Ice cream has been a summer dessert staple since the 1950s, and for good reason!
Not only is it delicious and available in so many flavors, but it also provides a much-needed cooling effect that we want to share with our dogs.
There’s nothing better on a hot day than fruity, frozen treats that just melt in your mouth.
While there are a number of dog ice cream options you can buy at the store, making your own frozen treats is a very healthy and inexpensive alternative!
Making homemade ice cream for your dog is incredibly easy (no ice cream maker required) and I’ve created a short video that walks you through the 5 minute process!
Is ice cream okay for dogs?
Ice cream that you can buy at the grocery store is definitely not something you want to share with your dog.
First, sugar is very harmful to dogs. It has the same effects on dogs as it does on humans, such as obesity, dental problems and diabetes.
In addition, many dogs do not digest milk or milk products very well. Symptoms of lactose intolerance may include diarrhea, vomiting, gas buildup and abdominal pain.
When you look at your favorite store-bought ice cream, you may find some additives on the ingredients list.
Ice creams containing polysorbate 80, xanthan gum, artificial flavors and other unhealthy additives should not be consumed by dogs or humans.
But making homemade ice cream is a treat you can definitely share with your dog.
You know exactly what’s in it and you can easily remove potentially harmful ingredients.
Non-dairy dog ice cream recipe
The recipe I’ve included below can easily be converted into a non-dairy version.
Simply replace the yogurt with a vegan alternative that your dog is familiar with. There are yogurts made from coconut, almond or soy.
However, choosing a plant-based yogurt does not mean that your dog will necessarily digest it well.
My personal favorite is coconut yogurt, because many dogs love the taste of coconut flakes, milk or oil.
The wrong brand or substitute can cause stomach upset, so try to give your dog something new only in small amounts at a time.
Even if your dog is not lactose intolerant, I would still recommend using yogurt that contains very little lactose, such as regular Greek yogurt.
Can dogs eat yogurt?
Yogurt is high in probiotics that promote a healthy gut with potential benefits for dogs who have recently taken antibiotics and now suffer from insufficient good gut bacteria.
Most dogs love yogurt, so you can try giving your dog a small amount (about two teaspoons), either through a spoon or simply by adding it to your dog’s meals.
As I mentioned before, yogurt contains lactose and some canines, like humans, cannot digest it well.
Make sure you only buy yogurt that has nothing harmful or unnecessary added to it.
Plain Greek yogurt is the best choice.
Quick and easy dog ice cream recipe
Making these homemade frozen dog treats takes just 5 minutes of prep and requires no fancy equipment.
You can easily personalize the recipe by alternating the banana and strawberries with your dog’s favorite fruit or berries.
If you like, you can also add a little bit of peanut butter or coconut flakes for a little extra flavor.
1 cup plain or plant-based yogurt
1/2 cup strawberry-banana frozen fruit mixture
2 tablespoons of honey
- Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture into the desired freezer containers (I used this).
- Freeze for at least 3 hours or until firm.
- Carefully remove the treats from the molds and watch your dog enjoy them!
If your dog doesn’t handle lactose well, I recommend low-lactose Greek yogurt or a plant-based yogurt of your choice (I personally use coconut yogurt).
No sweetener should be added and make sure you choose a dairy substitute that your dog has digested well in the past.
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Serving Size: 1
Quantity per serving:
Calories: 24Total fat: 0gSaturated fat: 0gTrans fat: 0gUnsaturated fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gEgg white: 1g
Disclaimer: This blog post does not and does not intend to replace veterinary attention. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows signs of illness, call your vet.