Do you like vanilla ice cream?
Well, we love it, and our doggo loves it too!
Whenever we take it out of the freezer, they look at us pleadingly.
And as a dog parent, you might already know that they will eat anything that comes in their way, and they actually don’t have a filter in this case!
That goes for sweet treats such as vanilla ice creams too. Just drop a scoop on your floor, and your furry friend will eat it up even before you get a chance to pick it up!
But, as the responsible dog parent you are, you should know if vanilla ice cream is safe for dogs. Or, can dogs eat vanilla ice cream?
Keep reading to get answers to all your questions regarding vanilla ice cream and dogs!
Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Ice Cream?
Yes, dogs can eat vanilla ice cream, but we don’t recommend that you give them.
Is it not dog-friendly food, but if you want to share a bite or two only on special occasions, you can. It will not harm your doggo.
Why Should You Not Feed Vanilla Ice Cream to Your Dog?
Some flavors, such as vanilla, don’t do any harm to most dogs. However, there are certain health risks of feeding a large amount of vanilla ice cream to your doggo. So, what are they?
#1. Dangerous Ingredients
Did you know that some ingredients in vanilla ice cream can lead to some serious health issues in your doggo?
This is true for cases where you can find choco chips or choco chunks in vanilla ice cream.
A toxic dose of chocolate can lead your dog to have the following:
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Muscle tremors
- Heart failure
- And in some extreme cases, death
#2. Lactose Intolerance
Does your dog suffer from lactose intolerance?
Your pup needs digestive enzymes in order to digest whatever they eat. These enzymes break down the foods and help your pup’s body absorb nutrients.
As ice cream is made from dairy, it contains milk sugar, commonly known as lactose.
Your doggo needs lactase (a digestive enzyme) so that they can break down the lactose into simple sugars.
Now, this lactase is produced by dogs too. However, just like humans, lactase production is not always enough to digest lactose.
If this happens, it can cause intolerance in your pup. And that can lead to symptoms such as:
#3. Added Sugars
So, you are sure that your pup doesn’t have lactose intolerance. And you have chosen a vanilla ice cream that is free from chocolate chips and other ingredients that are toxic for your dog, right?
But hey, did you know that your vanilla ice cream is full of sugar?
That is another reason you should keep your pup away from ice cream.
As said already, ice cream is safe for your dog to consume. But you should be cautious about the amount that you give your dog.
If there is a lot of sugar in your furry buddy’s diet, it can cause them to gain too much weight. Also, these are some health issues that sugar can lead to:
- Metabolic disease
- Dental disease
#4. Artificial Sweeteners
Now that you know how added sugar can cause trouble to your favorite four-legged buddy’s health, you may look for brands that offer sugar-free vanilla ice cream.
But wait, did you know that it can lead to even bigger problems?
Well, yes! Artificial sweeteners can be dangerous for your pup too!
Now, let’s talk about xylitol, for example.
Xylitol is used as a substitute for sugar in many low-sugar vanilla ice creams. And this xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. It can decrease their blood sugar level, leading to a condition named hypoglycemia. The pancreas of your pup will confuse it with real sugar and release more insulin. The insulin, in turn, removes the actual sugar in your dog’s body. This plummets the blood sugar levels.
Xylitol can even lead to liver failure in dogs.
Every year, we come to know about tons of reported cases of xylitol poisoning in dogs. And some vanilla ice cream brands use this as an ingredient.
However, it is true that in order to have xylitol poisoning, your dog needs to have a lot of vanilla ice creams. So, don’t worry, you are not going to give an entire tub of vanilla ice cream to your pup, right?
Just be cautious.
Ingredients and Calories in Vanilla Ice Cream
To provide you with a better understanding, here are the ingredients used in some of the most popular brands of vanilla ice cream:
- Skim milk
- Corn syrup
- 1% or less natural flavors (with vanilla extract
- Mono and diglycerides
- Vanilla bean specs
- Guar gum
- Carob bean gum
- Cellulose gel
- Cellulose gum
As you can see, there are a lot of things in vanilla ice cream that we don’t want our dog to have, especially the artificial ingredients.
Now, when you look at the calories that this ice cream has, only a small amount of it can account for a huge percentage of your pup’s daily recommended intake.
According to vets, you should not include more than 25 calories for each pound they weigh in your pup’s everyday diet. Also, they recommend that your dog should have just 10% of their diet set aside for occasional treats.
