Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? When it is or isn’t an Emergency for Dogs

Disclaimer: The content on is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

How harmful an ice cream is to a dog’s health will depend on a number of factors such as the ice cream ingredients. Broadly speaking, the concerns outweigh the benefits so it’s best to go with an alternative frozen treat if your dog is needing something cool on a hot day.

What if Dog Ate ice cream?

A small lick is unlikely to be of concern unless the ice cream contained ingredients that are toxic to dogs. For example, it’s not good for dogs if the ice cream contains ingredients like chocolate or artificial sweeteners like xylitol, both of which are unsafe for pets. To be on the safe side, we would suggest calling the vet for next steps if your dog ate a lot more than he should have (e.g. a whole bucket of ice cream).

For other cases, close observation might be the only thing that’s necessary. Dogs can be quite sensitive to many ingredients included in ice cream especially if they are consumed in large amounts. This includes sugar and lactose if the ice cream is dairy-based. After a few hours of eating ice cream, some dogs may exhibit symptoms like digestive upsets and diarrhea.

Why do dogs like ice cream?

Why wouldn’t they?! Who, including dogs, can resist the sweet, creamy texture of ice cream on a warm day? No matter how much your dog begs for a lick of the ice cream, it’s best to resist and consider other frozen treats that offer safer and healthier alternatives. This may include frozen fruits like frozen blueberries or frozen banana bites (without any additives).

Want to know what other human foods dogs should avoid? You can find out by visiting our list of 100+ human foods that dogs should and shouldn’t eat.


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