SIOUX CITY | Ice cream is a sweet treat for humans in the summertime, and most dogs probably would agree that ice cream is delicious on a hot day. However, the sugar and fat in ice cream can cause health problems for pets, especially if given in excess.
“What I usually tell people about human food is that it’s safer not to give it to them,” said Dr. Aaron Bessmer of Elk Creek Animal Hospital. “Too much can give them diarrhea, pancreatitis, or even diabetes from the fat or sugar.”
There are options for canines that enjoy frozen treats, however. Frosty Paws, a Purina-made product that is similar in consistency and appearance to ice cream, is made from whey and coconut milk and is designed to appeal to dogs, yet be safe for them to eat. It comes in original flavor and peanut butter.
The treats come in small cups, similar to ice cream cups for humans. They are fortified with vitamins and minerals, but each contains 120 calories so provide them sparingly as treats.
Pet owners can also make pets their own ice cream using non-fat plain yogurt and healthy, dog-safe fruits like bananas, blueberries and strawberries. Simply mash the yogurt with the fruit and freeze overnight for a tasty, healthy treat.
Unsafe fruits for dogs include grapes and raisins which can cause kidney failure, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Be sure to not mix those with the yogurt when making homemade ice cream.
Resisting those puppy dog eyes when eating an ice cream sundae is a challenge for pet owners who love spoiling their pets, but healthy alternatives make it easy for pet parents and safe for the dogs.