Ed, my husband, loves ice cream. Teddy, my lab, loves ice cream, too.
For Teddy, chowing down on a bowl of vanilla smoothness may taste good, but it’s not good for his overall health.
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I could argue that ice cream is bad for Ed, too. But since this is a column about dogs, I’ll stick to Teddy.
According to the website Dog Health News, ice cream contains lactose, fat and sugar. These substances can be harmful to dogs.
Dogs that are lactose intolerant can have intestinal distress. The richer the ice cream, the more likely Teddy will have gas.
Fat and sugar are added calories that dogs, and I would argue some humans (Ed), don’t need.
Too many sweets can add on the pounds for even the most active pooch. This added weight could result in diabetes and shorten life spans.
Both our first and second dogs, Mocha and Lucy, were overweight at one time in their lives. We limited the type of treats we gave them so they would stay at a healthy weight.
Mocha and Lucy lived long, healthy lives, the former 13 years, the latter 16.
We want Teddy to have a long and healthy life, too.
So that gets back to the ice cream.
Teddy loves ice cream.
But ice cream doesn’t love Teddy.
If it’s true that Mom rules, Teddy won’t be eating ice cream anymore.
Ed and our daughter, Jordan, both fervent Teddy fans agreed to the “no ice cream policy.”
Jordan, being lactose intolerant, was quickly on board. Ed came on board after learning the health implications for Teddy.
Now to convince Teddy.
Ice cream substitutes were half of the solution.
Teddy’s three “dieticians” found both store bought and homemade alternatives.
Ice cream substitutes from the grocery store look like the ice cream cups kids get at birthday parties.
Teddy enjoys these ice cream substitutes. But instead of licking the tasty treats he usually gobbles them up in two to three bites then nudges us for more.
I love making homemade ice cream.
In the past, I’ve searched the web for human ice cream recipes, so why not dog ice cream recipes?
I wasn’t disappointed. Countless recipes were posted. Most didn’t require a lot of work.
Teddy especially likes a plain yogurt, banana, peanut butter and honey mixture.
The second half of the solution came with “a little” or depending on the family member “a lot” of guilt.
Teddy no longer goes on our summer drives to the neighborhood soft serve ice cream stand.
How could we dive into that creamy goodness in front of the pooch?
Teddy’s big brown eyes could charm the ice cream cone out of Attila the Hun’s hands.
Some evenings it feels like we’re sneaking past the pooch so he doesn’t know we’re heading out for the decadent treat.
After we’ve finished eating, the evidence is destroyed, so Teddy doesn’t figure out where we went.
Ice cream cups, spoons and napkins are thrown in the trash can inside the garage before we head back into the house.
Does our sneakiness work?
I’m not sure.
I’m sure when Teddy gets close to anyone of us he can sniff out what we’ve done.
My pangs of guilt get him one of his ice cream treats. Usually, two.
Karin Spicer, a magazine writer, has been entertaining families for more than 20 years. She lives in Bellbrook with her family and two furry animals all who provide inspiration for her work. She can be reached at email@example.com.
PEANUT HONEY YOGURT TREATS
32 oz. plain yogurt
1 mashed banana
2 TBLS peanut butter
2 TBLS honey
Mix ingredients in blender. Freeze mixture. The mold should be large enough that your dog can’t swallow the treat whole.