A delicious buying guide: ice cream for dogs, what you need to know
Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer day? Just like humans, dogs are big fans of ice cream, and we get it: it’s delicious! But for the longest time, veterinarians were strictly against sharing even a bit of your milk ice cream with your furry friend. They still are, but now you can easily get your hands on dog ice cream that allows your pet to enjoy the flavor of ice cream without ingesting anything that could harm them!
But just because it says “dog-friendly” on the packaging doesn’t mean you should blindly trust it! You need to make sure you trust the brand and check its ingredients to see if there is anything potentially harmful. To do this, you will need basic know-how to make responsible choices for your dog. We are here to help you ! Here’s everything you need to keep in mind to find the perfect dog ice cream for your best friend.
No added sugar
If you see sugar listed as an ingredient in dog ice cream, we recommend looking elsewhere. That’s because sugar is terrible for your dog! This can cause various dental problems, lead to excess weight, and even lead to diabetes, depending on your dog’s type and genetics.
Make sure there is no xylitol included
Sometimes brands use xylitol instead of sugar as an artificial sweetener, but it’s just as simple. bad for your dog’s health, if not worse. In most dogs, consuming xylitol will cause a sudden release of insulin which will cause their blood sugar levels to drop. This leads to hypoglycemia, after which dogs may begin to exhibit serious symptoms of illness, weakness, lethargy, and even seizures in some cases. Veterinarians usually treat this problem by giving dextrose (sugar) intravenously, showing that xylitol can be worse than sugar for dogs!
Xylitol can even cause liver damage in dogs because their liver enzymes increase in natural response to xylitol ingestion. This is mild and often disappears with a small dose of liver-protecting medication, but a large dose of xylitol can even cause liver failure, which is potentially fatal.
High nutritional value
When it comes to ice cream for dogs, we usually settle for something that isn’t bad for our four-legged friend. Indeed, for years, dogs have been kept away from the pleasure of ice cream because of its health implications. This is why, as a pet parent, you might think that “not unhealthy” is pretty good – especially after reading the section on sugar and xylitol above! But have you ever thought that ice cream could also be in good health for your dog?
The latest products from popular dog treat brands, including some listed above, are enriched with minerals and vitamins great for your dog’s health! Some dog ice creams even contain a large amount of high-quality protein while still providing your dog with the joy of a delicious snack. Thanks, science!
Ease of use
Being a dog parent can be exhausting and you need all the help you can get to reduce your duties. That’s why an easy-to-use dog treat is also a treat for parents, and only real dog owners will recognize this.
Luckily, brands hear you and have come up with ready-to-eat dog ice creams. They usually come in packs of four (or more) and only need to be opened for your dog. This means skipping the steps of going to the kitchen, mixing and stirring the ice cream powder, and serving it in your dog’s bowl. Your dog won’t have to wait for all that either, so it’s a win for both of you.
Since a packet is a single serving, it’s also very easy to keep track of them. That said, we recommend using these ready-to-eat meals sparingly, as they are not as cost-effective. Keep some on hand for when you’re feeling lazy!
Ice cream flavors have always been difficult to choose, even for humans. It’s an equally complex dilemma in the case of dog ice cream. You will have to go through a stage of trial and error to find out what your puppy likes and doesn’t like, because no two dogs are the same!
You have lots of choices to try including bacon, cheese, banana, peanut, vanilla and more. But that said, there are many flavors that you should avoid because they are not safe for dogs!
Dr Linda Simon, veterinarian and consultant for Five Barks, says: “Chocolate is very toxic to dogs, with dark chocolate being the worst offender due to its theobromine content. Signs of chocolate toxicity may develop within 6 to 12 hours and may include restlessness, muscle tremors, and vomiting. The same goes for coffee, because caffeine has the same effect! Instead, you can opt for carob as a similar-tasting chocolate alternative, without any health implications. It’s naturally sweet but won’t cause a huge spike in blood sugar like some chocolates will. We also suggest avoiding macadamia and raisins, as they are also problematic for dogs.
However, most fruit-flavored sorbets are generally considered safe for dogs as long as they are dairy-free, contain no xylitol, and have no artificial adulteration.
The duration of the conversation
Most dog ice creams in powdered mix form have a shelf life of one year. They can be safely stored for a long time at room temperature, provided there is no source of humidity nearby. Once you mix powder with water, it turns into ice cream and therefore needs to be frozen for storage.
However, the ready-to-eat packets won’t last as long in the fridge as the regular dog ice powder version, but are much more convenient. We suggest having both types on hand to provide your dog with a wider variety of treats. As a bonus, you get lazy when you don’t feel like making ice cream for your dog!