Lonely Planet Writer

No more hot dogs: an Italian gelateria is selling ice cream treats for pooches

You know the way your dog looks longingly at you as you’re enjoying an ice cream cone that you can’t share with them? The great news for Italian dogs (or visiting pooches) is that they will no longer be deprived of summer’s favourite treat. Gelateria Maggiore in Vieste, Puglia, has just launched a gelato especially for cats and dogs. This is especially good news for owners who will no longer have to steel themselves to ignore their pet’s pleading eyes.

An Italian gelateria is selling ice cream for dogs. Image: Tetra Images - Jetta Productions/Walter Hodges
An Italian gelateria is selling ice cream for pets. Image: Tetra Images – Jetta Productions/Walter Hodges

While regular ice cream isn’t good for our four-legged friends, the pet-friendly treats are made from flavours that don’t contain natural sugars, such as pistachio and hazelnut. Gelateria Maggiore is considering introducing a special offer, where owners who buy an ice cream gelato will get a free one for their pet. They will be asked to give a donation to the local pet shelter instead, as the idea originally came from them.

Dogs from the local shelter enjoyed the treat in Gelateria Maggiore. Image: Francesca Toto
Dogs from the local shelter enjoyed the treat in Gelateria Maggiore. Image: Francesca Toto

When the pet-friendly ice cream was launched at the weekend, dogs from the local Lega Nazionale Per La Difesa Del Cane shelter were present. They all greatly enjoyed the treat, and the occasion raised awareness of the animals available for adoption at the shelter.  The ultimate aim is to have a situation in Vieste where there are no abandoned dogs languishing in the shelter.

An Italian gelateria is selling ice cream for dogs. Image: Sharon Vos Arnold
An Italian gelateria is selling ice cream for pets. Image: Sharon Vos Arnold

Vieste is well-known for being animal-friendly, and pets are allowed on beaches (where deck chairs are provided for them), in restaurants, hotels and even the local cathedral. The introduction of this latest pet-friendly ice cream treat will only enhance that reputation. If your dog could talk, we suspect he’d be encouraging you to pay Vieste a little visit.

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