Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?
Though people’s tastes in food can differ greatly, many of us can agree on one thing: ice cream is a delicious treat! The creamy, sweet goodness of ice cream is loved by children and adults alike. So, what if you want to share the magic of ice cream with a four-legged companion?
It’s important to assess any risks before feeding your dog food that is made for human consumption. Dog’s bodily processes and digestive system vary greatly from humans, and it’s always important to put their health first when it comes to feeding your dog a special treat.
How safe it is to feed your dog ice cream depends on many factors including how much you are feeding, what flavorings have been used in the ice cream, and more.
Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Ice Cream?
Vanilla ice cream is a traditional favorite in many people’s homes. Most people likely have some in their freezer just waiting to be enjoyed! This may lead you to wonder whether you can give your four-legged family member a bite.
Vanilla ice cream is technically safe for dogs but feeding your dog vanilla ice cream should be avoided. Dogs can have a small taste of ice cream and likely be okay. However, many dogs suffer from allergies, particularly lactose intolerance, that can make ice cream an undesirable choice for them.
Dogs with lactose intolerance will display a lot of the same symptoms humans with a dairy allergy may experience. This includes an upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and vomiting.
In very small quantities, vanilla ice cream is unlikely to harm your dog. However, in larger portions, it can be unhealthy for dogs.
Apart from potential allergies, ice cream is high in sugar and fat. Sugar and fat aren’t healthy for humans, so they certainly aren’t healthy for dogs. Beyond being unhealthy, foods with high sugar and/or fat can exacerbate preexisting health conditions in your dog.
Some ice creams offer a low-far or low-sugar formula. Though these options are desirable for humans, these formulas should never be fed to dogs. Many of these low-sugar ice creams contain an ingredient called xylitol. Xylitol allows a sweet flavor without adding any sugar and is generally safe for humans to eat.
However, xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs and should never be given to a canine. Xylitol poisoning causes serve effects in dogs and can be fatal.
The high sugar content in ice cream can cause weight gain, dental issues, and more in dogs. It’s best to avoid letting your dog eat ice cream for this reason. However, a very small lick of an ice cream scoop is unlikely to cause any undesirable effects in dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate Ice Cream?
Most people know chocolate and dogs never mix. Chocolate is among the top 10 most toxic food for dogs. Theobromine is extremely toxic to dogs and is found in caffeine and chocolate. The darker and purer the chocolate, the more theobromine is in it, and the more toxic it is for your dog.
Any kind of chocolate in any form is extremely toxic for dogs and should never be fed. Understanding what types of chocolates are most toxic to dogs means understanding the process of chocolate making.
All chocolate products you love are made from cocoa beans, in different forms. Two main components of the cocoa bean are used when making chocolate: the brown solid cocoa mass, and the paler liquid part of the cocoa bean, known as coca butter.
Cocoa powder is nothing but grated cocoa mass, making it one of the most toxic forms of chocolate for canines. This means foods like hot cocoa mix should be kept far away from fido!
How Toxic is Chocolate Ice Cream for Dogs?
As mentioned above, cocoa powder is extremely toxic for dogs. Most chocolate ice cream is comprised of cocoa powder, eggs, cream, vanilla, and sugar. This means chocolate ice cream is extremely toxic for our four-legged friends.
Chocolate ice cream should never be willingly offered to a dog as a treat. Owners of dogs should go to great lengths to keep items containing chocolate away from their pooch. Ideally, you store your chocolate snacks in a dog-proof area.
However, sometimes your dog may get into your chocolate by accident or by snooping where he shouldn’t be. Accidents happen, but it is important that dog owners know how to respond when they discover their dog has eaten some chocolate.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate Accidentally
If you found your dog has accidentally eaten chocolate, monitor them closely. If your dog has eaten chocolate, the symptoms will show within 12 hours. How severe a dog’s symptoms will be is very dependent on how much it ate.
For example, a dog who eats 9mg per pound of the dog weight in chocolate will only have mild-moderate symptoms. A dog who eats 18mg per pound however will be severely ill and will need veterinarian attention.
