Giving your dog ice cream on a hot day can be tempting. However, strawberry ice cream shouldn’t be given to a dog, as it can lead to health problems.
This article will discuss the dangers of a dog eating strawberry ice cream. We’ve also listed safer alternatives to help your dog stay cool.
Can Dogs Have Strawberry Ice Cream?
Dogs should not eat strawberry ice cream (or any other dairy ice cream).
While a small lick probably won’t cause any harm, there are health risks associated with a dog eating strawberry ice cream. So, avoiding giving your dog this type of food is safer.
Some examples of health risks associated with dogs eating strawberry ice cream include:
- Lactose intolerance. A puppy’s digestive system has enzymes to break down lactose, but dogs lose these enzymes once weaned from their mother’s milk. Therefore, dogs shouldn’t eat dairy products, as they may be unable to digest them. Eating dairy can lead to symptoms such as diarrhoea and stomach pain.
- High in fat. Strawberry ice cream is high in unhealthy fats. A high-fat meal eaten in one sitting can trigger pancreatitis in dogs, which is a potentially lethal condition that requires veterinary care. Symptoms include a hunched back, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, fever, and pain.
- Food allergies. While dogs can be allergic to almost any food, dairy allergies are common.
- High in sugar. Most strawberry ice cream contains large amounts of sugar. Even a single scoop could be equivalent to your dog’s daily recommended calorie allowance! Eating calorific human foods is a common cause of weight gain and obesity in dogs, which can lead to various other health problems.
- May contain xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that’s found in some types of strawberry ice cream. It’s highly toxic to dogs, and even a small amount can trigger liver failure, low blood sugar, seizures, and death. Xylitol can be found in any type of ice cream, but is most frequently added to sugar-free ice cream.
Additionally, there’s a range of other toxic ingredients found in some types of strawberry ice cream. These include raisins and certain types of nuts (such as macadamia).
What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Strawberry Ice Cream?
Strawberry ice cream is potentially dangerous for a dog to eat, but it’s not usually toxic. For this reason, a small amount is unlikely to hurt a dog.
An exception is if the dog is allergic to any ingredient in the ice cream. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching, vomiting, diarrhoea, and behaviour change.
You should also keep in mind the following considerations:
- Check that the ice cream doesn’t contain xylitol. If it does, take your dog to a vet immediately.
- Check that the ice cream doesn’t contain other dangerous ingredients, such as raisins, chocolate, rum, or some types of nuts.
- Closely monitor your dog for signs of illness, including diarrhoea, lethargy, loss of appetite, or stomach pain. Take your dog to the vet if you notice any of these symptoms, as they could indicate pancreatitis or another serious condition.
Alternative Cooling Treats for Dogs
Ice cream shouldn’t be given to dogs, but there are plenty of safe snacks that can help your dog stay cool. Some examples include:
- Bananas that have been blended and frozen (in moderation)
- Ice cubes in the dog’s water bowl
- Dog-specific ice creams
Note: Some people give their dog dairy products to provide calcium, but this isn’t necessary (and potentially dangerous). Dogs get enough calcium from their food, as long as it’s a high-quality and nutritionally complete product.
Other Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool
Dogs find it hard to stay cool in hot weather. This makes them susceptible to dehydration and heat stroke, which are both life-threatening conditions.
During hot weather, keep your dog in a cool environment and provide continuous access to plenty of water. Try to keep air circulating with a fan (or ideally an air conditioning unit) and create a shaded area for your dog to rest. You can also provide a cooling mat, cooling bandana, or damp towel.
Additionally, you should walk your dog during the coolest part of the day. Check tarmac isn’t hot, as it can burn your dog’s paws, and avoid vigorous games.
Related Article: How to Keep Your Dog Cool During Hot Weather
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Ice Cream?
No, dogs shouldn’t eat vanilla ice cream – or any other flavour. All types of ice cream could trigger allergies or cause the dog to suffer from symptoms of lactose intolerance. Vanilla ice cream is also high in calories, fats, and sugar, so it should be avoided.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Yes, dogs can eat strawberries if they are served without sauces or ice cream. Small amounts of strawberries can even be healthy for dogs, as they contain lots of vitamin C.
However, strawberries contain more sugar than many fruits, so they should only be given to dogs occasionally and in moderation.
Strawberry ice cream might be a delicious snack for humans, but it’s potentially dangerous for dogs.
Most dogs are lactose intolerant, which can lead to diarrhoea or vomiting. Ice cream is also high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and calories. Eating a portion of ice cream could even trigger pancreatitis.
While an occasional lick probably won’t cause much harm, it’s safest to avoid giving your dog any type of ice cream.
Do you have any questions about whether dogs can eat strawberry ice cream? Please let us know in the comments section below.