Do you know what January 15 is? It is Strawberry Ice Cream Day!
It’s the time of the year to celebrate ice cream made with strawberries.
In the United States, strawberry is regarded as the 3rd favorite ice cream flavor according to a poll.
Believed to have been invented back in 1813 by the First Lady of America at the time (Dolley Madison), this type of ice cream has captured a lot of people’s hearts all over the world.
Since you are on this page, you are probably in love with strawberry ice cream too and you want to know if you can share it with your pet dog.
Read on and find out.
What Are the Ingredients in Strawberry Flavoured Ice Cream?
Speaking about treating your dog with a scoop of strawberry-flavoured ice cream, might as well start with the discussion of what is inside the treat. You cannot just give something to your dogs without knowing what it is made of, can you? Brands like Breyers and Turkey Hill are two big names that everyone is familiar with, and we can use these as references.
Breyers Strawberry Ice Cream contains milk, strawberries, sugar, whey, and vegetable gum. Turkey Hill, on the other hand, comes with a packed list of ingredients consisting of nonfat milk, cream, sugar, strawberries, strawberry puree, and natural strawberry flavor. Knowing these ingredients can probably give you a glimpse of what you are giving to your pet. As the final decision is all yours, it is now time to see if those ingredients contained in your favorite brands of ice cream can harm your dogs.
Will Any of These Ingredients Harm My Dog?
Your dog may be a clueless creature that would eat anything that you put in their bowl. While things might look just fine, you need to know that some ingredients contained in the strawberry-flavoured ice cream can harm them, especially their digestive system. Both Breyers and Turkey Hills use loads of milk, either regular or nonfat, as the main ingredient. But then we wouldn’t expect anything else, would we?
But which of these ingredients are toxic to your dog and which are just not healthy?
First, milk is a dangerous threat for dogs since it can cause digestive issues, like diarrhea and vomiting. A few tablespoons of cow milk are fine but giving them the entire bowl in a one-time treat can cause overindulgence. Know that some dogs are lactose intolerant.
Second, the strawberries that people seem to be fussing over. Strawberries indeed contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that your dogs may need. But just like anything else, this
type of berries is best given to your dog in moderation. Keep in mind that it contains sugar as well that could lead to an upset stomach. It could cause allergies also.
Furthermore, most ice creams contain sugar, which is another thing that can harm your dog. This ingredient can bring harm to your pet as much as it can to you, especially when taken in large amounts. It can cause obesity, diabetes, and a plethora of dental issues like dental caries or cavities. Excessive sugar can lead to metabolic changes as well that may affect your dog’s muscle tone, energy levels, and immune system.
A lot of ice creams contain the artificial sugar known as xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. This ingredient could kill your pet. We will discuss more of it later.
Strawberry Ice Cream or Strawberry Yogurt—Which Is Healthier?
What about yogurt? Is strawberry yogurt any healthier for your dog? Let us dig a little deeper into the nutrition of both products.
Most foods, even the most unhealthy, contain nutrients that the body can use. For instance ice cream and yogurt both contain calcium, carbohydrate (sugar), fiber, fat, and protein.
It is, of course, all about the amounts and balance..
100g of strawberry ice cream contains about 20g of sugar and 9.3 of fat. 100g of yogurt, on the other hand, has a total of 12g sugar and 2.5g of fat. So as you can see, the latter has less sugar and fat. Yogurt also has a significantly higher amount of calcium compared to ice cream, making it a better choice for bone density and growth.
Strawberry or Vanilla Ice Cream—Which Is Healthier?
For better comparison, let us take a look at strawberry and vanilla ice cream made by the same company as opposed to looking at a strawberry flavor made by a certain company and vanilla flavor made by another.
Both flavors of ice cream made by Breyers present quite similar percentages of nutrients. Depending on the nutrition facts presented, the best conclusion for the answer depends on what purposes you have. For dietary purposes, strawberry ice cream serves better compared to vanilla ice cream. However, if you aim for something high in protein, vanilla ice cream can be an option since it contains a higher portion of protein.
Are Fresh Strawberries a Good Snack for a Dog?
So if strawberry ice cream and strawberry yogurt are safe for your dog to eat but just generally very, very unhealthy. Where do we stand with fresh strawberries?
Well, you don’t need to be a genius to know that they will be far healthier. But do they bring any other benefits or drawbacks to you or your dog? Well for a starter, fresh strawberries are going to be more expensive than yogurt or ice cream (although they will be cheaper in the early summer when they are in season.) And secondly, they aren’t as easy to store as ice cream or yogurt.
Fresh strawberries can sit in the fridge for a few days but after that they will start to deteriorate.
Yogurt can stay in the fridge for much longer and as for ice cream? That can stay forgotten in the back of the freezer for months!
On the plus side, fresh strawberries are mostly water and what isn’t water is just sugar.
That leaves them with very little fat, sodium and protein. So does that mean that you can feed your dog an unlimited number of strawberries?
No, it doesn’t.
Strawberries should be viewed as a snack- even if they are a very healthy one. And with dog snacks there is a simple 10% rule. Which is that the total amount of daily snacks that you feed your dog should not exceed more than 10% of their total intake of calories. Which, strawberry-wise, might be an obscene amount to feed your dog!
Oh yes and there is more good news about fresh strawberries. Apparently, they contain an enzyme which will help to whiten your dog’s teeth.
What Ice Cream Flavours Are Toxic for Dogs?
From fresh strawberries to ice cream. We’re covering a lot of ground here aren’t we?
But in this section I want to deal with the dark side of ice cream.
As if the calories in every spoonful aren’t dark enough, some flavours of ice cream might potentially kill a dog. And in particular I’m talking about the old enemy chocolate. Chocolate significantly contains theobromine and caffeine. Giving these to your dog pet can be
fatal as they are not equipped with the digestive systems to metabolize these, the same way humans cannot metabolize grass. Giving them chocolate flavored ice cream can lead to chocolate poisoning with ingestion issues as the most obvious symptom.
Aside from chocolate, sugar-free ice cream that uses the sweetener xylitol should also be taken away from your puppy’s food list. Xylitol is extremely toxic and poisonous for dogs as it can cause sudden drops of blood sugar, seizures, issues with the liver, and even death.
You do not want these to happen to your pet, do you?
Can Dogs Have Strawberry Ice Cream?
To summarize what we have found from the initial question of ‘can dogs eat strawberry flavored ice cream?’There are several points worth highlighting.
Feeding your dog strawberry-flavored ice cream is a big no for smart owners. Why? Milk, either
regular or nonfat, makes up eighty percent of the entire substance, and it is something that your pets cannot tolerate. Giving them ice cream on a daily basis can lead to some digestive issues, like diarrhea and vomiting. The strawberry puree that is contained in the product can also give your dogs unwanted effects as it can double the number of gut bacteria that are supposed to be kept in moderation to help with healthy digestion.
Giving them fresh strawberries, on the other hand, is relatively safe as stated in many online references. However, you need to keep in mind that it should not be more than ten percent of the dog’s daily calorie intake. Otherwise, it may lead to some issues related to excessive consumption of sugar such as teeth decay and food that is not digested properly.
Bottomline, before you give anything to your dog, make sure to find out if it is safe or not.