Picture this; you’re enjoying a tub of mint ice cream with chocolate chips over a great movie after a long day at work.
You leave for a short while, and on getting back, you find your puppy has devoured the remaining ice cream.
You dismiss it as okay since it’s just dessert but, on the other hand, worry that your dog could get sick.
You end up with this nagging question of whether your dog is safe.
So, can dogs eat mint ice cream?
Yes, dogs can eat mint ice cream.
The truth is that mint ice cream isn’t harmful to dogs when taken in small quantities.
However, some additives to the ice cream like chocolate and xylitol are detrimental to your dog’s health.
It’s best to know some of the toxic ingredients and additives that can put your dog at risk and healthier alternatives for frozen treats.
Here is what you need to know about dogs and mint ice cream.
What is in mint ice cream?
Just like humans, dogs also enjoy a sweet treat occasionally.
It’s tempting to give your dog a scoop of mint ice cream, especially on a hot sunny day.
Here are some of the ingredients found in mint ice cream.
- Mint- This is a crucial component in making this dessert. Types of mint commonly used are spearmint and peppermint. It can be used in its fresh form or as essential oils and extracts. Mint is used to spice up foods and drinks, in toothpaste, chewing gum, and breath mints.
- Alcohol- a teaspoon or two of whiskey or rum gives the mint ice cream a creamy consistency. It also keeps it soft for a few days.
- Chocolate- The chips or syrup are added to mint ice cream to give it that delicious taste
- Cream and milk- An essential ingredient in ice cream. This dessert is no longer ice cream without milk and cream but a sorbet.
- Sugar and sweeteners- Sugar is added to give the ice cream a sweet taste. Sugar-free options have sweeteners like xylitol added to enhance the flavor.
Is mint ice cream safe for dogs?
Mint ice cream, when taken in small quantities, is safe.
The taste is refreshing, and your dog will love it.
Benefits of mint ice cream for dogs
- Mint is a known breath freshener due to the menthol chemical it produces. You can therefore enjoy your pet without the terrible doggy smell.
- Mint contains small quantities of vitamin A which promotes good vision and growth, manganese which helps in bone maintenance, and iron for healthy blood in dogs.
- The cream and milk are a great source of Vitamin A and D, phosphorous, calcium, and zinc, all beneficial to your pet’s growth.
Risks of feeding mint ice cream to your dog
Some ingredients used in mint ice cream are toxic to dogs.
The mint extract that sometimes replaces fresh mint leaves can cause your pet illness.
Chocolate is a favorite accompaniment to mint ice cream but is deathly dangerous to dogs.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic.
Alcohol and xylitol, a sweetener sometimes used in ice cream, should also be avoided due to their poisonous nature to dogs.
Chocolate, when ingested, can cause diarrhea and vomiting, tremors, heart problems, kidney failure, seizures, and even death.
Alcohol, even when used in small quantities, causes intoxication in dogs and diarrhea and can damage the nervous system.
Sugar in the ice cream exposes your furry buddies to dental problems like tooth decay.
Where puppies are a little more receptive to milk, adult dogs are mostly lactose intolerant and do not digest dairy products well.
Milk and cream often found in ice cream cause diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, stomach pain, and, in extreme cases, pancreatitis in dogs.
The cream and sugar in mint ice cream cause unhealthy weight gain in dogs.
Always opt for low-fat and low sugar substitutes.
Always look out for xylitol, a sweetener used in desserts. It’s dangerous to dogs.
Ingredients like chocolate and milk can cause allergic reactions in dogs. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
Healthier and safer ice cream alternatives for dogs
Luckily, there are healthier and safer alternatives to mint ice cream that you can feed your furry friend.
These doggy-friendly treats will keep your dog safe and healthy, keep you from worrying about his health, and prevent you from incurring huge bills at the vet.
Consider giving your dog frozen treats with dog-friendly ingredients.
Some dog ice cream recipes and frozen pupsicles that can be homemade include:
- Frozen pumpkin puree- Mix equal parts of pumpkin puree and non-fat plain yogurt, then freeze.
- Oatmeal, applesauce, and cinnamon- mix one cup of oats, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and two cups of applesauce. Fill in puppy molds or ice cube trays and freeze.
- Peanut butter and banana ice cream- mix three bananas, one cup peanut butter, four cups yogurt, and one tablespoon coconut oil. Put in molds and freeze.
- Watermelon and yogurt pupsicles- two-thirds cup fat-free yogurt, two teaspoons honey, one and a half cups seedless diced watermelon. Mix ingredients and freeze in a mold. You can substitute watermelon with other fruits. Avoid grapes as dogs are allergic.
- Strawberry and cucumber- mix one cup of strawberries, three cups of diced seedless watermelon, and half a cup of cucumber water. Mix, fill in a mold and freeze.
- Frozen chicken broth.- put chicken broth in ice cube trays or molds and freeze.
Sample recipe: Doggy peanut butter and banana ice cream
- three bananas
- 1 cup peanut butter (sugar-free, unsalted, doesn’t contain xylitol)
- 4 cups of fat yogurt
- One tablespoon of coconut oil
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix until creamy. Whisk together the ingredients if you don’t have a blender.
- Put the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for three hours.
- Serve your dog with the frozen treats and save the rest in the freezer for later.
More tips to keep your dog safe
- Mint offers a temporary solution to the awful doggy breath. Invest in your dog’s oral hygiene by regularly brushing the teeth with dog-friendly toothpaste. The breath will improve, and your pup’s teeth and gums will remain clean and healthy.
- When you fall for those cute puppy eyes and just have to give your dog a lick of your ice cream, ensure that it’s just a lick or two. Feeding your dog large amounts of ice cream will cause illness.
- Always look out for coffee, coffee beans, macadamia nuts, xylitol, alcohol, or chocolate in your dog’s ice cream. These ingredients are harmful to dogs. Stick to a vanilla ice cream when not sure.
- Resist the cute puppy eyes and opt for the healthy recipes shared above.
There is no reason why your precious pooch shouldn’t enjoy a refreshing ice-cold treat during summer.
Now, you have tastier and healthier options for your dogs.
More nutritious frozen treats will save you from health scares and hefty vet bills.
Notably, these treats don’t substitute the regular meals and are just a way of occasionally spoiling our fur babies.