Ice cream is not a healthy snack choice for dogs. While occasionally small amounts of vanilla ice cream or mango sorbet might not land your dog in the hospital, ice cream shouldn’t be a regular treat. Adult dogs cannot digest lactose; although they can absorb milk when they are puppies (after all, they are mammals), they lose the ability to digest milk after becoming adults, which could lead to bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Additionally, dogs with diabetes or overweight issues should stay far away from ice cream. The high sugar content in ice cream isn’t beneficial for your dog either.
“Sugar-free” ice cream is also dangerous, as xylitol is toxic to dogs. In fact, ice cream and any form of artificial sweeteners are a no-go.
Many flavours of ice cream could also pose danger to dogs, such as chocolate, since dogs cannot metabolise theobromine. Due to their high caffeine content, coffee and green tea ice cream are equally hazardous. Moreover, any ice cream containing grapes or raisins carries potential peril, potentially leading to acute kidney failure even in small amounts.
Lastly, some nuts are dangerous for dogs, like macadamia nuts, although scientists aren’t sure why. Walnuts, pecans, and almonds are non-toxic to dogs, but their high fat content makes them unhealthy.
If you’re really keen on letting your dog taste ice cream, opt only for fruit-flavoured or regular vanilla ice cream. Always start with a small amount to ensure it doesn’t cause gastrointestinal distress. If your dog is lactose intolerant, you might observe symptoms like bloating, vomiting, upset stomach, and diarrhea within two hours.
If you want to provide your dog with a cool treat during summer, consider making homemade ice cream for puppies. Blend bananas, peanut butter, and some yogurt (which has less lactose than ice cream) into a puree. You can also add some oats, apples, or other healthy and beneficial ingredients for your dog.