Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream Cones? – How To Make Substitutes

Ice cream is one of the best treats to have during summer. Usually, ice cream is served in ice cream cones which are crispy and tasty treats. But can dogs eat ice cream cones or are they bad for them?

Dogs should not eat ice cream cones as they contain a lot of sugar that can be detrimental to a dog’s health. Even though accidentally eating it in small amounts is fine, eating many ice cream cause can cause your dog many other health problems.

Ingredients Of An Ice Cream Cone

The basic recipe for an ice cream cone includes making a mix of flour, sugar, and vegetable oil. Some of the ingredients can be changed, for example, switching canola oil with vegetable oil. But there are a lot of different ice cream cones made with additional ingredients.

Can Dogs Have Sugar Cones?

Using ice cream cones for dogs can cause a lot of harm to them. This type of ice cream cone contains a lot of extra sugar whose purpose is to make the cone taste better. However, the high amounts of sugar are bad for your dog and can lead to obesity and diabetes. 

Are Waffle Cones Safe For Dogs?

Waffle cones are another type of ice cream cone that is similar to the regular ones. They also have very high amounts of sugar, sometimes even more than the sugar ice cream cones. They can cause the same problems that sugar cones cause and should not be given to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Cake Cones?

Cake cones are not very different from other cones when it comes to their ingredients. Otherwise, you can notice these cones have a flat bottom that makes it easier for you to rest them on a table. They can cause the same problems for dogs as all other ice cream cones.

Can Dogs Have Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cones?

There won’t be much of a difference between the ice cream cones and dogs’ health effects if you feed them gluten-free ice cream cones. Yes, the low gluten will be great for dogs with gluten sensitivity, but the high sugar content will still be a problem for all dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Vegan Ice Cream Cones?

Generally, all ice cream cones can be considered vegan. However, regular ice cream cones are made with refined sugar which uses bone char during the refining process. Real vegan ice cream cones contain vegan sugar, for example, beet sugar, which can be healthier. But dogs still shouldn’t eat too much of them.

Can Dogs Have Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Cones?

Chocolate-dipped ice cream cones are much more harmful to dogs compared to regular cones. Dogs are not allowed to eat chocolate at all because dogs can suffer from chocolate poisoning due to the high amounts of theobromine. The high sugar content is just an additional risk to the dog.

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream Cones With Sprinkles?

Adding sprinkles to a regular ice cream cone might seem tasty to you, but it will only add up to the sugar content of the cone. Sprinkles can also contain a lot of artificial ingredients and flavors which can cause a lot of problems for dogs.

Can Dogs Have Ice Cream Cones?

No, dogs should not eat ice cream cones. Some dogs only like eating human food, but this is very bad for them. Ice cream cones are processed and made with a lot of ingredients that are harmful to dogs. Really small amounts of this tasty snack will not be problematic for dogs. But eaten in high amounts, they can cause a lot of problems.

Lactose Intolerance

Many dogs are prone to developing lactose intolerance throughout their lives. Being lactose intolerant means not being able to digest milk or any dairy products due to not having the lactase enzyme needed for digestion.

Because ice cream cones have milk on their ingredient list, dogs can experience symptoms of lactose intolerance when eating them. “The signs include diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal discomfort after ingesting cow’s or goat’s milk.”, says Dr. Krista Williams.

Gluten Sensitivity

Another reason why ice cream cones are harmful to dogs is due to gluten sensitivity. This intolerance is not as common as lactose intolerance, but some dogs can still have it.

Most ice cream cones contain gluten and can cause many symptoms in dogs with gluten sensitivity. Canine Country describes the sensitivity as such:

A gluten-intolerance/sensitivity is an allergic reaction that causes a dog’s immune system to essentially attack their gastrointestinal tract. In effect, causing severe damage to the lining of the intestine. 

Usually, it presents with gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. That said, gluten-free ice cream cones exist and they are made for people with gluten sensitivity.

Digestive Issues

Even if your dog does not have an intolerance to lactose or gluten, it can still experience digestive issues after eating ice cream cones. Too much of anything can cause a disturbance in the canine’s digestion.

You can expect to see symptoms like nausea, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and fatigue. The dog might have diarrhea at night if it eats ice cream cones in the evening. Pain and abdominal discomfort are other possible symptoms.


Dogs and ice cream cones don’t go well together as the high amount of sugar and calories in them causes obesity. If your dog is consuming these ice cream cones frequently, the calories will pile up and cause it to become overweight.

Once a dog becomes obese, it is exposed to many other health problems including heart disease and respiratory disease. It also increases the chances of diabetes. “Diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, is a condition that occurs when the body can not use glucose (a type of sugar) normally.”, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Besides causing all kinds of digestive problems, ice cream cones can also affect the respiratory system. The hard and crispy form of the ice cone can get broken up into smaller pieces. Some of those pieces can end up blocking the airway and causing problems with breathing.

Small pieces can also end up in the esophagus or throat and cause problems with swallowing. You might need to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your dog in this situation.

Xylitol Toxicity

Sometimes, dogs get sick from ice cream cones due to an artificial ingredient called xylitol. Xylitol is often used for making sugar-free ice cream cones. This ingredient is also known to be extremely toxic for dogs by causing xylitol intoxication.