Dogs who eat over 18mg of chocolate per pound of their body weight will be at high risk for seizures and even death. So, how does this translate to chocolate ice cream? A cup of dark chocolate ice cream has just over 170mg of theobromine, the toxic component in chocolate.
This is enough to make a small dog around 10 pounds severely sick. It could even be fatal for certain tiny toy breeds.
There is no safe level of chocolate for dogs. It’s always toxic and can cause side effects in any amount. However, as long as your dog eats below a certain amount *depending on their body weight) they should be able to get away without severe symptoms.
There is a level of chocolate each dog can handle before symptoms will become severe or life-threatening. This doesn’t mean dogs should eat it, but it’s a comfort for pet parents who come home devastated to find a candy bar half gone!
Generally, the guideline for amounts of chocolate dogs can handle is:
Large dogs. A German shepherd of 70 pounds could handle 2 cups of chocolate without serious side effects. A slightly smaller dog, such as a 67-pound lab, can handle just under 2 cups.
Medium dogs. A 55-pound dog can handle 1 ½ cups, whereas a smaller-medium sized dog like a 45-pound bulldog can handle 1 1/3 cups.
Small dogs. A 26-pound dog can handle less than ¾ of a cup. Whereas a smaller dog like a 13-pound teacup poodle can handle under 1/3 of a cup. You may also be interested in Schnoodle.
In short, the smaller the dog, the bigger the danger when it comes to chocolate consumption.
What Your Dog Can Eat Instead
There’s no shame in wanting to give our dogs whatever food will make them happy. There just happens to be many other choices out there that are much healthier and more nutritious than pretzels. Here is a list of all the junk foods that your dog can eat.
There are many fruits that dogs can eat which are packed with vitamins, dietary fibers, and antioxidants. The best are berries like strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries. Dogs can eat bananas, oranges, apples, melons, mangos, and pineapples. Make sure fruits with pits, stems, cores, and seeds have been ridden from these items. Several of them are choking hazards and peach pits can be toxic. Grapes of any kind are poisonous to dogs, and even raisins shouldn’t be given to them.
When seafood is free from shells, tails, bones, and legs, they are safe for a dog to eat. Dogs can have lobster, shrimp, salmon, crab, tuna, flounder, and a variety of other fish that is lower in mercury. Fish with too much mercury fed too often to our dogs can cause mercury poisoning. Uncooked or undercooked seafood can contain harmful pathogens and bacterium like salmonella which can make a dog extremely ill. Always ensure that seafood is thoroughly cooked before feeding it to your dog.
Beans can be great sources of dietary fibers and proteins which are necessary for a dog’s health. Dogs can have a wide variety of beans, including lima beans, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans, butter beans, kidney beans, navy beans, and even green beans. Beans should always be cooked thoroughly and fed to dogs in moderation to avoid tummy aches. Beans shouldn’t replace meat in a dog’s diet, since the meat they eat is a richer source of proteins.
As stated earlier, garlic and onions contain toxins that are bad for dogs, and even seasonings containing traces of these vegetables could cause problems. Avocado is another poisonous food because it contains a toxic chemical called persin. Other veggies are considered great sources of fiber and vitamins for dogs. Dogs can eat carrots, pumpkins, spinach, celery, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, and many other vegetables instead.
Most nuts aren’t toxic to dogs, save for walnuts and macadamia nuts. Other nuts aren’t necessarily poisonous, but they can contain lots of salts, fats, and proteins that are difficult to digest. They also aren’t very practical because they can be choking hazards due to their shapes, sizes, and shells. Cashews, almonds, and pistachios are fine for dogs to eat moderately, especially when they are made into butter which is safer to eat in terms of obstruction.
Sadly, ice cream of any flavor isn’t exactly healthy for dogs. Vanilla ice cream might not be healthy for your dog, but it is not toxic if your dog takes a little bite. In moderation, vanilla ice cream is not toxic. However, chocolate ice cream can be toxic to dogs in any form. The darker the chocolate, the bigger the risk.
Chocolate ice cream is made with cocoa and therefore extremely toxic to dogs. It should never be given to a dog – and if you find your dog licking some up, be sure to monitor their symptoms and seek veterinarian guidance.
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