Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?

January 21, 2021

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?

Ice cream is a favorite tasty treat for humans on hot summer days, but can dogs eat ice cream and get in on the fun as well? The short answer is that it depends. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the effects, risks, and alternatives to ice cream for dogs.

Is Ice Cream Good for Dogs?

Just as for humans, ice cream is not necessarily good for dogs, but some types are not particularly harmful either. However, some dogs do not do well with ice cream because they are lactose-intolerant. While puppies can drink milk from their mothers, their ability to digest milk declines as they grow up. 

Therefore, if you have never given your dog ice cream before, you will want to be sure to only give them a little bit at first to see how they react. If your pet does not experience any diarrhea or vomiting after about two hours, then you will likely be safe to give them a scoop every once in a while. 

The American Kennel Club recommends speaking to your veterinarian before introducing any new food type to your dog. Your vet may be able to tell you if your dog's breed makes them more or less susceptible to being lactose intolerant. 

What Is the Best Kind of Ice Cream to Give a Dog?

Some types of ice cream for dogs are better than others for your pup. You need to stay away from ice cream that contains xylitol because it is toxic to dogs. You also need to be wary of anything with artificial sweeteners, caffeine, or nuts. 

If you want cool treats for your dog, your best bet is to give your dog plain vanilla or fruit-flavored ice cream. You may also be okay offering them cinnamon, coconut, or pumpkin. 

Other more complicated flavors run a greater risk of containing an ingredient that will upset your dog's stomach or cause them harm. While we hope this goes without saying, you also need to avoid giving your dog chocolate ice cream. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Gets into Ice Cream?

If your dog decides to help themselves to some ice cream, you need to work fast to assess the situation. You need to uncover what flavor of ice cream the animal ate and how much they consumed. As long as the ice cream they ate did not contain xylitol or any other harmful ingredients, the odds are that they will be just fine. 

However, if your dog ate a dangerous ingredient, you will need to seek professional help immediately. Give all the information you can to animal poison control so that they can advise you on what to do next. 

More often than not, the medic will tell you to go to the vet, so it is never a bad idea to start heading to the vet first and call poison control while you are on the way. 

What Can I Give My Dog Instead?

If the thought of giving your dog ice cream is making you nervous, then you can try some of these alternative cool treats for your dog. Since there is no real benefit to giving your dog ice cream, it may be best to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to keeping your dog cool. 

Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt can be a better choice instead of ice cream for dogs because it contains less lactose. This crucial difference means that most dogs can digest frozen yogurt better than they can ice cream. However, you will still need to be on the lookout for xylitol and artificial sweeteners.  

Commercial Ice Cream Treats for Dogs

There are several products on the market now that make it easy to create frozen doggy treats. 

For example, Pooch Creamery currently offers mixes of ice cream for dogs. All you need to do is take the mixture, add water, freeze it for at least eight hours, and then take it out for your dog when they need to cool off. 

The Pooch Creamery products include just five ingredients and are grain-free. When using this product, you will not have to worry about upsetting your dog's stomach because it contains lactose-free whole milk. 

Pooch Creamery dog ice cream mixes come in several flavors, including birthday cake, peanut butter, vanilla, and carob. Try experimenting with them all to find the one your dog enjoys best!

Homemade Ice Cream Treats for Dogs

If you want to try your hand at creating cool treats for your dog, here are few alternatives to ice cream for dogs. 

One popular recipe from Dog Treat Kitchen involves combining yogurt, honey, and carob chips. After mixing the ingredients, all you need to do is place the mixture in an ice cream tray and freeze it. 

Carob chips are similar to chocolate chips, but they have a naturally sweet flavor. They do not contain any caffeine and are non-toxic to dogs. Carob chips can also be a healthier alternative to chocolate chips for humans too. 

Another variation of this recipe involves melting carob chips and peanut butter, adding yogurt, and freezing. If your dog is a peanut butter fan, then this version is sure to go over well. 

One last option is to blend bananas, yogurt, and peanut butter and then freeze it. It makes cool treats for your dog that are healthier than ice cream. 


While most dogs can handle a bit of ice cream from time to time, you need to be on the lookout for signs of lactose intolerance. As long as your dog doesn't appear to have any lactose intolerance symptoms and you stay away from harmful ingredients, ice cream for dogs can be a fun summer treat. 

However, you need to be prepared to get help immediately if your dog gets into frozen treats with harmful ingredients like xylitol. 

If you want to play it safe, you may be better off with alternative cool treats for your dog. Consider frozen yogurt, a frozen treat designed for them, or ice cream for dogs that you made yourself. 

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