Now, who doesn’t want to treat their puppy dog? It gives both of you satisfaction and is a fun activity to indulge in together! But is ice cream safe for your puppy?
Well, it depends on many things. Most importantly, it depends on the age of your puppy, the flavor of the ice cream, and whether they have any allergies or not. It’s very important to pay heed to these considerations before you treat them with ice cream and spend some fun time together eating it!
So, without further ado, let’s see whether you’re eligible to have some ice cream time with your puppy!
Check for food allergies
In case you don’t know about your puppy’s allergies, take them to a vet. The vet will place them on a hypoallergenic diet. It’s a diet regimen that aims to find out which common foods are your pet allergic to if any.
During the time of the hypoallergenic diet, if you find your puppy behaving slightly erratically like withdrawing into lethargy, showing signs of anxiety, showing symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting, or any other bodily malfunction – consider the vet and tell them what part of diet caused this.
This way, you can identify the ingredients that your puppy is allergic to. Now, only half the battle is won! Now, you should check the ingredients in the ice cream you want to share with your puppy. Cross-check and if it includes any ingredient that your puppy is allergic to, avoid it, needless to say.
Many dogs also develop lactose intolerance. You’ll know this if they react terribly to milk or milk products. In that case, it’s a bad idea to feed them ice creams.
Your puppy’s age also determines whether they can have ice cream or not
Puppies that are still in the nursing period cannot “eat” ice cream, of course. They’re simply not old enough. The time when they begin to eat and not just drink milk is about six to eight weeks after their birth.
This is the time when you should wean them off of milk and slowly introduce solid foods in their diet. It’s a very bad idea to start that solid food introduction with ice cream, so be patient.
Once they’re completely weaned off of their mother’s milk and have resolved to a mostly-solid diet, you can introduce them to ice cream.
So, to answer the question, you can certainly give a puppy ice cream given it doesn’t include anything that they’re allergic to and also given that they’ve completely weaned off of their mother’s milk and resolved to a solid diet regime.
Ice cream flavors also play an important role
Yes, you read that right!
The flavor of the ice cream also decides whether a puppy can have a particular ice cream or not.
As a general rule of thumb, remember that chocolate and raisins are not suitable foods for dogs. So, chocolate flavor ice cream and ice cream flavors that include raisins are out of the question.
Further, animals shouldn’t consume ingredients like xylitol. For us it’s fine but for them it’s poison. Xylitol is a common ingredient used as a sugar replacement in most sugar-free ice cream flavors. So, for your puppy, you’re better off sticking with sugar-based ice cream flavors.
Have you heard of doggy ice creams?
Well, it’s high time you learned about it if you haven’t heard of it already!
Many pet food companies make ice creams, especially for dogs. These ice creams use yogurt as the base instead of cream. Yogurt is easier to digest (not just by puppies, but by everyone).
However, this is not an ice cream that you will be able to share. The taste just won’t be that good from the viewpoint of a human. So, if you opt for this solution, make sure you have your own ice cream!
Things to keep in mind
The first thing that you should keep in mind is that everything is dangerous in large amounts. So, keep ice cream treats rare. Every once a while or a few bites or scoops per treat won’t hurt any puppy once it’s weaned off.
If you want to avoid upsetting your puppy’s stomach (or worse, give him diarrhea) – don’t introduce ice cream as a part of their diet. Too much ice cream is not good.
Regular ice cream treats can also make your puppy obese with all the high sugar and fat content their body will be receiving. So, if you want to avoid weight gain for your puppy, make sure you remember the first rule: keep the ice cream treats rare and in-between healthy, balanced meals.
If your puppy seems to love ice cream bites, then that can encourage you to feed them more and more. That can quickly turn into a bad idea as you won’t be keeping track of how much ice cream you’re feeding your puppy. This can upset their daily diet regime and ice cream is not technically very nutritive.
If your puppy starts filling their stomach with ice cream mostly, it can lead to slacking off when nutritive meals are given, which in turn can lead to a bad diet, and not to mention obesity that will bring other problems with it.
So, remember: you can feed your puppy ice cream if they’re weaned off. But there are a lot of things you should keep in mind before you do that. And even if everything is going according to the plan, don’t make them overeat ice cream as it should be a treat, as simple as that, and not a part of your puppy’s meal.