Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?

A dog licking an ice cream cone.

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If you’re like most dog owners, you probably enjoy giving your furry friend a treat every now and then. And if you’re having some ice cream, it might be tempting to give them a scoop or two as well. 

But is it safe for dogs to eat ice cream? Here’s what you need to know.

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? 

Dogs should not eat ice cream for multiple reasons. The main reason is that many dogs are lactose intolerant. This means that they lack the enzyme needed to break down lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. When lactose isn’t broken down, it can cause gastrointestinal problems like gas, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In addition, ice cream is high in sugar. Too much sugar can lead to obesity and other health problems in dogs, such as obesity and even diabetes.

Finally, many flavors of ice cream also contain other ingredients that can be harmful to dogs, like chocolate.

Can Dogs Eat Sugar-Free Ice Cream?

Sugar-free and low-sugar ice cream is a worse option for dogs than regular ice cream. Many sugar-free and low sugar ice creams add xylitol as a sweetener to replace the sugar in regular ice cream.

Xylitol is toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all times. Never give a dog anything that contains xylitol and if they happen to eat something that contains it please call your vet immediately.

What Should I Do If My Dog Already Ate Some Ice Cream?

If your dog has already eaten some ice cream, your response depends on what kind of ice cream and how much they ate.

If they ate a small amount of plain, vanilla ice cream, they will probably be fine but keep an eye on them and monitor them for signs of gastrointestinal upset.

If they ate some ice cream that contains toxic ingredients, like chocolate or xylitol, it’s best to call your vet as soon as you can.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about certain types of ice cream and whether they are good or bad for dogs.

A small brown and white dog licking an ice cream cone.

Is Vanilla Ice Cream Bad for Dogs?

Vanilla ice cream is probably one of the safer types of ice cream for dogs, but it should still be avoided.

Is Chocolate Ice Cream Bad for Dogs?

Chocolate ice cream is one of the worst ice creams for dogs and can be dangerous. It contains theobromine, a chemical that’s toxic to dogs. Chocolate ice cream should be avoided no matter what.

Is Strawberry Ice Cream Good for Dogs?

While strawberry ice cream isn’t any worse for dogs than vanilla ice cream, it still isn’t good for dogs. Just like all ice cream, it’s high in sugar and contains lactose. And low sugar or sugar-free kinds still contain xylitol or other artificial sweeteners that are bad for dogs.

Is Mint Ice Cream Bad for Dogs?

Mint ice cream is bad for dogs not because of the mint, but because mint ice cream usually has chocolate chips in it.  And as we already know, chocolate is bad for dogs.

Is Butter Pecan Ice Cream Bad for Dogs?

Yes, butter pecan ice cream is bad for dogs. Along with everything above about ice cream in general, this flavor contains pecans, which are not good for dogs. They are high in fat and can also cause an obstruction.

Is Coconut Ice Cream Good for Dogs?

Coconut ice cream doesn’t have milk, so you don’t have to worry about lactose intolerance as you do with regular ice cream.

Coconut ice cream does, however, still contain high amounts of sugar and sugar-free varieties may contain xylitol. And just like regular ice cream, certain flavors may contain other toxic ingredients, like chocolate.

Can I Give My Dog Frozen Yogurt

Just like ice cream, frozen yogurt typically has high amounts of sugar. Also, just like ice cream, certain flavors may contain other toxic ingredients, like chocolate. So it’s best to avoid giving your dog frozen yogurt as well.

Dog Safe Ice Cream Alternatives

If you want to give your dog a special treat and you don’t want to risk giving them ice cream, there are some alternatives that are safe for dogs. Here are four frozen treats you can make to give to your dog.

Ice Cream for Dogs is a recipe for dog ice cream that is made from Greek yogurt, bananas, and peanut butter.

Dairy-Free Dog Ice Cream is made from bananas and peanut butter. This one skips the yogurt so that dogs that can’t have any dairy can still enjoy something similar to ice cream.

Frozen Fruit Treats for Dogs are simple frozen treats that can be made with any dog-safe fruit and water or chicken broth. These are great for any dog that loves a frozen treat.

Frozen Fresh Breath Dog Treats are a great option if you want to give your dog something minty. These are made with Greek yogurt, fresh mint (avoid pennyroyal mint), and parsley.


So, can dogs eat ice cream? The answer is they shouldn’t. While there are a few varieties that probably won’t make them sick, no ice cream is good for dogs due to the high sugar content. Many flavors of ice cream – including chocolate – should be avoided no matter what.

There are so many other types of frozen treats that you can give your dog that are safe and healthy, so it’s best to avoid giving your dog ice cream altogether.

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