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Can my dog eat ice cream?

Author: Adel Saadoun, Veterinary Doctor

If you own a dog, you may have wondered whether you can give your dog ice cream. While it is possible to give your dog a small amount of ice cream, while taking many precautions, it is strongly discouraged to include this food in your dog’s diet, even as a treat.

In this article, we will explain the dangers of ice cream, the symptoms of ice cream ingestion and why it is dangerous to eat ice cream that your dog licked.

The dangers of ice cream for the dog

First and foremost, you should know that ice cream is not nutritionally beneficial to your dog. As a rule, ice cream is a product that is very high in sugar and in particular Xylitol, a natural sweetener that is a toxic substance for dogs.

There are also dairy products, chocolate and certain types of fruit such as grapes. These foods are toxic and dangerous for dogs. Indeed, the dog’s body cannot absorb and digest these foods and especially the lactose present in dairy products.

A small amount of ice cream will probably not send your dog to the vet, but regular consumption is not allowed.

The ingestion of ice cream by a dog can therefore cause food poisoning, the severity of which depends on the quantity ingested and the state of health of your dog.

In summary, it is advised to ban ice cream or sorbet from your dog’s diet.

How to give ice cream to your dog?

Possible digestive symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea or vomiting may occur within two hours of ingestion. In this case, it is likely that your dog is lactose intolerant.

If you decide to occasionally give your dog some ice cream, choose fruit or vanilla ice cream (except grape, cherry or avocado). Try serving small amounts at first to check your dog’s reaction and behaviour.

My dog ate ice cream without my permission: what can I do?

In the event that your puppy or dog has eaten ice cream without your permission, don’t panic. If it’s ice cream without dangerous ingredients such as xylitol or chocolate, it’s probably not a serious situation.

Just be sure to watch his behaviour and any digestive symptoms, as your dog is likely to be bloated and defecate more frequency than usual.

However, if the ice cream he ate contains harmful substances such as xylitol, chocolate or forbidden fruit such as grapes, it is important to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible as the situation can be serious.

Sharing ice cream with your dog: a very bad idea

In some cases, owners continue to consume ice cream licked by their dogs. This is a bad idea. The germs and bacteria in your dog’s mouth will go directly into yours and can have serious health consequences.

In short, ice cream has no nutritional value for your dog. On the contrary, it can have toxic effects on your pet’s body. It is therefore advisable to ban this type of food from your dog’s diet, even as a treat or reward.


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