This is the irony of life… Yesterday I was talking about potentially unsafe ingredients in dog food only to wake up this morning to the news about a dog ice-cream that’s about to hit supermarket’s shelves.
For a second, I was excited. I really, really was! Then I looked at the ingredients label and felt a wave of fear creeping into my brain like a fog.
This is the fist time I will have to mention the brand with a warning sign attached to it. But I have no choice here because…
Ben & Jerry’s doggy ice-cream can be toxic to your dog!
They market it as “Fairtrade”, “dietary certified” and “non-GMO” and the packaging is very pretty, but this is where the good stuff ends.
The ingredients in these doggy desserts are not good. At all.
First of all, it’s full of sugar and corn syrup, which make the base of the ice-cream. In no dietary land, human or animal, this would be good. But hey, they also put some annatto extract that may reduce hypoglycaemia in dogs after a meal, so I guess they thought it would be a kind of balancing act (unless the dogs have diabetes and on medication… not that it was mentioned anywhere on the packaging)
Next, it contains “spices”. Which aren’t even identified.
Plus “natural flavour”… Which is also a mystery.
But it is not even the worst part.
First of all, the ice-cream is made with sodium bicarbonate, which can irritate dog’s gut and cause vomiting.
Carrageenan is another ingredient that has been linked to gut inflammation, lesions and ulcers in both animals and humans.
Peanuts that make a huge chunk of Pontch’s Mix are difficult to digest and can contain aflatoxins that pose a serious health risk to both dogs and humans. Just to give you an idea, one study discovered that 10 out of 11 peanut butter samples were heavily contaminated with various types of aflatoxins. And if you think “fair trade” ingredients mean a better choice, here is another study showing that contaminated peanuts can be found all over the world.
However, the worst part of the recipe is the lemon juice concentrate. Even though it sounds innocent enough, it is a known source of psoralens, natural compounds that are toxic to dogs and can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy if eaten.
Shame that with all the resources and amazing opportunities, the brand managed to create a nutrition disaster… And the most worrying part is that many people will never look past the pretty packaging and happily feed their dog with the most dodgy dessert I’ve ever come across…
What is the alternative? Make your own dog treats! If I can do it, so can you.