Ice cream, friend or foe for your K9?


Howard Baker - RN BSN



Recently the British Royal Family released a photograph of Prince George offering the family dog a taste of his ice cream. This innocent gesture of love and affection shown by the young prince during his third birthday party celebration sparked quite the uproar among animal-rights groups.

Is ice cream friend or foe for your K9? Personally, I do not feed nor recommend feeding a dog or cat ice cream or dairy products.

So what is the concern of some animal rights groups becoming outraged and one calling for the young prince to be arrested over a lick of ice cream? When I read this” breaking news story” the only word that came to mind was — really? Why all the commotion about a dog getting a lick of ice cream — is it really that deadly — is it really all that unhealthy?

To answer the question concerning the safety and if ice cream is friend or foe for your K9; I did a little research and here are my thoughts on the topic.

DAIRY PRODUCTS

Some dogs are lactose intolerant making it difficult for them to digest milk-based products. Dogs like people can have food allergies, a milk allergy in your dog could present with itching, excessive scratching or licking, ear infections, vomiting and diarrhea. Usually diarrhea and vomiting are your dog’s first response to ice cream and no matter where you are these are usually not fun for either you or the dog. I recommend staying clear of dairy products why take the chance on having a problem.

YOGURT

While yogurt is a better choice for dogs I suggest extreme caution as many yogurt products have artificial sweeteners and particularly xylitol is deadly in any amount to your dog. Yogurt is high in calcium and protein but can also have a lot of added sugar. One benefit of yogurt is the active bacteria and probiotic can be beneficial for your dog’s digestive system. I do not recommend yogurt unless advised by your veterinarian.

Ice cream friend of foe for your K9? I say foe — but, I don’t think I would call for Prince George to be hauled off to jail either. I am sure there are other more serious foes for your dog than a lick of ice cream. No one wants to offer their dog anything that could cause them to become sick or have an allergic reaction.

There are commercial products on the market like Frosty Paws® made specifically for dogs for those who may be tempted to indulge their dog with a prepackaged cool treat. I like to blend together peanut butter and bananas; and freeze them in dog bone shaped ice cube trays for a quick cool treat during the dog days of summer.

I am sure Prince George’s dog Lupo is doing just fine after all the uproar. In a way I am glad they made such a commotion about the ordeal — otherwise I might have missed a great gesture of a prince and his dog.

Even a young prince knows — life is better with a dog! Woof!

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Howard Baker

RN BSN

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