In order to make you understand how bad giving vanilla ice cream to your dog is, here is an average of the weight of some of the most popular dog breeds: Labrador and French Bulldogs.
Look at how many calories each dog should eat daily and not more than that. Also, this will give you an idea of how eating vanilla ice cream can affect them.
- An average Labrador weighs 70 pounds. So, don’t give them more than 1750 calories a day.
- An average French bulldog is 25 pounds. So don’t give them more than 625 calories a day.
Also, we have looked at some of the leading vanilla ice cream brands. And we have calculated how many calories are there in each serving so that we can work out the percentage of each dog’s regular intake.
- Blue Ribbon Vanilla Ice Cream (150 calories): 9% Labrador/ 24% French Bulldog daily intake.
- Walmart Great Value Vanilla Ice Cream (170 calories): 10% Labrador/ 27% French Bulldog daily intake.
- Edy’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (170 calories): 10% Labrador /27% French Bulldog daily intake.
- Tillamook Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (210 calories): 12% Labrador/34% French Bulldog daily intake.
The calorie content doesn’t look worrisome for a large breed dog like Labrador. But it can be fatal for small to medium-breed dogs.
Are There Any Health Benefits of Feeding Vanilla Ice Cream to Your Dog?
Nope, Only a few nutrients are there in ice cream, such as calcium.
However, these nutrients are not there in enough quantities to counterbalance all the junk it has.
How Much Vanilla Ice Cream Can Your Dog Eat?
Do you still want to share some vanilla ice cream with your pup? If so, then how much should you feed them?
Well, if you ask us, we would say that we don’t want to feed vanilla ice cream to our pup at all.
But then, you can give them not more than a small spoonful on a hot summer day. And don’t forget to monitor their reaction for at least 24 hours.
Within this time, if your dog doesn’t show any symptoms of illness, you can give them vanilla ice cream as an occasional treat, not more than once a week.
What If Your Dog Eats Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Becomes Sick?
Does your pup have a sensitive stomach?
Then the chances are that they will react badly to having vanilla bean ice cream. They can develop symptoms such as vomiting, retching, and diarrhea.
If you notice these symptoms in your furry friend, know that they have a mild stomach upset that can be treated at home.
Here is what you can do:
- Make them fast for 24 hours
If you don’t feed anything to your pup for a day, their stomach will get time to be empty of all the reaction and badness from vanilla ice cream. Also, it will stop the symptoms from getting worse. Of course, let them have plenty of clean and fresh water throughout the day.
- Give them plain rice with boiled chicken.
This is a tried and tested menu for dogs with upset stomachs. And it is best when you feed this to your doggo in small portions throughout the day. Feed this diet for at least two to three days before you get back to their normal feeding routine. After three days, you can add small amounts of their regular diet to their rice and chicken.
We have tried this method too, and it has worked for our dog.
However, call your vet immediately if you notice more severe signs, including hard swollen and painful belly, dehydration, lethargy, and blood in feces or vomit.
Are There Any Healthy Alternatives to Vanilla Ice Cream for Your Dog?
You can get a few commercial ice creams that are designed especially for dogs. These brands mostly use dog-friendly ingredients like peanut butter and lactose-free milk.
Compared to regular ice cream, these are healthier. But don’t forget, these are commercial products and are not actually healthy. After all, these are treats. So give to your pup only occasionally.
If you are desperate to feed frozen treats to your doggo, why not make it at home?
Here are some tasty and healthy DIY alternatives to vanilla ice cream for your furry buddy.
You will get tons of recipes for dog-friendly frozen treats made using raw materials if you search on YouTube.
In the meantime, you can give this apple and broth treat to your pup.
- Organic bone broth or chicken broth
- Sliced organic apples – make sure to remove the seeds
- Ice cube tray
How to make:
Take the ice cube tray and fill each ice cube with a couple of apple slices
- Add chicken broth to each ice cube
- Freeze the ice cube tray
- And your frozen dog treat is ready!
Your four-legged buddy will love this dairy-free frozen treat!
The best part?
You need only one ingredient for this recipe!
Generally, banana is used to make this. But hey, it is a DIY, and so you can use any frozen fruit of your choice. Just make sure that it is 100% safe for your doggo.
