One of the best ways to cool down during the hot summer is with some ice cream. But what about your dog? Can you give your dog ice cream to keep cool in the heat?
Our pets too enjoy delicious frozen dessert. So, you can make a DIY dog ice cream for your furry friend to enjoy when the weather gets hot.
DIY dog ice cream is not only affordable to make, but you can also store it for up to 8 weeks in a freezer so your friend can enjoy it for an extended period.
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream Made For Human?
Even as you give your pooch an ice cream treats, it is essential to avoid giving your dog ice cream that we eat. This is because the ice cream we take has milk. And milk contains lactose which humans can easily digest, but dogs can’t.
Weaned dogs are usually intolerant to lactose. So, when dogs consume dairy products, they can get severe complications. These products can cause diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and even vomiting to your dog.
Also, according to a study published in 2016 by BMC Veterinary Research, dairy products are among the most common food allergens to dogs. Such an allergy can manifest as itchiness, skin irritation, and ear infections.
In addition to milk, human ice cream contains lots of sugar. Eating too much sugar can make your dog overweight. This might result in other serious health problems.
Even the ice creams that do not contain sugar may be packed with other sweeteners like Xylitol that is highly toxic to your canine friend. Some also have flavors like chocolate that can harm your dog.
Benefits Dogs Get From Eating Ice Cream
Generally ice cream, especially the commercially sold ice cream, has no nutritional benefits to your dog. Most of this ice cream is full of calories, harmful fillers, artificial ingredients, and preservatives. However, homemade ice cream may have nutritional benefits to your pooch.
With DIY dog ice cream, you get to control the ingredients you add to your frozen dessert. This way, you can add ingredients that have nutritional benefits to your dog and make it more delicious and healthy.
Ice cream also helps dogs to regulate their body temperature. Usually, dogs have trouble cooling their bodies during hot weather. Panting is one of the means they regulate their temperature. So feeding them ice cream helps your dog beat the excessive heat during the summer months.
How Much Ice Cream Should My Dog Eat?
Like with all things, it’s vital to moderate the amount of ice cream you give to your dog. Despite being delicious, you should never give too much ice cream to your dog. If your pooch feeds on too much ice cream, it may end up gaining weight, developing diabetes and lacking some essential nutrients.
It is advisable to give your dog ice cream not more than three times in a month. And ensure you give it sizeable proportions as the idea is to cool your dog and not to add too many pounds.
How to Make Dog Ice Cream
Making DIY dog ice cream is an easy task. All you require is to start with a good base after which you will add wholesome ingredients to make it tasty and nutritious.
Some of the popular bases you can start with include;
- Fruit juice
- Canned pumpkin
- Plain yogurt
- Low sodium chicken broth or beef broth
- Peanut butter
Always choose a base that your dog enjoys. For instance, if you are going to use fruit juice as your base, go for the flavor that your dogs like most.
The best fruit juices to choose, however, are orange and apple juice.
You should also ensure you use 100% natural juice with no additives like sugar.
Your peanut butter should also be free from xylitol, which is harmful to dogs.
Flavors for Your Dog Ice Cream
Once you have chosen your base, you must decide on the fruit to use. You can also add a combination of fruits and vegetables to your dog ice cream. These will essentially be to add flavor to your ice cream.
Make sure you avoid flavors like chocolate, macadamia nuts, and any ingredient that contains raisins or xylitol. Some of the best fruits and veggies to use include;
- Apples (cored)
- Green beans
- Sweet potato
Pro Tip: If your dog suffers from allergies, it is highly recommended to prepare for them water-based ice cream. You should also use fruits and vegetables that they can digest with ease. If have any doubts about an ingredient, consult your veterinarian.
Now that you know the ingredients to use, you can follow the recipes for each ingredient to prepare your dog ice cream.