If a dog eats xylitol, it can succumb to developing severe hypoglycemia. The dog may start vomiting, feel weak, and be uncoordinated. In this case, you will need help from the vet.

Chocolate Poisoning

Chocolate can be found in chocolate-dipped ice cream cones. These can be incredibly tasty for humans, but also really dangerous for dogs.

Chocolate contains ingredients like caffeine and theobromine that dogs can’t metabolize. In large quantities, these ingredients can cause serious health issues like vomiting and diarrhea. They can even cause an abnormal heart rhythm, tachycardia, seizures, and even collapse.

Nut Poisoning

Ice cream cones can be toxic to dogs if they contain nuts. Usually, special nut-dipped ice cream cones are made that can be very tasty for humans. Some dogs can be allergic to nuts and experience many problems due to an allergic reaction.

This can cause symptoms like forming a rash, itching, choking, vomiting, and even collapsing. Luckily, not many dogs are prone to nut allergies.

Are Homemade Ice Cream Cones Suitable For Dogs?

Because ice cream cones are not very healthy, you can try making your own dog-friendly ice cream cones. You can try making this recipe for dog-friendly waffle cones that uses dog-safe ingredients:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Mix and whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl until they are combined. The batter should have a liquid consistency. If you have a waffle maker, place the batter there, if not, place it on a non-stick pan. Spread the batter into a thin and even layer and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Then flip it, and after it’s done quickly roll it in a cone form. Leave it to harden and then enjoy.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate An Ice Cream Cone

If you catch your dog snacking on these little goodies, you shouldn’t panic instantly. Most of the time, dogs will only eat a little before we catch them. This means that they won’t experience any serious problems.

To make sure that everything is fine, observe your dog throughout the day. If it starts showing any signs of discomfort like vomiting and diarrhea, ask for veterinary advice. Try finding the ingredient list of the ingested ice cream cone. If there are any toxic ingredients like xylitol, a visit to the vet will be needed. Otherwise, if your dog is not showing any symptoms, you can relax.

If your dog doesn’t listen to you and eats other stuff it shouldn’t without permission, you need to start training your dog better. 

Is Ice Cream Safe For Dogs? 

Unfortunately, dogs can not eat ice cream as well. Ice cream contains a lot of dairy which can cause problems for dogs with lactose intolerance. That said, chocolate ice cream or store-bought ice cream with xylitol can be very toxic to dogs.

A few licks of ice cream won’t probably cause any problems though so you shouldn’t be too worried. But feeding too much will not only increase the chances of stomach upset but also increase the chance of the dog becoming overweight.

Substitutes For Ice Cream And Ice Cream Cones

Because ice cream and ice cream cones are not safe for dogs, you can try some healthy alternatives to give as snacks. A simple substitute for ice cream would be frozen fruit. Anything from frozen bananas, blueberries, strawberries, or apples can make for amazing summer treats.

You can also make your own homemade dog treats like ice cream at home by combining yogurt with different kinds of fruits and freezing it. You can combine this with the previously mentioned homemade waffle cones for an amazing snack experience.

Dog-Friendly Ice Cream Cone Brands

If you don’t feel like making a frozen dessert snack for your dog, there are a few store-bought brands that make ice cream for dogs. Such brands include the:

  • Frosty Paws by Purina
  • Pooch Creamery
  • Puppy Scoops
  • Hoggin Dogs
  • Ben & Jerry’s Doggie Desserts

These are only a few available brands that offer ice cream for dogs. All of them are made with safe ingredients and use dog-friendly recipes.

Dog eating ice cream

Final Thoughts – Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream Cones?

Ice cream cones can be a tasty snack, especially when served with ice cream on top. But these little cold snacks can contain a lot of ingredients like sugar, milk, chocolate, nuts, and even xylitol, that can harm your dog. That’s why dogs should not eat ice cream cones.

Dogs that eat ice cream cones expose themselves to developing xylitol toxicity, chocolate toxicity, or an allergic reaction to nuts. They can also choke on the cones, or experience bad stomach issues due to other ingredients of the cones.

If you want to treat your dog but avoid these complications, you can make this snack at home. Homemade ice cream and ice cream cones can be a perfect snack for your dog during the hot summer days.


Why do dogs love ice cream?

Dogs love ice cream for the same reasons we humans do, because it’s incredibly delicious. Ice cream has a lot of sugar, salt, and fat, which makes the snack very palatable to a dog.

Can dogs eat cake?

No, dogs can not eat cake for the same reasons that dogs can not eat ice cream cones. Cakes are made with ingredients like sugar, milk, and chocolate, all of which can be detrimental to a dog’s health.

Can dogs eat yogurt?

Yes, dogs can eat yogurt and benefit from its nutritional benefits. However, you should choose what type of yogurt to give your dog. Don’t give yogurt that has a lot of sugar or artificial ingredients that can harm the dog.

More dog nutrition resources

Here are a few other resources talking about giving certain foods to dogs and the effect they have on their health.

You can find a lot more information on the types of food you can feed your dog on our site Dogisa!

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