Nothing beats a bowl of ice cream on a warm summer day. If you’re a dog owner, you must have been tempted to get an extra cone for your dog. But then you’ve heard that dogs shouldn’t be fed with regular ice cream, and you’re sad that your little friend can’t join in the party. Well, you can now get dog ice cream!
Dog ice cream means just what it says- An ice cream made especially for dogs. It’s made with total consideration for your furry pet to avoid hurting them in any way. Dog ice cream is one delicious snack that has gained lots of popularity in recent years, and like all other dog foods, it comes in a variety of flavors and types.
So, get strapped in. From tips on making these tasty treats yourself to the best pre-made ice creams you can pick up on store shelves, we’ll cover every detail you need to know about dog ice cream. By the time you’re done reading this article, your trip to the local pet store won’t be complete without having picked up a bag of treats!
Why consider dog ice cream?
From the ease of making to the availability of different flavors, here’s why you should consider adding dog ice cream to your dog’s diet:
- Dog ice cream is a classic treat you can easily whip up at home or pick up in a store.
- They can be an easy source of calories, calcium, and magnesium your dogs need.
- Both pre-made and homemade versions come in numerous flavors. You can keep trying them out till you find the perfect one for your pup.
- You can get creative and use up any combination of fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients to create a unique flavor for your dog.
- It’s a great way to use up leftover fruits and some of your favorite ingredients.
- Dog ice cream is a fun way to make your pup feel special or a fun gift for your dog owner friends.
- Dog ice cream offers a treat without having to worry about allergies or toxic ingredients.
Perhaps the biggest win is that your dog will definitely love you for it!
Is it okay to feed your dog regular ice cream?
Giving dogs regular ice cream intended for humans is a no-no. While some dogs can handle tiny amounts every once in a while, their bodies are not designed to ingest our versions of ice cream. Here are other major reasons you should avoid feeding dogs regular ice cream:
- Lactose intolerance
Most adult dogs have problems digesting dairy and milk products usually concentrated in regular ice cream. It could lead to bloating, diarrhea, and severe gastrointestinal problems for the dog.
- Sugar and Fat content
Regular ice cream has surplus calories and is loaded with fat and sugar that your dog doesn’t require. Apart from diabetes and obesity, dogs also run the risk of heart disease and skin allergies if these foods are excessively consumed.
- Toxic Ingredients
One such ingredient common in ice creams is Xylitol. Xylitol is used to replace sugar in most desserts. However, Xylitol is particularly dangerous to dogs and should always be avoided.
- Toxic Flavors
Some traditional ice cream flavors, like chocolate, are extremely dangerous when ingested by a dog.
It’s usually a better idea to give doggie-specific versions of this delicious dessert rather than taking a chance on these side effects.
Types of dog ice cream
There are usually two dog ice cream options for dog owners. You can choose to make one yourself or pick up a pre-made version in a store.
Homemade dog ice cream
Have you ever wanted to make dog ice cream? Well, now you can! The idea of making it is pretty simple. You just have to have a few essential ingredients and some time on your hands.
There are many reasons to try your hands on this yourself. First, you can get creative and add fruits you already know your dog likes. Secondly, since you made it, you can be sure there are no harmful ingredients or flavorings in the ice cream. Plus, it’s really easy to make if you put your mind to it, and you could always freeze it to serve your dog another day. Let’s have a look at the popular dog-friendly homemade recipes:
Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Ice Cream
This incredibly delicious treat is ridiculously easy to make. It is one of the more popular ice cream flavors and provides a wholesome, healthy frozen dessert for your four-footer friend.
The ingredients are very easily sourced- bananas, peanut butter, and a small amount of dog-safe plain yogurt. If you’ll prefer a non-dairy version, swap out the yogurt with coconut milk. The bananas provide the sweetness, and the peanut butter is a great source of protein. First, you cut up your bananas into little chunks and freeze them, then throw them along with the peanut butter and yogurt/coconut milk into a blender. Blend until it’s creamy. You can choose to serve immediately or freeze again for a couple of hours. To make your treat even more special, add optional toppings like blueberries or kibble.
