Diana Kelly Levey

Is It Safe to Give Your Dog Ice Cream?

A pug eating ice cream out of a cone

August 1, 2021 | Categories:

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, and chances are, your pup is waiting patiently for her portion, too! Before you share, you might be wondering if it’s safe for you to give your dog ice cream and how much is an appropriate serving of ice cream for dogs. (Related: The Most Common Puppy Questions, Answered)
To find out whether your dog can share in this summertime treat, we talked to Merrick Pet Care’s lead veterinarian, Dr. RuthAnn Lobos.

Can Your Dog Safely Eat Ice Cream?

It’s important to make sure your pet is at a healthy weight, she says. “Make sure the total calories that they’re getting every day is right for their body size, age, and activity level. But treats can play a part in those calories!” Dr. RuthAnn says. Dog treats – like ice cream – shouldn’t be more than 10 percent of their daily calories.

Providing treats in this calorie range not only helps keep your dog at a healthy weight, says Dr. RuthAnn; but it also can help avoid gastrointestinal upset from eating too many.

A little ice cream may not be bad for dogs, she says. Start with a small portion as some dogs are lactose intolerant.  You can let your dog lick the ice cream bowl or have a small spoonful or two.

Make sure the ingredients in your ice cream are safe for dogs. Chocolate is a harmful ingredient for dogs. But also be on the lookout for the artificial sweetener, xylitol. “Just a small amount of that ingredient can make your dog very sick,” Dr. RuthAnn cautions. If you’re not sure about the ingredients, ask your veterinarian.

There are other healthy food options to give your dog when it’s hot to help them cool off.

Healthy Frozen Treats for Dogs

Make your own dog-friendly frozen treats using Merrick’s bone broths. That way, your pup can enjoy their frozen meat-flavored treat while you are enjoying your sweet dessert.

To make bone broth popsicles – or pupsicles – pour the bone broth into ice cube trays. Let them freeze for a few hours and pop out a cube that your dog can lick or chew during the family’s ice cream time. Try beef, chicken, or turkey versions for a variety of frozen summer treats for dogs. (That’s one way to show your dog you love them.)

“This is a great summer treat because it keeps them hydrated with water and electrolytes and water is essential for all processes in the body,” says Dr.  RuthAnn. “The bone broth contains collagen which is good for the cartilage in their bones. Collagen can help the cartilage in their joints stay healthy and spongy so your dog can run and play.”

Read the full article on on Merrick Pet Care.

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