Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?

by Scritch

The quick answer: Not recommended. As ice cream is full of fat, sugar, and dairy, dogs probably shouldn’t eat ice cream.


While it truly depends on the flavor and ingredients, ice cream isn’t a great choice for dogs. Canines can be lactose intolerant and ice cream is chock full of sugar and possibly toxic ingredients. While regular, plain vanilla ice cream may not technically be poisonous, it can still cause stomach upset. 

Here are some ice cream flavors to definitely avoid: 

  • Never give your dog chocolate ice cream; chocolate is a well-known toxic ingredient that can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and can be very serious.
  • Do not give your dog Rum Raisin ice cream – raisins (and their cousin the grape) are toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure and even death.
  • For nuts and nut flavors: Avoid macadamia nuts and any chocolate-covered nuts (even peanuts will be toxic if covered in chocolate!).
  • Avoid sugar-free varieties. Most artificial sweeteners can cause diarrhea, but those with xylitol are on the big no-no list – xylitol is poisonous to pups and can lead to death.

Dogs who are overweight or suffer from diabetes, dairy intolerances, and allergies are better off without ice cream. For lighter varieties including sorbet and sherbet, check the ingredients and make sure there aren’t toxic components including xylitol or raisins. Same goes for gelato, especially those rich, creamy chocolate flavors.

The bottom line? Try making dog-friendly frozen yogurt: take plain, unsweetened yogurt, and freeze it in an ice cube tray, then simply pop out when it’s frozen! Note that although yogurt is healthier and lower in lactose, even still, not all pups can tolerate it, so for those dogs, freeze a sliced banana and dole out as you see fit.

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