close up of a chocolate, vanilla and raspberry ripple sundae with a cherry on top

Can Cats Eat Dog Ice Cream?

Can cats eat dog ice cream? Is dog ice cream safe for cats? Small tastes probably won’t do your cat any harm but too much can cause your cat problems. Read on to learn more…

You feel like giving yourself a treat, and you head to the freezer to grab that pint of Haagen-Dazs. As you pull off the lid, you turn around to grab a spoon and see your golden retriever sitting there in front of you, wagging his tail back and forth on the floor with that “feed me” look in his eye.

Fortunately, you expected this, and you grab the pint of Ben & Jerry’s “Dog Ice Cream” out of the freezer. As the two of you settle on the couch to enjoy some Netflix and ice cream, your kitty wanders into the room, brought in by the seductive scent of the milk solids in the ice cream.

She effortlessly jumps onto the couch, planting herself in your lap. You can almost see the resentment in her face as she stares over at fido, enjoying his ice cream, and back to the spoon you’re licking.

It’s as if you can hear her saying, “What? You forgot about me?”

Racked with guilt, you wonder if the dog ice cream you got fido is suitable for cats? Can cats eat dog ice cream? After all, they are both animals, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?

ginger cat licking ice cream cone offered to them

What’s the Problem with Ice Cream and Your Pets?

Dogs, like cats, can’t process lactose. Dogs evolved to eat meat, but their digestive systems can handle carbs better than cats. As obligate carnivores, cats don’t have the digestive capacity to consume carbs or high levels of fat in their diet.

Dogs can handle more fat and carbs, making their digestive system more adaptable to human foods. We’re not suggesting you should ever feed your dog human food, but we’re saying that dogs have a better time handling it than cats.

If your dog gets hold of a large quantity of ice cream, they’ll likely eat as much as they can before they start to find the cold annoying, and it’s the same for your cat. As a result, most cats and dogs won’t eat enough of the ice cream to cause a digestive problem.

What Is Dog Ice Cream?

So, Ben & Jerry’s (and a few other ice cream manufacturers) decided to make a “dog-friendly” version of the popular frozen dessert that is lower in dairy. It uses yogurt instead of milk. Yogurt is lower in lactose but still contains small amounts. So now you don’t have to worry about fido getting the runs after eating some ice cream.

Since dogs can handle a broader range of food in their diet, dog ice cream won’t give them an upset stomach. So, if it’s good for fido, then it shouldn’t be a problem for your feline friend, right?

Can I Feed My Cat Dog Ice Cream?

Unfortunately, the answer is still a resounding no. Dog ice cream isn’t suitable for your cat as it still has levels of lactose in it that will upset your cat’s stomach. As mentioned, cats have a finely-tuned digestive system, and they can’t tolerate human foods as well as dogs.

Also, there are plenty of ingredients in dog ice cream that your cat can’t tolerate. Feeding ice cream to your kitty results in digestive discomfort and a possible trip to the vet if they eat too much.

What Will Happen to My Cat if They Eat Dog Ice Cream?

Suppose you come back to the lounge after a bathroom break and find your cat face-deep in the dog’s ice cream bowl. Fido never stood a chance; she was all over it the second you stepped out of the room. Typical.

If your kitty eats just a small amount of dog ice cream, it’s probably not going to cause any real problems with your cat.

However, if she stuffs herself on it, she’s going to have a problem.

While dog ice cream is pet-friendly, it contains plenty of ingredients that cause stomach discomfort in cats. It takes around two to four hours for the effects to start showing up in your kitty.

You’ll probably find her sitting in her litter box, unable to relieve herself while meowing loudly in pain. She might also be scratching at the door for you to let her out so she can relieve herself outdoors.

In most cases, the cat needs to pass the solids, and she’ll be fine. However, that could come with diarrhea, vomiting, and plenty of discomfort for your kitty. However, it’s rare that a case of a cat eating ice cream would ever lead to death in the animal.

a bowl of five scoops of different flavor ice cream accompanied by summer berries

What are the Risks of Feeding Dog Ice Cream to Your Cat?

If you feed dog ice cream to your cat, and they eat a significant amount, they’ll face digestive discomfort. In severe cases, you might have to take your cat to the vet. The vet will induce vomiting in your kitty by feeding them a small amount of diluted hydrogen peroxide.

To get the peroxide down your cat’s throat, the vet inserts a plastic tube and feeds the liquid into the line through a syringe. After bringing up the ice cream, the vet will keep your kitty overnight for observation.

The vet may also give your kitty something to help them manage the pain and discomfort associated with the situation. Most cats make a full recovery.

In Closing – Can Cats Eat Dog Ice Cream?

So, we can conclude that it’s not a good idea to feed your cat dog ice cream. Sure, you can give them a few licks, but letting them plow their way through a bowl of the stuff will probably result in a trip to the emergency room.

However, it’s important to note that most cats won’t bother with eating ice cream. Cats don’t generally like eating cold things; it reminds them of dead prey. Therefore, your cat is likely to take a few licks and then give up on the ice cream.

However, every cat is different, and some might enjoy eating more of the ice cream than others. If you think your cat ate a lot of ice cream, watch their behavior for a few hours before taking them to the vet.

Overall, it’s a good idea to keep your cat away from ice cream altogether. Remember to clean up bowls after you finish. Don’t leave them out for the cat to lick clean.