Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream?

Read time: 5 mins

02 May 2023

When the sun’s beating down and we’re all red in the face and generally overheated, a deliciously creamy cone is the only way to go for us pet parents. As they can't take their fur coats off, our four-legged family members will be looking for a way to cool down, too. But can dogs eat ice cream?

Is It Safe to Give a Dog Ice Cream?

In short, no. We would not recommend feeding your dog ice cream.

At least not the kind you find in the supermarket which is created specifically for us humans.

If you've ever stood dumbstruck with indecision in the supermarket freezer section, you'll know that ice cream comes in a bewildering range of forms. It can be dairy-rich or vegan, plain or indulgently flavoured – and that's not even taking into account sorbets, granitas and ice lollies.

But what most standard ice creams have in common is cream (apologies for stating the obvious) and lots of sugar. Neither of those is top of the list of nutritious foods for dogs, so while your pooch technically could eat ice cream, it's not the ideal treat to choose.

In quite a few tasty tubs, you'll also find artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.

The flavours themselves may also be harmful to your furry friend. Take chocolate and nuts, for example. They are extremely tasty to us, but potentially poisonous for dogs. We can’t forget that for some dogs, dairy doesn’t always go down well.

As much as a cooling ice cream may be enjoyable in the moment, an unstoppable bout of diarrhoea is sure to put a damper on the day. 

Is Ice Cream Bad for Dogs?

Yes, ice cream is bad for dogs. Although it is unlikely to harm them in small quantities, we would recommend avoiding it all together.

Beethoven, the movie-star St Bernard, certainly made a habit of gobbling it down in his movies, but you might want to think twice before you let your pooch do the same.

Consider what kind of ice cream you're offering, what it's made with and if there's a more pup-appropriate iced treat that they'd enjoy. Puppy-dog eyes are impossible to resist (it's a fact), but before you dollop out the gelato, let’s consider why it might be best to avoid.

Thankfully, in recent years there has been an influx of brands dedicated to creating dog-friendly ice cream. So our pups can also enjoy a delicious, refreshing treat.

Dog Friendly Ice Creams

For humans, ice cream is delicious and refreshing, so what can we give our pups to help them have the same enjoyment? When they've been running around in the sun and their tongues are lolling out, something chilled is definitely in order to keep their temperature down.

Luckily, there are lots of things you can find or make to do the job. Until very recently, dog ice cream wasn't a thing, but head to any bustling coastal resort these days and you're likely to see some on offer. These non-dairy recipes come in flavours (think meaty, cheesy or fruity) to tempt four-legged family members. Some of our favourites include:


Most famously recognised for their wide variety of delicious ice cream flavours, Jude’s has been helping us to get our sweet treat fix for over a decade. 

As a family-run business with a shared love of dogs, Jude’s have turned their attention to creating a dog-friendly ice cream, which goes down a treat with our pups. It is a plant based strawberry, apple and banana ice cream made from using real fruit purees.

For an added bonus, Jude’s worked in partnership with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to create this ice cream and 5% of product sales goes towards supporting the essential work that Battersea does. Happy pooches all round- what could be better? 

Alternatives to Feeding Your Dog Ice Cream

A spot of light googling will unearth hundreds of frozen dog-treat recipes, and they’re often easy and cheap to make right at home. You can also find iced-treat blends (such as those from Pets at Home) that you mix with water and pop in the freezer.

But if you’re like us and want to know precisely what goes into your pup’s iced treats, making something from scratch may be the way to go. As you're in control of the ingredients, you can be certain nothing iffy goes in and if you're smart, you can make delicious, healthy treats that you and your pooch can share together.

No-fuss iced rewards come in the form of chunks of fruit or veg, such as baby carrots, cubes of pineapple or slices of banana, that offer dogs an interesting eating experience. Or pop a simple puree of mixed flavours into an ice-cube tray to hand out after playtime. Try adding peanut butter (xylitol-free, of course) for extra texture.

So the next time the sun has got his hat on, even your furry friends can kick back and chill with an ice. 

Butternut Box’s Recipe for Homemade Dog Ice Lollies

Move over ice cream, it’s time for Bish Bash Broth Pops to have their day in the sun.

We hear you, what on earth are Bish Bash Broth Pops? Well, here at Butternut Box we have created delicious, freshly-prepared broths available in two flavours. Our chicken broth is packed with nutrients from slow roasted chicken bones, with a dash of squash and apples. Whilst our beef broth is bursting with flavour from slow roasted beef bones, with a pinch of carrots and pears.

There are boundless ways to use these broths. Mix it, dash it, pour it and splash it. Or, for a summertime twist, freeze into ice pops. These are a great way to help your pooch cool down in hot weather.

Simply gather together some ice moulds and one of our signature Bish Bash Broths. Pour the broth (direct from the carton) into the ice moulds and pop into the freezer for an hour. Remove from the freezer and let your pooch dig in. Remember, they may need a hand (or paw) holding the ice mould!