Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer day, or any day really?
Since ice cream is such a tasty dessert that brings a smile to everyone’s faces, it makes sense that you would want to share some with your dog. After all, he deserves a treat too (especially after playing or running around in the heat).
But can dogs eat ice cream cones? Is it really safe to give your dog a few licks of your ice cream or even his very own?
The answer is complicated, but in most cases, no, you shouldn’t give your dog ice cream, whether it’s on a cone or in a cup.
However, don’t worry!
In this article, I’ll explain why and even provide an alternative for a cold and frosty snack that’s not only safe for your dog, but actually healthy as well. And the best thing? He won’t ever know the difference.
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream Cones?
Not really. Ice cream cones are typically highly processed and full of sugar and additives. They aren’t healthy for humans and even less so for your dog.
Now, this is important — many ice cream cones contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that’s toxic to dogs. If you see on the label that your ice cream cones contain xylitol, don’t give any at all to your dog.
If it doesn’t contain this harmful ingredient, then a small bite of a cone every once in a while won’t hurt him, but you certainly shouldn’t feed your dog ice cream cones regularly or in large amounts.
What About Just Ice Cream?
Again, not really. Dogs’ stomachs aren’t designed to digest dairy past the age when they would drink their mothers’ milk as puppies, otherwise, it can cause stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Similar to ice cream cones, a couple bites may not harm your dog, but anything more than that could easily hurt his stomach. Also, like humans, dogs can be lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, making ice cream extra risky for them.
If you do give your dog a lick or two of your ice cream, make sure it’s a flavor that’s safe for dogs, like vanilla, and avoid flavors with ingredients that are toxic for dogs, like chocolate.
Even if ice creams are labeled as “sugar-free” or “dairy-free,” they may still contain ingredients that aren’t safe for your dog. Therefore, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog any sort of store-bought ice cream.
RELATED: Can Dogs Eat Tofu?
What Can I Give My Dog Instead?
You either get an ice cream mix that’s natural and made specifically for dogs, or make one yourself.
The first option is obviously faster and easier, and there are a number of yummy ice cream flavors you can choose from, including peanut butter, vanilla, maple bacon, pumpkin, and even chocolate (made from carob, of course!)
Here are some recipes for homemade treats you can give your dog in lieu of ice cream on a cone. These are delicious, can be made in bulk and stored, and best of all, they’re healthy!
Since they’re made with human food ingredients, you can even taste test them yourself if you’d like.
Give these recipes a try and, even better, make them for a dog-loving friend!
Dog Waffles – “Woofles”
- 1 cup oatmeal or oat flour
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- a bit of coconut oil
- Turn on your waffle iron and allow it to heat up.
- Combine all ingredients except the coconut oil in a mixing bowl, using a fork to mash the banana. Whisk together into a batter.
- When the waffle iron is hot, brush or coat lightly with coconut oil so the batter won’t stick.
- Scoop two spoonfuls of the batter into each square of the waffle iron, then close the lid. Cook for about 3-5 minutes or until waffles are a toasted golden brown.
- Remove waffles from the iron and allow to cool before cutting into squares and serving to your dog. You can refrigerate these for up to a week.
Doggie Ice Cream Bites
- ½ cup unrefined, virgin coconut oil
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until liquefied and stir together.
- Use a ladle to scoop the mixture into silicone baking trays (many come with cute paw prints or dog bone designs), ice cube trays, or lined muffin tins.
- Place trays in the freezer until treats completely harden (about half an hour). These should be stored in the refrigerator and served to dogs cold.
Tip: Combine these two recipes and serve the ice cream bites on top of the “Woofles” so it’s really like your dog is having his very own ice cream cone, but without any of the harmful or unhealthy ingredients.
You probably shouldn’t feed your dog ice cream cones or any ice cream for that matter. Both are full of sugar and usually contain additives and preservatives that are unhealthy for dogs and hard for them to digest.
Ice cream cones in particular often contain xylitol, an ingredient that’s toxic for dogs. Even brands of ice cream and cones that claim to be sugar-free or dairy-free on their packaging can still contain other ingredients that are harmful to your dog, so it’s best to steer clear of all store-bought ice cream products.
You can easily make healthy substitutes for ice cream and cones for your dog at home using a few simple ingredients. These treats are nutritious, quick to make, can be stored to use throughout the week, and most importantly, won’t make your dog sick or lead to other health problems.
So, what are you waiting for? Go make your pup some “woofles” and ice cream bites and maybe enjoy some yourself. Or you can just stick with the real ice cream for you — your dog won’t mind.
Li-ran believes that dogs can teach us more than we could ever teach them. He considers himself a holistic pet parent and enjoys spending his time in the kitchen cooking homemade meals for his dog, Richie.