Lactose Intolerance In Dogs
Signs of lactose intolerance in dogs, which may be a result of eating too much vanilla ice cream, include:
- Lack of appetite
Not fun for you, not fun for your dog, right?
Foods That Are Toxic For Dogs
Even if your dog does manage to convince you to give them the odd scoop of ice cream here and there, here is a list of foods that you should NEVER feed your dog no matter how much they give you that look. because they are TOXIC to a dog:
Onions, Garlic and Chives
These foods can cause red blood cell damage and gastrointestinal upsets. Raw or cooked, either way, they are not safe for your hound.
Chocolate (especially dark chocolate) contains a substance called theobromine, which can cause kidney failure. If you really feel that your dog should get a chocolate treat at Easter time, then you can get dog chocolate that is made just for them. These treats are made of carob.
These Australian nuts cause dogs to become weak, pant and have swollen limbs, This is because they contain a toxin that affects a dog’s nervous system.
Dogs can’t digest corn, and it causes blockages in their intestines.
These tree fruits contain a substance called Persin, which is found in the leaves, the stone, and the fruit. It will make your dog vomit and cause them to have diarrhea.
Grapes and Raisins
It is unknown what it is in these foods that make dogs sick, but they should be avoided because they cause liver damage and kidney failure in dogs.
These can become impacted in your dog’s bowels, or the splintered shards can perforate their intestines, which will require surgery, and can be fatal.
Alcohol and Artificial Sweeteners (i.e. Xylitol)
No explanation needed!
Other Options For Vanilla Ice Cream-Loving Dogs
Good quality commercial dog foods already contain all of the calcium that your best friend needs to ensure their bones are strong and healthy.
But if you live somewhere hot, and you still feel the need to give Fido a cold treat to beat the heat, have you considered popping some plain, fat-free yogurt into the freezer for your pooch?
Happily, dogs are able to digest yogurt because it has already gone through the fermentation process. It also has less lactose.
Just go easy the first time you feed it to your pooch, just in case frozen yogurt doesn’t agree with them. And avoid feeding your dog commercial frozen yogurt that is made for humans, because it has loads of sugar in it.
If you do not think yogurt is the right option for you, have you considered frozen bananas? Yes, bananas are fine to give to dogs. All you need to do is blend up a few bananas in your food processor until they are creamy. Then freeze them for a nice cool sweet treat for your dog. Plus, bananas offer fiber, potassium, and vitamins B6 and C. But only do this in moderation, since bananas do contain natural sugars.
You can also blend yogurt and bananas with peanut butter before freezing; check out this recipe.
The best part about these sweet treat options for dogs is that you can eat them too!
Talk about spending quality time together!
Commercial Frozen Treats
If you are too busy for homemade frozen treats to be a viable option, did you know that those legends of the ice-cream business, Ben and Jerry’s, make their own range of ‘Doggie Desserts’ that are suitable for your four-legged friend?
Pontch’s Mix is a blend of peanut butter and pretzels, and Rosie’s Batch features pumpkin and mini cookies. These two flavors come in mini cups and multipacks.
Obesity In Dogs
Obesity in dogs is the most common preventable disease that affects dogs in the USA, according to the American Kennel Club.
Obesity can reduce the life expectancy for dogs by as much as two years! And given that they only live from 8 to 14 years on average, that is quite a sobering thought.
It can also put them at risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and osteoarthritis.
We all know how fattening ice cream can be!
Hopefully by now, if you have read this far, you will have decided to help your doggo break their vanilla ice cream habit once and for all by exploring some healthier, dog-friendly alternatives.