- Any frozen fruit of your choice (dog-safe)
How to make:
- Take some frozen fruits and put them into a food processor, blender, or ice cream machine
- Continue to blend until you get a creamy texture
- Now take a freezer-safe tray and freeze the mixture again
- Once frozen, take the tray out and scoop it to feed your canine buddy. Remember, you need to let it thaw for a couple of minutes before serving it to your pet.
This frozen treat can be enjoyed by not only your pup but also your entire family.
It is full of nutrients. But, what we liked the most about this frozen treat is that it doesn’t contain any artificial sweetener, added sugar, or dairy.
But don’t go overboard with it just because it is homemade. After all, the natural sugars of the fruit are still there. So, it is best to give this dessert to your pup only as a treat.
This DIY frozen treat is one of the easiest that you can feed your dog on a summer day.
Here is a list of safe fruits that you can feed your doggo. You can choose any of the following:
Or, you can even choose to use some frozen veggies as treats. They contain less sugar compared to fruits, and they are full of nutrients.
Some dog-safe veggies are:
- Green beans
How to make:
All you need is to freeze your chosen fruit or vegetable and toss it to your furry buddy!
Peanut butter banana ice cream
Your furry buddy will go wild for this frosty treat!
- Two tablespoons peanut butter
- One banana
- Two tablespoons plain yogurt
How to make:
- Take the banana and dice it up
- Place it into a freezer for at least five hours
- Take a food processor or a blender. Put the frozen banana into it.
- Add the plain yogurt and peanut butter to the banana
- Blend everything until you get a smooth paste
- Serve it with a dollop of fruit or a sprinkle of cookies
Your pup will thank you for this!
So don’t panic if your pup had a slurp or two of vanilla ice cream. However, avoid giving them too much as it is not good for your canine buddy’s health.
What Kinds Of Ice Cream Can Dogs Eat?
You will all agree that snacking on a bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day is probably one of the best feelings on this planet. While you and your family have the liberty to do so, can your dogs have ice cream as well?
There is a good chance that your four-legged furry friend will try to entice you into giving it a spoonful of ice cream, but we advise you to refrain.
First, you must be aware that ice creams have a good portion of sugar and nuts. Besides, they also have artificial flavors and colors like chocolate ones.
If ingested, your furry pooch may suffer from various allergies triggered by food items like ice creams. These ingredients are not at all suitable for dogs. Also, ice cream is essentially milk and dairy products, and dogs cannot digest them.
So, this raises the question if there are any substitutes available in the market for dogs that are safe for them.
Safe Ice Cream Alternatives For Dogs
While ice cream is not suitable for dogs, are there any healthy options safe for them to consume? Let’s find out.
- Gelato: If dogs can’t have regular ice creams, you can give them gelato, specially made for dogs. You can also try using ingredients that your dog can have and make frozen treats at home for your dog.
- Plain Ice Cubes: Ice cubes are also a great solution, especially during the summer months. Dogs love ice cubes. They do not contain any dairy ingredients and will also keep them well-hydrated. Besides, if your dog is overweight, ice cubes can help them deal with that.
- Dog-Friendly Lollies And Ice Cream: There are some lollies and ice creams that are especially made for dogs. All the ingredients of these products are selected according to the specific requirements of dogs, and dogs can safely consume those ice creams.
- Frozen Yogurt: Instead of ice creams, you can also try frozen yogurt for your dogs. These are safer options as they do not contain any added sugar, regular milk, and artificial flavors. But choose those variants that are dog-friendly.
While consuming a small amount of vanilla ice cream may not harm your dog, it can upset its stomach. Consuming vanilla ice cream can lead to diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, and restlessness.
Yes, you can give your dog some vanilla ice cream; if you must choose ice cream for your dog, select vanilla, as it is safe for dogs to consume. Any other ice cream which contains xylitol, nuts, chocolate, or coffee is toxic for dogs.
Yes, ice cream can harm your dog. It is a dairy product, and dogs can’t process milk-based products. Besides, nuts, artificial color and flavor, and high sugar content are also harmful to your dog. These ingredients can lead to abdominal issues like bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea.
No, pure vanilla is not toxic to dogs, but vanilla does not offer any health benefits. Meanwhile, vanilla extracts or artificial vanilla essence are harmful to dogs since they contain a good percentage of alcohol. So, ingesting a bottle of extracted vanilla can be toxic to your dog.
Dogs love ice cream as it is sweet and often contains nuts, making it crunchy. Besides, dogs also love cold food items, especially during summer. Last, they like any food their owners like and understand that ice creams taste better than their regular food.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.