If you’re anything like me, your pupster is less like a dog to you and more like a really small, REALLY furry human. Likely he or she also shares more than just your household and a larger than appreciated section of the bed at night. While I don’t exactly take things full blown Lady and the Tramp style, I do enjoy watching my favorite fur-person’s face light up when he gets to share a tasty snack with me (avoiding anything dangerous of course). Head shakers go ahead and pretend you didn’t just read that.
Keepin’ It Cool
With ice cream being America’s favorite dessert, what better way to combat the ‘dog days of summer’ than with a nice cold and refreshing bowl of deliciousness? And if we’re keeping things honest, it’s more likely a pint and a spoon. Since I’m not one to leave my dog out, I’ll admit that I’ve let him lick the bowl a few times in the past. However, not being altogether certain of whether or not ice cream was ok to give to my furred companion, I made sure to limit this—which actually kind of bummed me out. Why should I have all the fun while he sits there with those sappy brown eyes quite literally being a ‘hot dog’ while I keep my palate cool and refreshed?
Doggie Ice Cream To The Rescue
I decided to do a little research on the subject and much to my (and his) excitement found that dog ice cream is a thing! Yes, you read that right…ice cream specially made for dogs and formulated to meet the needs of their digestive systems exists. It also turned out that my apprehension about the human version was correct. Regular ice cream is made from milk which contains high levels of a type of sugar known as lactose. According to the doctors at VetWest Animal Hospital, it takes a special enzyme to digest this sugar that most dogs, and lactose intolerant humans, lack. This means that if ingested the frozen treat causes gas, bloating, stomach ache, diarrhea and a whole host of uncomfortable gastric issues. Not to mention, conventional ice cream is sugar heavy in general which can lead to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay for your pampered pooch.
But not to fear, the makers of dog ice cream have us covered. These canine friendly alternatives are usually made with lactose-free ingredients. They also come fortified with a variety of natural vitamins and minerals and do not contain all the added sugar of the traditional dessert, making them safe for your favorite family member.
One of the more popular brands, Frosty Paws, is made by the well-known pet food company, Purina.
Purina is a brand of the larger food and beverage company, Nestlé, which also makes popular human brand ice cream Häagen-Dazs…coincidence? I think not! Frosty Paws has surprisingly been around since the mid-80s, known throughout the years as Pet79 and Fido Freeze. What I like about this brand is that the ice cream is conveniently pre-made for you. You can either purchase a 4-pack of cute cups or a tub of their Frosty Paws Bites which are bite sized pieces covered in a vanilla flavored shell. You can find Frosty Paws in most grocery stores stores in the frozen food section, as well as online at places like Grocery Girls.
Puppy Scoops by Puppy Cake
Another favorite of mine is Puppy Scoops by a brand called Puppy Cake.
— Puppy Cake (@PuppyCakeLLC) March 5, 2015
Puppy Cake specializes in fun treats such as puppy cake mix and cookies that look like they came straight from grandma’s house! Among their flavor varieties are savory maple bacon and even a chocolate alternative called carob. This formula is actually ice cream mix as opposed to pre-made dog ice cream. The prep work is surprisingly minimal, however. All you do is add hot water and freeze for several hours. What is nice about this method of delivery is being able to decide how much you want to make depending on your pet’s size.
Billy & Margot
Lastly, there is a brand named Billy & Margot.
Look at these 2 poppet's Olivia & Jenkins enjoying their 1st iced Treat pic.twitter.com/B9NCGtH1Mz
— Marie Sawle (@BillyandMargot) July 23, 2015
This is actually a UK brand that my dog bestie and I haven’t yet tried. The packaging and flavors are so stylish and unique that I’m dying to get my paws on some. These treats are also 100% vegetarian! I actually stumbled on this brand while reading a news story about the rising popularity of pop-up puppy ice cream parlors in various areas around the city of London. Some of Billy & Margot’s flavors include strawberry and apple and their best-seller banana and honey.
DIY Dog Dessert
There are also options out there for the DIY-ers and Pinterest-aholics. Brandy Arnold shared a number of other great recipes on the Doggington Post. I won’t lie to you; I might make the Strawberry Ice Cream recipe she shared in her article. Here it is below:
Strawberry Ice Cream
- 1 small tub of fresh strawberries
- 3 or 4 cups of low/non-fat, plain yogurt
- Mash the strawberries using a potato masher.
- Mix strawberry mash with yogurt and then freeze overnight.
As a side note, the main ingredient in most of these recipes seems to be yogurt. I was a little confused initially because yogurt is a dairy product much like milk. But after a little digging on Dog Food Advisor, I found out that yogurt in small quantities is actually ok for dogs. While it does contain some lactose, dairy products apparently all have varying levels…yogurt being one of the lowest after cheese. What’s more, the active cultures in yogurt actually help to digest the lactose making it a great alternative for dogs and lactose sensitive people alike.
Well I’ve certainly worked up an appetite; looks like it might be the perfect time to try out one of those recipes! Have any of you pet parents out there tried Frosty Paws or other doggie ice cream brands? Have any delectable doggy recipes to share?