A cold treat on a hot summer day sounds great. There are many delicious treats that one can enjoy during this season, and ice cream is at the top of the list.
From a common chocolate or vanilla ice cream to the latest maple bacon and honey gelato, there is a great variety of flavors to choose from.
While enjoying a frozen treat, you must have thought if your four-legged friend can have a little ice cream. But are ice creams and ice cream cones safe for dogs? Let’s find out.
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream Cones Bought From Stores?
Ice cream cones can make your dog sick, so they are a NO for them. They can pose many risks to the dog’s health. The basic ingredients include all-purpose flour, milk, eggs, sugar, and butter or oil.
Out of these, only eggs can be fed to dogs as the American kennel club has stated them perfectly fine. In addition, dogs can have a gluten allergy or are lactose intolerant, making both the flour and milk unsafe for dogs.
Sugar and fats also cause a lot of health issues. For example, a sugar-free ice cream cone has a sugar substitute called xylitol in it. Unfortunately, Xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs. Even small amounts are not safe.
They can get xylitol toxicity within 10 minutes of ingestion. It can lead to low blood sugar levels, liver failure, and even death.
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream Cones Made at Home?
A homemade treat is exactly what we can call a healthy treat for dogs. Store-bought items are mostly prepared as human foods and are typically highly processed.
You probably don’t want to make your canine companion sick, so make him a cone at home with ingredients that are safe for the pet’s health.
Similarly, waffle cones are alike in ingredients to ice cream cones. Unfortunately, it makes the waffle cones unsafe for dogs. Avoid them, too, and make dog-friendly ones for your pup.
Can a Dog Eat Ice Cream?
Surfed internet and made dog-safe cones, now what? Should they be fed alone, or can you offer the dog ice cream in it? Can dogs eat ice cream? Also, a short answer is that ice cream is not healthy for dogs.
While some of them eat plain vanilla ice cream with relish and don’t get sick, that’s not the case with all the dogs. Milk and sugar don’t provide any nutritional value, and the toxic xylitol in sugar-free ones makes it worse.
In addition, some ice creams have nuts in them, out of which macadamia nuts are the most toxic for dogs.
Make Dog-friendly Ice Creams Instead
Here we go again, talking about the homemade safe treats for dogs. Healthy ice cream on a hot day sounds delicious. You can follow a doggie ice cream recipe that has banana and peanut butter.
Banana is low in calories, hence safe. Moreover, peanut butter is not only safe for dogs, but they actually love to eat it. In this way, you can let your dog eat ice cream without concerns.
Why Can’t You Give a Dog Ice Cream Cones?
Following health problems don’t make cone a good treat:
Many dogs develop lactose intolerance during some parts of their lives. The lactose intolerant dogs are unable to digest milk and milk products.
This is because their bodies lack the digestive enzymes needed for the breakdown of lactose found in dairy products into simple absorbable sugars. Indigestion or partial digestion of these dairy products causes a number of diseases like flatulence, loose stools, vomiting, discomfort, or abdominal pain.
If your dog is facing such problems, it is best to feed him dairy-free products, and ice cream cones are no exception. The other option is making homemade ice cream cones for him, with less lactose content.
Too Much Sugar
Ice cream cones, both the waffle and common ice cream cones, are high in their sugar content. Waffle cones have even more sugar than ice cream cones. 100 g of serving contains 79 g of carbohydrates which is a pretty large value if added to a dog’s food.
It’s not only about sugars; these also exceed the daily calorie intake of dogs. About 417 calories are present per 100g of cones. This much carbohydrates and calories can cause different health issues in your four-legged friend.
This may lead to high blood sugar levels, increased weight, obesity, and many related diseases. You must be very selective about feeding him foods, especially if your dog is diabetic.
Another commonly seen problem is dental issues. A dog food having more sugars and fewer natural ingredients can make your dog lose its appetite due to teeth pain and other complications in the oral cavity.
Almost all the ingredients of ice cream cones indicate that it is a high-fat food. Moreover, the surplus sugars are also likely to deposit as fats in the adipose tissue under the skin and in other parts of the dog’s body.
This increased fat makes the dog prone to cardiovascular diseases, including blockage of veins and arteries. Frequent consumption of fatty foods in dogs is also associated with pancreatitis and a faulty digestive system.
Your dog is at risk of becoming overweight if he consumes such high-calorie diets and does not get enough exercise to burn them. As a result, obese dogs become lethargic with the time being and begin to avoid physical activities.
Sugar-free Ice Cream Cone
Some people often ask whether it is safe if the dogs eat ice cream cones that are dairy-free and sugar-free. Although dairy-free food products are a great option, sugar-free treats are no good for your dog.
Most of the sugar-free treats, including desserts like ice creams, pastries, and cookies, contain artificial sweeteners. One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners is xylitol. This sugar substitute is very toxic to dogs, even more than chocolates and chocolate products.
Even small quantities of this ingredient can show adverse reactions by dogs’ bodies when consumed. Large quantities can lead to severe hypoglycemia, liver dysfunction, and even death.
If your dog has ingested any products containing xylitol, seek advice from poison control immediately or visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. The best practice is to check the ingredients beforehand while feeding your pup.
My Dog Has Eaten an Ice Cream Cone; What to Do?
Firstly, make sure the cone dog ate had no harmful ingredients. A small bite of the cone and a few licks of the ice cream are safe as long as nothing is harmful in there. Adult dogs can have a bit more than small dogs.
Even the dog-friendly ice creams and cones can be given as an occasional treat only. Even when you were cautious and added all the healthy ingredients, sugar was still there.
It can cause many problems. So serve this special treat once in a while, making sure that the dog remains healthy and still enjoys tasty treats.
Are Dogs Not Allowed to Have Desserts at All?
Dogs love sweets, so it makes sense why they run towards the owner when they see them with a dessert or a sweet snack. Like humans, they have a sweet tooth and won’t let a chance slip of munching something sweet and sugary. So, don’t stop dogs from eating sweets.
Chocolate, ice creams, raisins, and many other human-safe sweets are not healthy for dogs. So we can go for plan B. You can make homemade frozen treats for your pup, which can help him cool down during hot summers. Sweet and frozen treats for dogs might include:
- Yogurt, as long as the dog can digest lactose. Moreover, yogurt has low lactose content as compared to milk. Therefore, you can keep it in the freezer and make a cooling treat for him. If it seems like the dog doesn’t enjoy plain yogurt, try adding some berries or other fruits that are safe for him. You can also make a yogurt popsicle.
- You can make a cute dog-friendly smoothie bowl for your pup. Take some frozen fruits (like strawberries and bananas) and add them to a blender. Add a little bit of yogurt and some almond milk. Blend the mixture well. Another tasty yet healthy dog treat is ready.
- Frozen banana and watermelon bites are also a cool and natural dog treat. All you need to do is cut a banana into slices, place these slices in silicone ice molds, and fill them with watermelon juice. Freeze them for a few hours, and the frozen bites are ready for your dog.
Ice cream cones are not a good option if your dog is allergic to gluten or dairy products. Even if he is not allergic to its ingredients, the sugars in ice cream cones also make them a no-no for your dog.
Ice creams and ice cream cones are not toxic unless they contain harmful ingredients like xylitol. So, if your dog has eaten a few scraps, it is all right. The best thing you can do is feed him a cool and healthy alternative when eating real ice cream.