We all love the summer, but when the weather outside gets too hot, we start to crave a cold treat to refresh ourselves with. Can you imagine anything better than ice cream? Surely, while we enjoy the way that smooth delicacy melts on our tongue, we would want to share it with our canine best friend.
Unfortunately, dogs are lactose intolerant, so the idea of giving your dog ice cream may raise some eyebrows. But dogs like frozen treats a lot, so how are you supposed to resist those puppy dog eyes? Luckily you won’t have to because you can give them some healthy and delicious homemade dog ice cream.
Homemade dog ice cream is not only a healthier and tastier option since you can make adjustments based on your dog’s individual situation and preference, it will also save you money. You can make it easily using the most basic of ingredients. As long as you stay away from adding sugar and replace the dairy ingredients with some plain yogurt, you will be able to create a mouth-watering treat for your pooch to help them cool down during the height of summer.
You will learn from this article how to combine different ingredients that will add flavor to your ice cream recipes. You can mix bananas, peanut butter or pumpkin to create crazy combinations that will make your dog give you a wet kiss on your cheek. Can you think of a better reward than this one? But before we lay out the fun for you, we would first like to give you a better understanding regarding the logic behind the ingredients we have chosen for your dog’s ice cream.
Why Dogs Cannot Eat Our Type of Ice Cream
As soon as your puppy is weaned, his digestive system will transform completely and it will be difficult for him to digest milk anymore. When your puppy is no longer dependent on milk from his mommy, you start giving him dog food. It is like a natural rule to never ever give other types of milk to a weaned dog because they are lactose intolerant.
If you read the ingredients list on a package of ice cream for humans, you will see that it contains milk. This type of ice cream can have serious consequences for a dog. For instance, it can cause constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and even vomiting.
Moreover, studies have shown that dairy products are one of the main culprits behind allergies in dogs. While beef is in the first place when it comes to allergies, dairy products come in as a close second. Usually, these allergies manifest as ear or skin infections, or non-seasonal itchiness.
Apart from the milk, ice cream contains another dangerous ingredient which is sugar. Just like humans, eating too much sugar can cause your dog to pack on the pounds. The weight gain can lead to other serious health problems.
On the other hand, you may think that sugar-free ice cream may be right for your dog. Again, in this case, our recommendation would be to read the ingredients list carefully before you give them any as this type of ice cream can contain xylitol. This substance can be toxic for dogs.
If we think of the flavored ice creams, these can also be dangerous for your dog. Let’s take the chocolate ice cream as an example. It can be also toxic for dogs because chocolate contains a component called theobromine. A dog’s digestive system simply cannot handle this substance. With so many potential problems looming over the notion of giving your dog ice cream, you might wonder why you should do it at all.
Will Your Dog Benefit From Eating Ice Cream?
Generally, apart from being a delicious frozen treat, ice cream does not bring any nutritional benefits. This is especially true for commercially-sold ice creams that are packed with empty calories and potentially-dangerous chemicals.
On the other hand, when you opt for homemade ice cream, you will bring a lot of nutrients into your dog’s diet. You will be able to control what you add inside and so make it a delicious and healthy dessert for your beloved pet.
Ice cream is also useful for helping your dog cool down during the summer. Dogs often have trouble regulating their temperature when it gets excessively hot. If you notice that your dog’s panting has been escalating in intensity alongside the heat, giving them ice cream can be a fun and effective solution.
Homemade Dog Ice cream Recipes
If we have managed to convince you that letting your dog try this sweet and cold treat during the summer is a good idea, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. By following one of the recipes we have laid out for you underneath, your dog will thank you for being the best and most considerate master ever.
Recipe 1: Strawberry Dog Ice Cream
Can you imagine a tastier ice cream than a strawberry-flavored one? It is a great dog treat, especially on a sunny day. If you add the fact that it is extremely easy to prepare to that, you can be sure that you’ve made a perfect choice.
You will need just two ingredients to prepare this fresh and dog-safe treat:
- Strawberries: You can add as many of this as you want.
- Non-fat, plain yogurt: The quantity depends on the number of strawberries you plan to add into the mix. For instance, if you add 1 small tub of strawberries, you will need 3 to 4 cups of yogurt.
The preparation process is very easy. You will need a potato masher or a blender which will do most of the work. All you need to do is mash the strawberries and then add the yogurt. You mix then everything until all the ingredients are perfectly blended. Leave it in the refrigerator to freeze overnight. The next day you will have a delicious dessert that you can also try yourself.
Recipe 2: Carob Chips Dog Ice Cream
When you see this ingredient, you will most probably think that carob chips are pretty much like chocolate. We’ve already mentioned that the chocolate can be very toxic for dogs. So why do we propose carob chips homemade dog ice cream?
