- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Dogs and humans agree—when the temperature soars, nothing refreshes quite like a frosty bowl of ice cream. The only problem? As human foods for dogs go, ice cream isn’t the best choice. While delicious, it’s also packed with sugar that dogs don’t need. Fortunately, we’ve got a solution for you: homemade dog ice cream!
We’ve pulled together six amazing recipes for dog-friendly ice cream that are so good, you’re going to want to try them all, too. These summertime recipes are healthy, tasty, and 100% dog-safe for your best friend.
Dog-friendly ice cream is softer and easier to portion than other frozen treats. That makes it a great choice for dogs that tend to scarf treats whole or for senior dogs with limited teeth. These ice cream recipes also work well as meal toppers that mix in easily with regular dog food.
Ice Cream Topping Ideas
Most dogs we know love ice cream treats. If you’re skeptical about whether your furry friend will take to these, though, consider toppings or add-ins. For instance, splash in some low-sodium chicken broth—though you probably won’t want a bite, your dog will gobble it up.
You can also top your frozen creation with anything from a handful of treats or kibble, to frozen berries, a sprig of mint, or a big dollop of plain yogurt (or all three!).
This tasty treat is every bit as nice as the commercial dog ice cream “Frosty Paws,” without any of those hard-to-pronounce ingredients. We blend frozen bananas with peanut butter and a little yogurt for a creamy, protein-rich treat your dog will sit up and beg for. The ripe banana provides sweetness, while the peanut butter packs a protein punch.
Is your dog lactose-intolerant? Replace the yogurt with coconut yogurt or a splash of coconut milk.
This recipe is all the reason you need to keep a stash of diced frozen melon in your freezer this summer.
Simply toss a handful of frozen cantaloupe chunks into your food processor and pulse with plain yogurt or coconut milk until you get a beautiful, sherbet-like consistency. This recipe works equally well with honeydew melon.
Mint combines with juicy watermelon for a healthy, hydrating, and breath-freshening treat.
Watermelon is such a refreshing summer treat on its own—and freezing it and whipping it into a frenzy just makes the refreshment happen that much faster. You’re going to love this one as much as your dog does!
The next time you use part of a can of pureed pumpkin, why not freeze the rest to make this tasty recipe? We add a dash of cinnamon and maple syrup to enhance that Pumpkin Spice vibe even in the heat of summer. For extra credit, add a pinch of heart-healthy turmeric. You’ll get a pop of color and your dog won’t know the difference.
You can swap out the pumpkin for pureed sweet potato, though the consistency is thicker and may require more liquid.
This recipe is perfect for the dog who can’t enjoy milk or yogurt—or needs to avoid excess fat or protein. We blitz vitamin-rich berries with a little water to make a dog sorbet that is tasty, elegant, and low on calories. These dog-friendly berries are packed with antioxidants and healthy fiber, too.
This recipe is naturally lactose-free for dogs with milk sensitivities. Pineapple and mango combine with a swirl of coconut milk for a perfect tropical getaway in a bowl.
(Attention dog owners: serve with a float of rum for an “adult” people treat. Humans only, of course!)
Wait, Can Dogs Have Ice Cream?
Well, it all depends. Just like people, certain dogs aren’t able to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. This inability to digest lactose, known as lactose intolerance, ranges from mild to severe. If it applies to your dog, you’ll probably know—because the main symptoms are an upset stomach, plenty of gas, and loose stool.
If this applies to your dog, skip the dairy. If you’re not sure, test by giving a small amount of dairy first, and see how their digestive system responds.
Intolerance is different than a true food allergy. An allergy to dairy is related to the protein in dairy products rather than sugar. If your dog begins showing signs that they’re having an allergic reaction after consuming dairy, stop feeding them anything milk-based. Dairy allergy symptoms will show up as itchy skin or rash, often. A consultation with your vet may also be in order to avoid any dangerous reactions.
Most dogs are perfectly fine after eating some dairy. Do make sure to avoid giving your dog sweetened dairy products, especially anything with artificial sweeteners. We like plain Greek yogurt for dogs in particular thanks to its high protein content.
All the Homemade Dog Goodies
Going homemade for dog treats is easier than you’d think—and often more affordable. Plus, you’ll rest assured knowing you’re providing your dog the most wholesome options free of scary fillers. Dogs, like humans, thrive on whole foods.