Homemade Dog Ice Cream Recipes
1. Peanut Butter Banana Dog Ice Cream Recipe
This is a delicious treat that will leave your dog asking for more. This ice cream is a blend of frozen ripe bananas with peanut butter and some yogurt.
The bananas add sweetness, while the peanut butter is a source of protein for your dog. You could also substitute the yogurt with coconut milk if your dog is lactose intolerant.
- 1 banana
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp plain yogurt ( coconut milk for lactose intolerant dogs)
1. Dice up the ripe banana and let it freeze for 4 hours.
2. Blend the frozen banana with the peanut butter and yogurt until smooth.
3. You can serve your ice cream with a dollop of fruit or some cookies.
2. Strawberry Ice Cream for Dogs Recipe
Strawberry flavored ice cream is another delicious option for your dog. It is extremely easy to prepare and safe for your dog.
- Strawberries(as many as you want)
- Plain yogurt, non-fat(or coconut milk)—You will need about 3 to 4 cups of yogurt for 1 small tub of strawberries
1. Mash the strawberries and add yogurt
2. Take the mixture and blend it perfectly
3. Leave the blended mixture in a refrigerator overnight to allow it to freeze
4. You can now give the dessert to your best friend
3. No dairy Dog Ice Cream Recipe
If your dog is sensitive to dairy products, then no dairy dog ice cream will drive your dog wild while keeping it cool during the hot months.
- 1 cup. Mashed Squash
- 1 packet Knox plain gelatin
- 1 5.5 oz can Coconut Milk
- 1 tin. Low Sodium Sardines, packed in water
1. Put the coconut milk and gelatin in a bowl and whisk.
2. Add the squash and sardines then mash well using a fork until the mixture is smooth (alternatively, you can blend the mixture).
3. Place the mixture in a freezer bag and press out all the air before sealing. Place it in another freezer bag and press out all air and then seal.
4. Place the bag in a freezer and let it freeze. Remove it occasionally and massage it to prevent ice chunks from forming. Do this for the next 3 hours, and your no dairy dog ice cream will be ready.
4. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Swirl Recipe
Dogs love peanut butter. Besides, it contains vitamin H that will help keep your dog’s coat shiny and skin healthy.
- 1 cup of peanut butter
- 2 cups of plain yogurt
- ½ cup of vegan carob chips
- ¼ cup of rolled oats
- 8-10 small paper cups
- 8-10 thin rawhide chews
1. Mix the peanut butter, oats, yogurt and carob chips in a large bowl.
2. Put the mixture in the paper cups
3. Place the rawhide chews at the center of the cups
4. Place the cups in a freezer and let them settle for several hours
Safe Ice Cream Toppings for Your Dog
What is a dog ice cream without topping? The ice cream doesn’t taste delicious without a tasty topping. It is essential, however, to understand that not all toppings are safe for your dog.
To help you, here are some safe toppings you can use for your dog ice cream.
- Rice crispies
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Bits of crispy bacon
Tips for Making Your DIY Dog Ice Cream Softer
In some cases, your homemade ice cream can get harder than commercial ice cream in the freezer. If this happens, don’t fret. Use the following strategies to make your dog ice cream softer.
Gelatin can be added to your mixture before churning. All you have to do is soften the gelatin in cold water then melt it before adding it. The recommended amount is 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatin for a quart of the mixture.
You can keep your homemade dog ice cream smooth by adding ant-crystallization agents or stabilizers. Only make sure the stabilizers are not harmful to your dog.
3. Home Freezers
Home freezers are generally the reason why your dog ice cream gets hard. You can make your ice cream smooth by turning the temperature of your freezer up.
Alternatively, you can store your dog ice cream near the freezer door where it is a bit warmer compared to the inner shelves.
Your dog deserves a treat, and a homemade dog ice cream is a great way to surprise your dog during the hot months. Besides, DIY ice cream allows you to control what ingredients your dog will eat, and is also easy to make. So, treat your dog today with a DIY dog ice cream.