Peanut butter and banana dog ice cream contain about 70 calories per serving and have a fat content of less than 10%. Impressive huh?
Pumpkin Ice Cream
All you need for this frozen dessert is pure pumpkin puree. For some extra spice, you can add a dash of turmeric and some maple syrup. Many dog owners also enjoy mixing the puree with peanut butter and a little yogurt. There are no limitations with homemade dog ice cream, as long as your dog loves it.
Banana Blueberry Ice cream
There are so many different flavors of dog ice cream that can be made with bananas. The basic ingredients for this exotic treat are bananas and blueberries. Place chunks of frozen banana in a blender with the blueberries. It might take some time for the ingredients to completely mix, so just keep blending till you have the desired ice cream consistency. You can also freeze it for a bit if you want it to be thicker.
Cantaloupe Dog Ice Cream
With chunks of frozen cantaloupe and plain yogurt, you can make this unique-tasting dog ice cream yourself. All you need is a blender or a food processor.
Dog ice cream isn’t restricted to fruits. There’s chicken ice cream (blending frozen cooked chicken bits into a smooth mixture), peanut butter mixed with bacon, and whatnot.
Again, there’s no limitation to what you can combine when making your dog ice cream. You can make tons of frozen treats, ranging from single-fruit ice cream to mixtures, and test them out on your dogs to find their favorites. You’ll also need to read up more on different flavors to help you make the best dog ice cream.
Dogs generally love the flavors of pumpkin, peanut butter, cinnamon, coconut, and banana. All these flavors are non-toxic, but you should still check if your pup exhibits any allergies. You can also use carob flavors as a healthier alternative to chocolate. Dogs love the taste!
Avoid chocolate, anything containing raisins, chocolate-covered nuts, macadamia nuts, and xylitol-containing ingredients when preparing your homemade dog ice cream.
Now that you know how easy it is to make, your dog is counting on you for some tasty frozen treats!
Pre-made Ice cream
Although there are numerous homemade dog ice cream recipes you can try out, premade options are sometimes preferred due to convenience or a lack of time.
Most of the popular brands use real food ingredients like bananas and peanut butter. Store-bought ice creams usually come in the form of a dry powder mix or a ready-to-eat frozen mix. You’ll need to add water to the powdered mix, then freeze before serving your dog. It’s that simple.
Dogs go bananas over commercial dog ice cream, so you have nothing to worry about. Here are some of the popular brands you can pick up the next time you’re at a pet or grocery store.
Best commercial dog ice cream products
1. Puppy Scoops Dog ice cream mix
Puppy scoops is one of the most well-known brands that produces dog-friendly ice cream. Dogs seem to vote them as having the most delectable flavors available, so your dog will surely gobble this one up.
Their most popular flavor is the maple bacon flavor, but there are also peanut butter, vanilla, carob, and birthday cake variations.
Puppy scoops did a thing with their carob-flavored dog ice cream. Given that the components in chocolate are toxic if consumed, carob is the next best choice for dogs. Carob smells and tastes like chocolate and is completely safe for your dog.
This brand comes in a powdered mixture that you add water to and freeze for at least five hours. It is also grain-free and lactose-free.
2. Hoggin ice cream mix for dogs
One pack of this ice cream brand comes in four different flavors- cheese, bacon, peanut, and banana- for dog owners who can’t seem to decide which flavor to buy. With so much variety, your dog will never tire of this ice cream mix.
It also comes in a powder mix that you add water to and freeze. That simple. You won’t need to go through the entire process again for at least six weeks if you store it in the freezer!
3. Purina Frosty Paws
Purina is widely associated with everything dog food, so it should come as no surprise they also produce frozen dog ice cream. Frosty Paws comes in ready-to-eat packs, so you don’t need to mix or wait before serving your dogs.
Each pack of Frosty Paw is high in protein and vitamins and free of dairy, added sugar, and sweeteners.
