Question: Can dogs eat ice cubes? Or is ice bad for dogs?
Answer: Come summer time, you and I start contemplating ways to get around the unbearable temperatures and heat levels that affect both us and our furry companions.
Anyone who walks their dog on a day to day basis knows for a fact that a 30 minute walk during cold wintertime is most definitely not the same 30 minute walk on a hot summer day.
The first thing that comes to my mind after I finish exercise in summertime is a humongous glass of ice water. And guess what, your dog might want just the same after they’re done with their exercise for the day during summer!
So, besides giving our dogs or puppies an ice cube to play around with, what we immediately think of is giving our dogs some ice cubes to eat or lick away on so they can properly re-hydrate. But, is ice good for dogs or is ice bad for dogs?
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Can Dogs Eat Ice Cubes? Or Are Ice Cubes For Dogs Bad?
Chances are, you’ve landed on this article after you heard a rumor that goes along the lines of “if you give your dog ice water or ice cubes, it can kill them”.
This rumor about giving ice water to dogs is mainly a result of a blog post dated back to 2010 where a dog owner claims that her dog began to seriously cough, drool and splutter after she gave it a few ice blocks on a hot summer day.
Afterwards, the woman claims to have consulted with her veterinarian on the issue, and claims that the vet told her that the ice water gave her dog a serious case of bloat. And, for those of you reading that might not know this fact, bloat can lead to death in dogs.
However, the good news for you and I in all of this is that this is just a false rumor! You indeed CAN give your dog some ice water or ice cubes without having to worry about losing your furry buddy.
Drinking ice water or eating ice cubes on hot summer days most certainly does NOT cause bloat in dogs. 99% of the time, something else that was given to the dog to eat or a simultaneous event that happened along with eating/drinking ice water is the cause of the bloat in dogs.
Just think about it for a second, how many times have you given your dog a couple of ice cubes without any bad consequences?
If you’ve not done that, how many times have you seen your dog eat some snow during winter season without any negative effects following? Or how many times have you given your dog some ice cream, Popsicle, ice lollies or frozen yogurt and your dog survived that?
It just doesn’t make sense!
However, with that being said, there are some cautionary guidelines you have to follow to ensure that all goes well when you give your dog ice water.
How Can Dogs Eat Ice Cubes Or Drink Ice Water?
First off, you want to make sure you don’t give your dog an ice cube in its complete form as it is. You’re going to want to crush it up into small pieces instead.
By doing this, you won’t have to worry about the ice cube sticking to your dog’s tongue or your dog swallowing the whole cube by accident and choking on it after it gets lodged in your dog’s throat.
Now, as we already established above, eating/drinking ice water in and of itself in no way leads to bloat in dogs. However, your dog can bloat if it eats or drinks water at a very fast pace.
This is something people confuse all the time, where they believe that ice water caused bloat in their dogs, while the reality is that their dog just drank the water way too fast (which also means swallowing a whole lot of air at the same time) because it’s just too darn hot and they’re dehydrated!
Another issue you have to be wary of is the danger that eating ice cubes has on your dog’s teeth. If your dog decides to violently chew away on a big, hard ice cube instead of having it melt in their mouth with time, there’s a really big chance that it’s going to be harmful to them and they’re going to damage, and even break, a few teeth.
So, crush a couple of ice cubes down to tiny pieces, put them in your dog’s bowl and let them push the summer heat away and re-hydrate safe and sound! Or, put a few ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl to make it nice and cold.
Safety First When It Comes To Giving Dogs Ice
Given that no two dogs ever react the exact same way, you’re best off approaching this with a “better safe than sorry” mentality if you don’t have proper experience with your dog, as you don’t really know how your dog will react to eating ice cubes or drinking ice water.
So, start things one small step at a time by giving your dog a small, crushed ice cube and observe how they react to it. In most cases, your dog will react completely fine to it, in which case you’re good to go.
However, in other cases, your dog might react in a negative way to the ice water or ice cubes, in which case you now have an extra item on your dog’s “to-not-give list”. In some cases, your dog might even throw up after eating an ice cube.
You should also definitely not give your young puppy anything that’s comprised of ice water mainly because their systems aren’t yet ready to deal with that level of coldness. So, as a rule of thumb, DO NOT give your puppy ice cubes.
How Much Ice Can I Give My Dog?
As is the case with anything you give to Fido, moderation is key here.
Go overboard on this one and you’ll train your dog to expect eating/drinking ice on a daily basis, and they’ll start to exhibit behavioral problems if they don’t get their daily “ice-fix” in no time.
Or, as mentioned in the last section, your dog might vomit after eating too much ice cubes or drinking too much ice water too fast.
So, make sure to keep the ice for the most intense of summer days when your dog needs, and appreciates it, the most.
When Are Dogs And Ice A Bad Match?
One of the most common thoughts dog owners get when their dog suffers from heatstroke is giving them loads and loads of ice so they can “cool down” and save up on trip to the veterinarian.
One word of caution, DO NOT try to treat your dog’s heatstroke or overheating case with ice water! You have to immediately grab your dog and get it to the veterinarian, as haphazardly giving your dog ice in an attempt to “cool them down” in this case will only lead to worsening the situation, potentially even leading to organ failure and death.
Wrapping Things Up
So, as far as that rumor about your dog becoming bloated after eating ice cubes/drinking ice water, it just isn’t true.
As long as you make note of and follow the precautions mentioned in this article, getting that ice tray and giving your dog a few ice cubes to eat or a little iced water to drink in their bowl during summertime is actually an excellent idea to make sure they feel fresh and remain properly hydrated.