Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Ice Cream?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 09/29/21 •  6 min read
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Dogs Eat Vanilla Ice Cream

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Don’t you just love vanilla ice cream? It’s a wonderful dessert or treat on warm summer days. What would summer be without this frozen, divine, treat?

When you have vanilla ice cream, does your dog beg for some, too? That’s very common! Dogs love to have what their pet parents are eating. But is vanilla ice cream safe for dogs?

What is Vanilla Ice Cream?

Vanilla ice cream is one of the most popular ice cream flavors around! It goes with everything from sundaes, cakes, pie, and brownies. It’s also perfect on its own! But what is vanilla ice cream?

Vanilla ice cream, like other flavors of ice cream, is made by freezing cream, sugar, and vanilla in a container that’s placed in ice and salt. The mixture is stirred continuously to make the ice cream smooth. The stirring process actually keeps ice crystals from forming in the ice cream mixture.

Once the vanilla ice cream has become solid, it’s ready to serve and enjoy! Nothing’s better than freshly made ice cream on a hot summer’s day!

But can ice cream make a dog sick?

Is Vanilla Ice Cream Safe for Dogs?

If you really want to know, vanilla ice cream isn’t really a healthy snack for dogs. It’s OK for a dog to have a small servicing once in a while. However, on a regular basis, ice cream isn’t good for your dog.

One of the problems with vanilla ice cream is the fact that it contains lactose. As puppies, dogs have the ability to produce enough lactase, which helps them digest the lactose found in dairy products. However, as they become adults, dogs don’t create as much lactase. This means they have a harder time properly digesting dairy products, including vanilla ice cream. Most adult dogs are lactose intolerant. If a lactose intolerant dog eats ice cream, he may develop diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Ice cream can even cause pancreatitis in dogs due to the high amount of fat this treat contains.

Another problem, which isn’t as common, is that some dogs are allergic to dairy. The reactions may be mild or severe, depending on the dog’s immune system and how it reacts to allergens. A dog allergic to dairy may develop diarrhea and vomiting, hives, and more.

Vanilla ice cream also contains a high number of calories. If a dog eats ice cream on a regular basis, it can lead to obesity. Obesity can lead to other health issues such as painful joints, diabetes, heart problems, and more.

Ice creams that are made with an artificial sweetener, such as xylitol, are toxic to dogs.

As you can see, vanilla ice cream isn’t really a great treat for your dog. While he may be able to enjoy small servings once in a while, it’s still not really a good idea to serve him vanilla ice cream.

Safe Ice Cream Alternatives for Dogs

If your dog is really craving some ice cream, then there are some safer alternatives you can give him on a hot summer day!

Serve fat-free plain frozen yogurt: you can try giving your dog some fat-free, plain frozen yogurt. Just make sure it’s not sweetened with xylitol or other artificial sweeteners. Yogurt is a better option because it contains lower amounts of lactose than other dairy products. This makes yogurt easier for most dogs to digest.

Frozen non-dairy treats: there are some ice cream manufacturers, including Ben & Jerry’s, that make frozen non-dairy desserts for dogs! You might try one of these and see if your dog enjoys the non-dairy dog ice cream!

DIY Recipes for Frozen Dog Treats

Another option is to make homemade frozen treats your dog can enjoy safely! Here are a couple of recipes to try!

Yogurt Pupsicles



1). Cut the frozen banana into pieces and put it in a blender or food processor. Add the peanut butter and honey, then blend on high for three minutes, or until the mixture is smooth.

2). Add the yogurt next, and blend for three minutes or until the mix becomes thick and smooth. The consistency will be similar to a milkshake.

3). Pour the mixture into ice pop molds or small disposable cups. Then stick a Nylabone into the cups in the middle. Then put the cups on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. When the pupsicles are frozen solid, they’re ready to enjoy! This may take about 2 hours, depending on your freezer’s settings.

Three Ingredient Frozen Chicken Bites



1). In a small bowl, combine peanut butter and parsley, then set aside.

2). Divide the chicken broth evenly into a silicone ice cube tray, filling it half full. Place into the freezer until set. This may take up to an hour.

3). Spoon the peanut butter mixture into the tray, filling the ice cube tray full. Place the ice cube tray back into the freezer until completely frozen. This may take up to four hours.

4). Serve and let your dog enjoy!

Frozen Pumpkin & Banana Dog Treats



1). Add the banana and pumpkin puree to a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

2). Combine the yogurt and the mashed banana and pumpkin mixture in a large bowl. Add honey and stir until all ingredients are combined evenly.

3). Spoon the mixture into silicone candy mold or ice cube trays. Then freeze overnight.

4). When the treats are completely frozen, just pop out of the mold and serve!

So, there you have it! It’s OK to serve your dog a small amount of vanilla ice cream as a treat once in a while. However, don’t do this on a regular basis. Instead, try making homemade frozen dog treats that are safe for your dog to enjoy on a hot summer’s day!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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