There is nothing quite as refreshing as having a nice cold ice cream on a warm day. My dog loves her specially formulated dog ice cream as an occasional treat too.
She probably got her ‘sweet tooth’ from me.
The funny thing is, my cat also wants in on the action when my dog and I are having ice cream in the kitchen.
You can’t feed your cat ice cream made that is made for humans. It contains many ingredients and flavorings that can be bad for cats.
But can you feed your cat dog ice cream which is made to be more ‘pet-friendly’?
Cats should not be eating dog ice cream even though it is safer than human ice cream. The ingredients used in making dog ice cream are meant to be safe for dogs but might not be for cats. Cats and dogs have different digestive systems and should be treated as such.
In this article, we will take a closer look at what goes into the making of dog ice cream and why we should not be feeding ice cream meant for dogs to our feline friends.
Cat Vs Dog Digestive System
In order to further understand why cats can’t eat food made for dogs, we first need to know the difference between them.
Cats were born to be solitary animals. The moment they leave their mother’s nest as kittens, they are left all alone to fend for themselves.
Because of this, nature has given cats the ability to be great hunters. They hunt for small prey like birds, rabbits and rodents as cat food.
Cats are obligate carnivores which makes them pure meat eaters. They get all their nutrients from animal protein and don’t have the ability to digest carbohydrates.
This is why feeding dry cat food is bad for your cat as it lacks protein and moisture.
Dogs on the other hand are rather different from cats. They are pack animals and tend to live in small groups.
They can hunt too but are more scavengers and opportunistic eaters. Dogs tend to eat from any food source that is available. Their bodies are more adept at digesting carbohydrates and plant matter than cats.
Dogs are in a position to better tolerate human foods as compared to cats.
What Is In Dog Ice Cream?
Even though dogs have more leeway when it comes to eating human food, we have to be careful with what we feed them.
With the creation of dog ice cream, man’s best friend can have its own cold treat.
Most dogs are lactose intolerant like cats. They don’t do well when eating dairy products and you won’t be too happy cleaning up the mess.
In dog ice cream, non-lactose plant-based milk or yoghurt is usually used as the base. Yoghurt has a lot less lactose which is better for dogs.
Minimal sugar is used in dog ice cream and they are no other toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners (xylitol) and chocolate.
Why Human Ice Cream Is Bad For Pets?
There are quite a few dangers when it comes to feeding human ice cream to our pets.
First and foremost, most of our ice creams contain dairy milk in it. This gives ice cream its full and rich flavor and texture.
As most cats and dogs are lactose intolerant, they lack the enzymes required to break down lactose in dairy products.
This can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and an upset stomach.
Some sugar-free or low-fat ice cream can contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol which can be fatal to cats and dogs.
As yummy as chocolate is to humans, this is one ingredient that you will never find in pet-safe food due to its high toxicity risk to pets.
If your cat or dog has eaten human ice cream that contains any harmful ingredients to pets, please bring it to the vet immediately for a checkup.
Why Is My Cat Attracted To Ice Cream?
Here’s a fun fact.
Cat can’t taste sweetness.
And there’s a good reason for that.
As mentioned earlier, cats have evolved to not need carbohydrates anymore in their diet. Hence the body has no need to taste sweetness which is usually an attribute of carbs.
Cats like to eat dog ice cream or human ice cream due to the higher fat content in it. Cats have an amazing sense of smell and can detect animal fat in food.
Too much fatty food in your feline friend’s diet can cause a number of health issues. Their finely tuned digestive system can only digest so much fat before it gets stressed out.
This will result in an upset stomach accompanied by nausea and loose stools.
What Are The Healthier Alternatives For Cats?
Not being able to eat dog ice cream does not mean we should leave our feline friend at the party.
There are a number of other healthier alternatives that we can give our cats to satisfy their urge for something cold.
Frozen Tuna Broth Cubes
Cats love the smell and taste of tuna. You can make some healthy homemade tuna water or broth by boiling some fresh tuna in water for a few minutes.
Once cooled, you can pour the tuna broth into ice cube molds and freeze them. Including some of the boiled tuna meat in the cubes can make it yummier.
Feel free to give your cat one or two cubes a week as a treat.
Just don’t keep shoving ice cream down your cat’s throat as it isn’t healthy.
Cat Ice Cream
There are a couple of commercial cat ice creams sold at pet stores.
I personally have not fed my pet cat any of them. But if you plan to do so, make sure to read through the ingredient list to make sure the ingredients used are safe for your cat.
Yup. It can be just as simple as giving your cat an ice cube to lick. My cat loves cold stuff and eats all his food cold.
He can lick an ice cube like he’s eating ice cream.
Even though dog ice cream seems safer for cats than human ice cream, there’s no point in taking the risk.
Some cats are very sensitive to the ingredients used in making dog ice cream.
Instead of letting your cat eat dog ice cream, try out the above healthier alternatives for your cat.