Two puppies share an ice cream cone.

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?

Everybody likes cooling off with an ice cream cone on a hot day. Even our dogs can be tempted to steal a lick or two. While a few tastes probably won’t kill them, pet parents should exercise caution around ice cream.

Ice Cream’s Health Hazards

After their infancy, dogs aren’t meant to consume milk. Their bodies lose the ability to process it and they begin to suffer from symptoms including gas, bloating, and diarrhea whenever they ingest it. These issues are usually just a temporary nuisance, but they’re compounded by the fact that our dogs can’t speak up for themselves.

In the long term, regular consumption of fatty, high-sugar foods like ice cream can lead dogs to gain weight and suffer from related health concerns. These include:

Ingredients to Avoid

Sugar, fat, and lactose all make ice cream an indulgence, but they aren’t the only reason to keep dogs away. A number of popular ice cream flavors include ingredients that could prove dangerous or even deadly to your dog. Seek immediate medical attention if your dog ingests ice cream with any of the following:

Safer Alternatives to Ice Cream for Dogs

Over the years, lactose intolerant folks have developed a number of safe ice cream substitutes. These let everybody enjoy frozen treats without fear of sickness. Many are also suitable for dogs. Rather than heading out to the pet store to purchase specially-formulated dog ice cream, consider:

Remember that ice cream should only be an occasional treat and should not be the bulk of your dog’s caloric intake. Consult your veterinarian before making any major changes to their diet and seek medical attention immediately if you have reason to believe they’ve ingested something dangerous.