We love spoiling our beloved pets! And when they give us puppy dog eyes every time we eat something yummy, like a popsicle, it’s tempting to give in and let them have some. But are popsicles really safe for our furry friends?
Dogs can eat popsicles, as long as they don’t consume artificially flavored popsicles meant for humans or consume too much sugar throughout the day. Too much sugar is toxic for dogs and can lead to health issues like diabetes.
In the rest of this article, we’re sharing with you some of the most common questions about feeding popsicles to dogs–and answers to them. So if you can’t wait to give your pet a treat, read on!
Can Dogs Eat Popsicles Meant for Humans?
Tempting as it may be to let our dogs have a go at our desserts and snacks, this is a definite no-no. Human food generally has a higher calorie, sodium, and sugar content (among others), which is inappropriate and even harmful for dogs.
Even popsicles that have fruits in them can also be harmful to your dogs. Fruits are great for humans, but dogs may not be able to metabolize them, causing an upset stomach or, worse, poisoning. Some examples of such foods are avocados and raisins.
The high sugar content in most popsicles can also damage your dog’s teeth or cause problems for your dog, including:
- Causing hyperactivity and unruliness
- Making them overweight
- Giving them an upset stomach
- Causing them to develop diabetes.
And this is especially true if you habitually give your dogs popsicles made for humans.
One of the most common flavors of popsicles is chocolate. We love it. And our dogs seem to want it too. However, chocolate is toxic for dogs and should never be fed to pets. In this case, it’s best to err on the safe side and not give your dog even a lick.
What makes chocolates so harmful to dogs is theobromine. It is a substance found in chocolates that dogs do not have the capacity to digest. And when they do ingest a significant amount of theobromine, their bodies will react, causing symptoms like those of food poisoning: vomiting and diarrhea.
Theobromine can even be problematic for humans in high enough doses, leading to all kinds of ill effects, “including sweating, trembling, and headaches.”
When dogs ingest a large amount of theobromine, they may also exhibit frequent urination, excessive panting, and seizures. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog or have mistakenly given your dog chocolate, bring them to the vet right away.
While chocolates are thought of as a common no-no in the pet world, lots of dog parents still do encounter problems with chocolate poisoning. According to the Animal Poison Control Center, they address up to 76 cases of chocolate poisoning every day.
Best Option: Doggie Popsicles
If you don’t want to take a risk, you can always opt for doggie popsicles instead. That way, you won’t have to worry about harmful ingredients, and they usually come in servings that are appropriate for your pet–which almost always means not too much.
If you’ve had a dog long enough, you’ll know they’re always up for a treat!
You can buy doggie popsicles at pet stores or, if you want to go the extra mile, you can make them yourself. Here are some doggie-safe popsicle ideas that you can try at home:
- Frozen dog treats
- Frozen dog food (wet)
- Frozen plain yogurt
- Frozen mashed bananas
Can Dogs Eat Popsicles Made With Yogurt?
Dogs can eat popsicles made with yogurt, as long as it’s plain or unflavored and does not have too much sugar. However, give only a tiny portion, as dairy can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, and even allergies in dogs.
Also, be careful not to give any flavored yogurt to your dog, as these may contain artificial flavors and other ingredients that your pet may not be able to digest. If you can make the yogurt popsicle yourself, it’s better to do so with Greek yogurt and no added sugar.
However, if your dog is lactose-intolerant, such as if they would have diarrhea, lose their appetite, or vomit when they ingest dairy, refrain from giving your dog any food containing dairy, including yogurt popsicles.
Can Dogs Eat Popsicles With Flavoring?
Dogs should not be given popsicles with fruit or nature-identical flavors, especially ones made for humans. These usually contain too much sugar as well as artificial flavoring that is harmful to dogs. However, even popsicles that contain real fruits can be harmful to dogs, so proceed with caution.
Aside from the artificial flavoring, flavored popsicles may also contain artificial food coloring that may upset their stomach, especially if they consume too much.
Can Dogs Eat Popsicles That Are Sugar-Free?
Our fear of sugar has pushed us to look for other ways to sweeten our food. So when we say sugar-free, what we actually mean is “with artificial sweeteners that are not sugar.” And one of the most common sweeteners being used today is xylitol.
Dogs can eat sugar-free popsicles if they don’t contain sugar, sweeteners, and other ingredients that are harmful to dogs. However, most sugar-free foods contain xylitol, a substance that is poisonous to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.
While harmless in humans, xylitol can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a sudden release of insulin when consumed by dogs. It can also cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop drastically. If you think your dog has consumed anything with xylitol, take them to your vet right away.
Can Dogs Eat Popsicles Every Day?
Dogs shouldn’t eat popsicles every day or even every other day. Once in a while in small amounts is fine. But if you want to give your dog frozen treats more frequently, opt for homemade, doggie-safe ones, such as those without sugar, sweeteners, or other harmful ingredients.
Your dog should not have to rely on frozen treats like popsicles to get satisfied or receive a full diet, though. So if you notice that your dog is always hungry or displaying signs of malnutrition, you might want to shift to dog food with enough vitamins and minerals or add a bit more food in every serving.
Popsicles are a great sunny day treat for both man and dogs! Sure, you can give in to those puppy dog eyes. But make sure that doing so won’t upset your pet’s tummy or cause a more serious health problem.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed reading this article about dogs and popsicles, you must check out How to Remove Dog Ticks Safely and Easily, and Can You Feel a Microchip in a Dog? What You Need To Know.
- Spoiled Hounds: Can Dogs Eat Popsicles? What to Know About Dogs and Popsicles
- The Spruce Pets: Can Dogs Eat Popsicles?
- Hepper: Can Dogs Eat Popsicles? What You Need To Know!
- McGill: My Dog Ate Chocolate and He Was Fine, So What’s the Big Deal?
- FDA: Paws Off Xylitol; It’s Dangerous for Dogs
- PetMD: 6 Reasons Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Have Sugar
- Forbes: What You Need to Know About Theobromine; Poster Child for Valentine’s Chocolate Chemistry
- USA Today: My Dog Ate Chocolate: Here’s What to Know and What to Do
About The Author
M.D Mark D. is a Health and Wellness professional writer. Mark has authored many health articles around the following topics: Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Pets Health, Mental Health, Medicine, and Supplements.