Everyone loves the summer. Get some shorts on, lather on some sunscreen and flip-flop your way to the beach. But for my dog Gatsby? All hairy and furry and panty, well, he really couldn’t hate the blazing heat any more.
While I’ve got my pick of ice creams to slurp on, rum and raisin, cookies and cream, mango and passionfruit, you name it – my woolly friend is always sat there staring at me with his tongue lolling out of his mouth, making do with boring bowls of water and ice cubes. Until now, that is.
Last week, Aldi became the first UK supermarket to launch ice cream for dogs. The retailer released two dog-friendly and plant-based flavors – pea and vanilla and apple and carrot, just in time for the hot weather.
But there was a snag. Gatsby is a meathead, he’s a picky eater. He turns his nose up at treats other dogs would devour in one second flat and shifts vegetables around with his snout so he can get to the good stuff. If you own a dog like this, you know that a treat for some dogs might not be a treat for yours.
So even if he got some ice cream of his own, would he actually eat it? If he did, would he enjoy it? And most of all, would it cool him down? I got my hands on Aldi’s Beechdean doggy ice cream, and my dog and I put it to the test.
How we tested
It’s pretty simple. I scooped up some ice cream out of the tiny tub, scrutinized how it looked, plopped it into my fussy-eater dog’s bowl and watched as he licked (or didn’t lick) it. Did he finish it all? How quickly did he scarf it down? Did he prefer one flavor over the other? Had he stopped panting from the heat? And of course, was his lolling tongue gone? Here’s what we made of this cool treat.
Aldi beechdean doggy ice cream: £2.99, Aldi.co.uk – available in-store only
Aldi’s doggy ice cream, manufactured by Beechdean, comes in a box of four. You get two 110ml tubs of pea and vanilla and two 110ml tubs of apple and carrot in each. They’re both coconut based and either have chunks of carrot or peas inside each scoop, so they are a pretty healthy snack. One tub kept my dog busy for about 20 minutes. I don’t know whether it was because it was a big enough tub that it filled him up or because he’s actually just a really slow eater.
We started off with the apple-flavoured ice cream with carrot pieces, which honestly smells pretty tasty, and has a really nice texture and color to it. He was a little skeptical at first, pulling away from the little tub after giving it a sniff, but once I’d emptied it out into his bowl, he seemed to take to the cold treat (after a bit of coaxing).
While he did seem to enjoy it after a short time, it still took a few minutes to get comfortable with it, potentially because he’s never had a soft, whipped-like cold dessert like this before. He also made one thing very clear – fast. The fact that he really does not like his veg from him, and that he was not a fan of the little bits of carrot in the ice cream.
Gatsby picked out every bit of carrot in his scoop and spat some of them outside his bowl. He just lapped up all the creamy goodness itself. So while he seemed to like the flavor of the ice cream, he wasn’t a fan of the chunky bits.
After a few hours of rest, we tried the vanilla-flavored ice cream with peas in it. I was certain he was going to enjoy this one more than the apple-flavoured one – he’s always seemed more vanilla than apple, and it smelt simply delicious, but boy was I wrong. He hated this one – he loathed it. He gave it a sniff, one little lick, then trotted away.
Even sticking a biscuit into the ice cream itself didn’t fool him into gorging on the cold treat. He just picked up the biscuit in his mouth, chomped on it, smelt to see if there was any more biscuit remaining and went away. There was no way he was going to eat this ice cream monstrosity, especially if it had peas in it apparently.
The verdict: Aldi Beechdean doggy ice cream
Well, it wasn’t a runaway success in my household. While Gatsby seemed to somewhat enjoy the apple and carrot-flavoured ice cream, it took a bit of coaxing, and he wasn’t a fan of the pea and vanilla flavour. If your dog isn’t too fussed about their food, then there’s a good chance they’ll enjoy this, but if your pooch absolutely hates vegetables – this is a plant-based product after all – good luck. Even though my dog desperately tries to get a lick of my non-vegan ice cream, he didn’t seem a massive fan of Aldi’s one designed for him.
You do get a good amount of ice cream for the price – £2.99 isn’t a lot for four tubs of ice cream, just be prepared for your pooch not to be enamored with the product. The key takeaway was that it did actually cool him down. He was panting heavily before licking up his apple (sans carrot) ice cream, and seemed a lot less agitated and hot after his meal from him. Give it a go.
the Aldi Beechdean doggy ice cream is currently available to buy in-store now.
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