All dog owners know that dogs not only eat, but also love ice creams. But, are they really safe for dogs? There are a few factors that can determine if ice creams are safe or harmful for dogs.
Did you Know?
Frosty Paws, first sold as Pet79, and Fido Freeze, is an ice cream brand made especially for dogs. It is produced by Nestlé.
Ice creams are favorite treats for almost everyone. Even dogs love ice cream. However, like humans, some dogs are lactose-intolerant. There are a few factors that can determine if ice creams are safe or harmful for dogs.
Most of dogs cannot tolerate lactose as their system does not produce the enzyme called lactase. Lactose intolerance may be inherited or acquired. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose, the sugar molecule present in milk. So, lactose passes through the system undigested and causes gas, stomach upset and other troubles. If your pet dog shows these symptoms shortly after eating dairy products, it means that he/she is lactose-intolerant.
Dogs and other animals that are lactose-tolerant can be given dairy products in moderation whenever they are posed with minor tummy troubles. Also, it’s important to remember that treats like ice creams should be given to your pet in very small quantities as they contain too much sugar and fat that can cause serious health issues like obesity, diabetes and pancreatitis.
Are ice creams dog-friendly?
A puppy that is nursing is not fit to eat ice creams. So do not give ice creams to puppies that are still dependent on their mother’s milk for food. They can be given ice cream once they start feeding on solid food.
Avoid giving ice cream to lactose-intolerant pets as it can cause signs of diarrhea or bloating.
Consult the veterinarian first to make sure if an ice cream will interfere with the dog’s diet or any medication if prescribed.
Ice creams should be given to dogs occasionally and in small portions as they contain a very high quantity of sugar.
If your dog shows any symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting after having ice cream, stop feeding it. Also, consult a vet for further advice.
Avoid giving ice creams containing xylitol, a sugar substitute. It can cause low blood sugar, that can lead to vomiting, weakness, fainting and liver damage.
Ice creams containing chocolate and rum raisin should not be provided to dogs. Chocolate and rum raisin are toxic substances for them and could result in unusual heartbeats, fainting and diarrhea. Sometimes, even death is possible. Other flavors like strawberry and vanilla are safe for dogs.
What about other dairy products?
The amount of dairy products that’s healthy for dogs varies for different dog breeds. For lactose-tolerant dogs, milk can be provided in moderate quantities. The nutrients that milk contains, like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, potassium, protein are good for your dog. Cheese that is low in fat, sodium and lactose content, is safe for dogs, but again, should be given in smaller portions. Also, yogurt that has low fat content, low lactose and no artificial sweeteners is good for your pet.
Ice creams made for human consumption are not intended for dogs. Thankfully, there are a variety of dog-friendly ice creams available in the market that are made only for dogs. Moreover, all the dairy products do not contain the same quantity of lactose. There are some types of cheese and yogurt that contain less lactose than milk, these are usually pet-friendly. Dog-safe ice creams are generally made with yogurt so that they are easier for digestion. So while you’re enjoying your ice cream, your dog can enjoy his or hers.