Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?
Dogs Eat Ice Cream

For many of us, ice cream is the go-to treat on a sunny day or after a hearty meal. It’s creamy, delicious, and comes in countless flavors. But when our canine friends turn their big, pleading eyes up to us while we’re enjoying a scoop, the question arises: Can dogs eat ice cream? While it might be tempting to share a lick or two, there are several important factors to consider before feeding your dog ice cream.

The Basics of Dogs and Ice Cream

Can we give ice cream to dogs?
Technically, dogs can eat ice cream, but that doesn't mean they should. Most dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning they don’t have enough of the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. Consuming ice cream can lead to digestive upset including diarrhea and vomiting.

Is Ice Cream Good for Dogs?
Generally, ice cream is not good for dogs. Besides lactose intolerance, ice cream is high in sugar, and frequent consumption can lead to obesity, diabetes, and dental problems in dogs. Some ice creams also contain artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, which is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health issues.

What About Different Flavors of Ice Cream?

Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Ice Cream?
Vanilla is one of the safer flavors if you choose to give ice cream to your dog because it typically doesn’t contain chocolate or xylitol. However, it’s still full of sugar and dairy, which can be difficult for dogs to digest.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Ice Cream?
While strawberries themselves are safe for dogs, strawberry ice cream could contain too much sugar or other additives that are not dog-friendly. It's always better to feed your dog fresh strawberries in moderation instead.

Can Dogs Eat Butterscotch or Other Flavored Ice Creams?
Flavors like butterscotch or chocolate ice cream should be avoided entirely. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and other flavors may contain nuts or artificial sweeteners that could harm your dog.

Healthier Alternatives to Ice Cream for Dogs

Dog Ice Cream
Pet stores often carry ice cream specifically formulated for dogs, which is lactose-free and contains dog-safe ingredients. These are a much safer option for your pet if you want to give them a frozen treat.

Making Your Own Dog-Friendly Frozen Treats
You can make homemade frozen treats using ingredients that are safe for dogs. For example, blend some bananas with peanut butter (make sure it’s xylitol-free) and plain yogurt (lactose-free if possible), then freeze them in an ice cube tray or a small cup.

Can Dogs Have Vanilla Ice Cream Made at Home?
If you’re making ice cream at home, you can create a dog-friendly version using lactose-free milk or yogurt mixed with a safe flavor like banana or peanut butter. Ensure no toxic ingredients or sweeteners are added.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Puppies Eat Ice Cream?
Just like adult dogs, puppies should not eat regular ice cream. Their digestive systems are even more sensitive. If you want to treat your puppy, opt for a puppy-specific frozen treat or a small amount of plain, unsweetened yogurt.

Can Dogs Eat Ice?
While eating small amounts of plain ice isn’t harmful to dogs, it doesn’t offer any nutritional benefits and can be a choking hazard, especially for small breeds or puppies.

Can Shih Tzu Eat Ice Cream?
Shih Tzus, like all dogs, are generally lactose intolerant. Feeding ice cream to a Shih Tzu can lead to digestive upset as it can with any other breed.


Though it might be tempting to share your ice cream with your dog, it’s important to remember that what is a delightful treat for humans can pose health risks to your pet. Always consider healthier, safer alternatives when looking to cool down or pamper your dog with a tasty treat. If you ever have concerns about what is safe to feed your dog, consult with your veterinarian to ensure you’re providing the best care possible for your furry friend. Enjoy your ice cream, but let your dog enjoy something that’s better suited for their health.