Can My Golden Retriever Eat Ice Cream? 3 Risks and 6 Alternatives

Sharing is caring, which is why we like sharing our foods with the ones we love the most, and this often means giving our dogs a little something of whatever we are having, including ice cream.

But should we give them ice cream? Should we surrender to the puppy eyes they are giving us or will it harm them?

So, Can my golden retriever eat ice cream? Golden retrievers cannot eat ice cream as it is made with milk and sugar. Puppies cannot digest milk and sugar will make them gain weight which will lead to multiple health issues, if golden retrievers ate an ice cream it will lead to one of these things; gas, diarrhea, vomiting or bloating.

That’s the short version, but the long version has some caveats and exceptions that you should know about. For example, it can depend on the flavor, to find out what affects them, why, and what happens if they eat it, and what’s alternative for ice cream, more widely keep on reading…

Why Dogs Can’t Eat Ice Cream? 

Dog eating ice cream to illustra the answers to can my golden retriever eat ice cream

Dogs can’t eat ice cream because their bodies can’t digest milk. Sugar will be one of your biggest problems, it will lead to your dog putting on weight which will cause them a lot of health issues that you are just better off avoiding sugar altogether.

If you can’t resist your dog’s cute sounds and eyes, a spoon or two wouldn’t harm ( but please check with your vet before making that decision), also check the ice cream label to read if there’s xylitol or not. 

Avoid giving your dog anything that contains Xylitol, it’s a sweetener and it’s really toxic to dogs.

Flavor matters too, for example, chocolate, bubble gum, grapes, raisins, and nuts – especially macadamia nuts, all these flavors are toxic and will cause them severe symptoms that are sometimes fatal.

It can also depend on Your dog’s medical history. Giving ice cream to a dog with diabetes, obesity, dairy intolerance, or allergies will be much worse.

It’s better if you give your dog other desserts, those that are safer for your dog, and wouldn’t cause them many problems.

The Dangers of Ice Cream on Dogs: 

  1. Sugar
  2. Chocolate 
  3. Dairy 


We eat ice cream because it’s tasty and sweet, its sweetness makes us put on little weight but we got it under control, so sugar makes our dogs put on weight too.

Just like with humans, overweight dogs are more prone to certain health issues, and sugar can even cause obesity in dogs. Obesity in dogs can cause some very serious problems like certain tumors, heart diseases and high blood pressure.

Check with your vet on your dog’s healthy weight and make sure to balance their diet with their exercise routine to keep them in a healthy weight.


You already know how dangerous chocolate is for your dog, and you know that the darker the chocolate is the more dangerous it is on your dog. Even in small amounts, the consumption of dark chocolate can be fatal for your dog.

But even small amounts can cause seizures  and other symptoms.


Dairy is seriously dangerous on many dogs, and dairy products are a leading source of food intolerance in dogs. Many dogs are lactose-intolerant which means they can’t digest milk, and this can can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

Most dairy products also have high-fat content, and consumption of these high-fat products – such as whole milk- can lead to pancreatitis for your dog, which is a very serious and sometimes fatal condition.

What Kind of Ice Cream is Safe for Dogs? 

Plain vanilla is always the safest ice cream for your dog. A spoon or two would be fine but more than that could lead to problems. Start with the smallest amount and closely watch your dog to see how they react.

Avoid giving them these flavors; chocolate, nuts, and coffee beans. Because these flavors are poisonous. If your dog shows any signs of sickness after consuming the ice cream, take them to the vet.

If you just can’t resist their puppy eyes and must give them ice cream, I highly recommend you make the ice cream at home so you know exactly what is in there.

You should also definitely know about these 18 human foods that should never be in any food you give to your golden retriever.

Alternative Treats That Can Cool Down Your Dog 

Summer needs cool drinks and snacks to help us survive that hot weather.

Your dog needs them too but his snacks might be a little trickier than ours since they can’t eat much ice cream or jello. But there’s some tasty cool snacks that your dog will enjoy.

Homemade snacks are always a good idea like:

  • Freeze mashed banana and peanut butter.
  • Ice cubes of chicken or beef broth.
  • Chill carrots.
  • Freeze sweet potatoes.
  • Nice cream
  • Frozen yogurt.

If your dog enjoys certain fruit you can always mash them and freeze them.

Freeze mashed banana and peanut butter:

Mash a banana and mix it with one tablespoon of peanut butter ( make sure that the peanut butter is all natural) and apply it in the ice cube tray. Only offer one treat a day.

Ice cubes of chicken or beef broth:

Place chicken or beef broth into ice cubes. When frozen you can give a couple of these cubes to your dog as a meal. You can also flavour their beverages with these cubes.

Chill carrots:

Never underestimate chill carrots; it’s a healthy snack that your pooch can enjoy, you can also mash the carrots and mix it with peanut butter or yogurt and put it into ice cubes.

Freeze sweet potatoes:

Mash sweet potatoes with the skin after you peel it and bake it til it’s soft, add it in the ice cubes and serve it to your dog.

Nice cream: 

Nice cream is Mashed banana with a low fat greek yogurt. It’s simply mashing the banana with the yogurt and putting it in ice cubes.  Avoid using flavored yogurt which contains sugar. You can also replace the bananas with apples, mango,  blackberries, blueberries, or strawberry.

Mango is full of vitamins which will be really healthy for your dog.

Blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and also have plenty of vitamins and fiber and provide nutritional value that will make your pooch stronger and healthier.

Frozen yogurt:

Frozen yogurt is way better than ice cream, for your dog. It contains less lactose and it’s easier for them to digest. Don’t give your dog commercial frozen yogurt it will be full of sugar instead give them unsweetened frozen yogurt, keep it in the freezer at home and give it to them as a treat.

Do not give it to your dog if they are lactose intolerant. 

Related Questions 

What Happens if My Dog Ate Ice Cream? 

If your dog ate ice cream it’ll lead to one of these things; gas, bloating, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. It could also be a bigger problem and you’ll need to take them to the vet if they suffer from obesity, diabetes, lactose intolerance, or allergies and if it was chocolate ice cream too.

Can Dogs Die From Chocolate Ice Cream? 

Yes, they can, dogs can die from chocolate because it contains methylxanthines like caffeine and theobromine. Which poison dogs and can cause severe symptoms or even death. Please if your dog ate chocolate you need to take them to the vet immediately.

Can dogs eat whipped cream?

Yes, they can eat whipped cream, whipped cream can be a good idea if your dog is underweight and having a hard time putting on weight but other than that it doesn’t offer health benefit and just like ice cream it will cause your dog gas, diarrhea, or bloating.


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Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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