Enjoying an ice cream cone on a warm day in the company of your dog is one of summer’s true pleasures. But if you’re tempted to buy an extra bowl of ice cream for Buddy, or let him have a few licks from your cone (after you’re finished, hopefully), you should probably rethink it, because it can have some seriously unpleasant side effects.
You may not realize it, but the majority of dogs are unable to digest lactose, the type of sugar in dairy products. Like lactose intolerant humans, if dogs ingest any dairy it can lead to serious gastric distress, including vomiting and diarrhea, which can be very unpleasant for both you and your dog. Ice cream is also full of fat and sugar, so it can lead to obesity, diabetes, and poor overall health (also for both you and your dog).
If you’re looking to give your dog a frozen treat, consider lactose-free low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt. Chilled canned pumpkin is also very beneficial for your dog, because it’s full of fiber and is great for digestion.
And while we’re on the subject, adult cats are also lactose intolerant, so while it may be tempting to offer your kitty a saucer of milk, once they’ve been weaned, any dairy will upset their stomachs as well. Click here to learn which human foods it's safe to feed your dog.