Unlike chocolate, carob chips are actually safe for dogs. They come from carob beans, which are a part of the peas family. It can be transformed into powder and you can use it to flavor many recipes. It tastes very much like chocolate, but just a little bit more bitter. Therefore, it can be an excellent substituent for chocolate.
What’s great about carob is that it has a lot of vitamins and nutrients. For example, it contains vitamins A, B, D, on top of iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. In comparison to chocolate, it does not contain any dangerous substances like theobromine, or caffeine, phenylethylamine, and formamide. The recipe is very easy. With just 3 ingredients you will be able to prepare a healthy treat for your dog:
- Non-fat, plain yogurt
- Carob chips
- A bit of honey
We are not going to give you any exact quantities for the carob chips and yogurt because everyone has different tastes. Therefore, we encourage you to use your imagination and balance the mixture how you want.
To prepare it, first, you need to combine the ingredients in a bowl. As soon as they are well-mixed, you can pour them into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. The next day you will have a yummy and healthy ice cream for your dog.
A neat trick: If you pour it into ice cube trays, it will be easier to give smaller quantities of ice cream to your dog. When you want to teach your dog a new trick or want to correct his behavior, this ice cream is a great option.
Recipe 3: Surprise Homemade Dog Ice Cream
There are many safe ingredients that you can use for your homemade dog ice cream. The following recipe combines an array of ingredients that taste absolutely scrumptious together. We are sure that your dog will love it.
Here is what you need:
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of peanut butter
- 2 cups of non-fat, plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of honey
Although the honey is not strictly necessary, due to the fact that the banana and peanut butter are not very sweet, adding a bit of honey into the mixture would make it taste even better. In comparison to sugar, honey is a lot healthier and it is not going to harm your dog in any way.
This recipe is very easy to follow and you will not need any special utensils to prepare it. First, you will need to mash the banana and mix it with the yogurt. The peanut butter needs to be warm when you use it. Therefore, you can use your microwave to bring it to the right temperature.
Once you have obtained a soft peanut butter, you can add the banana and yogurt mixture to it. Then add the honey and mix everything together. Once all the ingredients are well-combined, you can put it in the refrigerator to freeze overnight.
Dog-Safe Toppings to Use
What is an ice cream without topping? In our view, it seems like it is “naked”. But how do you know which topping is safe and which of them are not safe for your dog? Here are some great alternatives that we’ve tried ourselves and had a huge success with:
- Applesauce is great to sweeten your dog’s ice cream with
- Honey can also be great when used as a topping, not just in the mixture
- You can also surprise your dog with bits of crispy bacon. Believe us, he will love it!
- Sesame seeds are also perfect for a dog ice cream
Are There Any Alternatives to Ice Cream?
If you come to the conclusion that despite everything you’d rather not risk giving your dog ice cream, then you’d most probably start to wonder how you can spoil your dog during the hot summer days. A good alternative would be frozen yogurt. You might think: Isn’t yogurt a dairy product that can harm your pet? While it is indeed a dairy product, yogurt is also a fermented product. It contains less lactose, if at all. Therefore, your dog will digest it better and easier.
There is one more thing that you should be aware of when you want to feed your dog frozen yogurt. Do not buy frozen yogurt that you find in the supermarkets because that one will be full of sugar. We showed you above how dangerous sugar can be for your dog, so it is better to stay away from it.
A great alternative would be to buy a plain yogurt that does not contain any sugar. You can freeze it yourself at home and use it as a treat for your dog afterward. However, if you know that your dog has any digestive problems or if he is a bit more sensitive than most dogs, it would be better to ask his vet before you give him this type of treat.
Another excellent alternative to human ice cream is a type of cream made of frozen bananas. Apart from being dairy-free, this option is very easy to prepare at home. What’s more, bananas naturally have a sweet taste, so your dog will definitely like this treat.
Not only will his digestive system tolerate it very well, this treat’s nutritional value will definitely benefit your dog. Last but not least, you can add some flavors to it and make a great treat for the whole family to enjoy. How cool is that?
While we have explained that the ice cream that we buy from the supermarket is not good for our dogs, this does not mean that you cannot treat your dog to a delicious frozen dessert when it’s hot out. Preparing some dog ice cream at home is actually very easy as long as you understand some basic rules that will make this dessert safe for your precious pet.
It is a great way to control the ingredients that you give to your dog so you can keep him safe and healthy. Essentially, if you don’t have the time to go through with the whole process of making dog ice cream yourself, you can simply purchase some in pet stores. But if you choose to order it from pet shops, this type of dessert is often pricey. Why should you spend money on something that you can prepare better at home?
Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your story with us. We would love to hear all about how you prepared the ice cream for your dog.