4. Pooch Creamery ice cream mix
This made-in-USA dog ice cream is the perfect treat for a pup with lactose intolerance or grain allergies. It comes in three flavors- peanut butter, vanilla, and carob. Each flavor contains just five ingredients and can be easily made by adding water to the powder mix and freezing for about eight hours.
Other worthy mentions include:
Smart scoops dog ice cream– Provides a delicious blueberry-flavored goat milk dog ice cream option for lactose intolerant dogs. It is an excellent choice for health-conscious dog owners.
Ben & Jerry’s doggie desserts– Comes in tasty peanut butter mix and pretzel swirls flavors.
Which should I opt for between Homemade and store-bought dog Ice cream?
Both ice cream variations provide dog-friendly frozen treats for your pup, and the choice between them largely depends on you and the taste buds of your dogs. Let’s compare some of the important factors.
|Accessibility||Most ingredients are easily obtained in stores.|
|If you’re making scarce mixtures like the pumpkin puree dog ice cream, you might not get the ingredients so easily.||Can easily be bought from pet and grocery stores.|
|Price||Most homemade dog ice creams are relatively cheap to make.||Many store-bought ice creams can be ordered for as little as $8 per cup.|
|Nutritional value||Homemade dog ice cream tends to be more nutritionally packed.||Has good nutritional value.|
|Convenience||Takes a bit of time to make and freeze||Very easy to make and serve.|
|Safety for dogs||You can always make a treat tailored to your dog’s taste and allergies.||You must carefully look through the ingredients to be sure none is toxic to your pup|
|Ease of calorie monitoring||A little difficult to calculate the number of calories in each serving||It is easy to monitor the number of calories per serving since it’s always stated on the containers.|
|Variety of flavors||You’d have to get creative to make different flavors for your dog.||Many different ready-made flavors are available from different brands.|
|Shelf-life||Has an average shelf-life of about 8 weeks when frozen||Powder mix can last up to a year.|
Cautions with Dog ice cream
Yes, dog ice cream is a healthy choice for your dogs, but there are still a number of things to watch out for. They include:
- Allergies– Always watch the reactions of your dogs after serving them the frozen treats. Observe their favorites and the ingredients they probably react to.
- Ingredients– Watch out for the ingredients you use when making homemade dog ice cream. Some might be toxic.
- Calories– Dogs mostly have calorie intake restrictions, especially when they’re mostly indoors. A serving of dog ice cream might provide a significant part of their daily calorie intake, so watch out for that when feeding them.
- Shelf-life– Ensure you store dog ice cream according to the recommendation, whether frozen or powder mix.
- Flavors– Not all regular ice cream flavors can be used, for example, chocolate. List out the non-toxic flavors and get creative with those.
- Brand– You don’t need to try out too many brands. Stick with the best ones and your pup will be just fine.
- Freezing– Be careful about how frozen the mix is before serving your dog, especially if it likes to swallow food whole.
Now that you know about dog ice cream, I’m pretty sure you’re eager to try it out. You and your furry pet can lounge indoors with a cup of ice cream on sunny afternoons- It’s the perfect summer treat! We’re rooting for you.
Can my dog take regular ice cream?
No. Dog bodies are not designed to digest most of the dairy products in traditional ice cream, and it could lead to gastrointestinal problems and diabetes related diseases.
Is dog ice cream any different from regular ice cream?
Yes. Dog ice creams are lower in calories and contain significantly less sugar and fat because they are either yogurt-based or made with lactose-free milk.
How often can I give my pet dog ice cream?
When consumed in moderation, dog ice cream can be a tasty and healthy treat. Like any other treat, you really shouldn’t give your dog more than a serving in a day.
How do I get dog ice cream?
There are homemade and store-bought versions of dog ice cream. Both options are easy to obtain.
What should I do if my dog accidentally eats my dairy ice cream?
Try to figure out the quantity your dog consumed. If it’s little, your dog will be fine. If it’s a large quantity, you should see a vet immediately. Take the ice cream container along with you so your vet can know the toxic ingredients to treat for.
Can I taste dog ice cream?
Yes. Dog ice cream is mostly made with regular food ingredients. However, you should stick to tasting the homemade versions.
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