With the heat of summer upon us I start to hear people ask if it is ok to give their dogs ice cream. Doggies seem to love ice cream, just like we do.
But many don’t know if ice cream is bad or not for dogs. The short answer is,,,, it depends on your dog. You can give most dogs a little bit of vanilla ice cream every once in a while no problem.
However just like humans some dogs, if not most, have Lactose Intolerance. Basically that means most canines are unable to break down and digest lactose.
Lactose in milk, which of course is in ice cream, is basically a type of sugar. Two sugar molecules in fact linked together. In order for a dog to digest this type of sugar it’s body must produce it’s own special lactose-splitting enzyme. An enzyme known as lactase.
Most canines just can’t produce this, which makes it impossible to digest any dairy products. That results in gas, loose stools, stomach pains and vomiting.
However different dairy products have different amounts of lactose in it. The lower the amount the better for your dog. Pure lactose-free vanilla ice cream is fine for dogs.
You can also find ice cream specially made for dogs. Almost all dogs can eat a little normal ice cream once in a while without too much complications.
Notice I keep saying vanilla. Avoid chocolate, strawberry and other flavors as they may have ingredients harmful to canines, especially chocolate. Unless it’s made for dogs.
So with a bit of investigating and finding the right type of ice cream to buy, or getting some made for dogs, your best friend can enjoy ice cream with you this summer! 🙂