Is Ice Bad For Dogs?

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Do you want to help your dog cool down? Or to freeze some of his treats? Then you will want to know: Is ice bad for dogs?

[wp_ad_camp_5]On a scorching hot summer’s day, there is nothing better than a tall glass of cold water filled with ice, especially after exercise.

Surely your dog would also appreciate some ice when he has finished his walk and temperatures are soaring outside?

As every pet parent knows, our faithful friends are unable to sweat so need other ways to cool down.

But can dogs eat ice?

A few years ago, contradicting rumours circulated on the internet stating the extreme risk to dogs eating ice, that could lead to possible death.

These stories have caused much panic and confusion amongst dog owners around the globe.

However, the good news is that, so long as you follow certain precautions, it is perfectly safe to give your dog ice cubes when it is hot.

Read on for more advice before the summer heat hits again.

Are ice cubes bad for dogs?

If you give your dog ice cubes, the best and safest way to offer one is by crushing it into small pieces.

[wp_ad_camp_2]A whole ice cube could stick to your dog’s tongue or he could swallow it all in one go, causing him to choke.

Another danger is that aggressively chewing on an ice cube could make your dog’s teeth brittle, possibly breaking one or two in the process.

Although this is highly unlikely given that most dogs can happily chow down on entire raw bones.

Is it safe to give your dog ice water?

Another false myth is that drinking ice water on a hot day can cause a dog to bloat.

Bloat is triggered by a dog drinking or eating too fast, taking in large amounts of air, thus creating a build-up of gas in the stomach.  Check out our ‘article on the risks of bloat for more information

Putting a couple of ice cubes in your dog’s drinking water is a good way to keep him hydrated, as it encourages him to drink, plus it makes a very welcome treat!

However, do not be tempted to give lots of ice water for dogs which show signs of heat stroke. Or place them in an ice bath, as this could be extremely dangerous.

Is ice bad for dogs - discover when it is safe to feed frozen treats or ice cubes to your dogBe aware if your dog shows any of the following signs of heat stroke, and immediately take him to a veterinarian:

  • Panting rapidly
  • Depression
  • Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
  • Diarrhea
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale looking gums
  • Saliva thick and sticky
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargic
  • Shock
  • Coma

Your veterinarian will immediately act to lower your dog’s body temperature, administer fluids and monitor his progress to aid his recovery.

Can puppies have ice?

Some people recommend giving an ice cube to a puppy when they are teething to help soothe aching gums.

However, you should never give large quantities of ice cube to a puppy or put ice in their water. This is a precaution as their bodies are potentially not developed enough to cope with extreme coldness.

You can, though, happily give your teething puppy commercial toys that are meant to be frozen

Also, frozen vegetables, such as carrots, can be offered or just immerse a clean cloth in water, twist into shape, and place in the freezer for a couple of hours, creating a home-made soother for your pup.

Is ice good for dogs?

Giving your dog ice cubes, either crushed up or in his drinking water, is an excellent and safe way to keep your beloved pooch hydrated on a hot, summer’s day.

It is also a healthy and natural way to keep his teeth clean!

[wp_ad_camp_1]However, like everything, ice should be given in moderation as a rewarding treat and not something to be expected every time you go to the freezer, as this could ultimately lead to pestering.

In some cases, giving your dog ice cubes may cause him to have a severe reaction, such as vomiting. If this happens, then ice is obviously something your dog is unable to tolerate, so should not be given in future.

Making an ice lick is a wonderful way to keep your dog entertained during those long, hot summer days plus you can monitor his intake. Freeze chicken or beef broth with a little peanut butter for a yummy, doggy ice treat!

Is ice bad for dogs?

If you abide by these simple rules, there is no reason why your pet pooch cannot enjoy some ice from time to time. To beat the summer heat, and disregarding those annoying rumours!

What do you think?

Does your dog love ice on a hot summer’s day?

Do you have any recipes for ice licks you would like to share?

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

Let us know in the comments section below!

And don’t forget to check out: “What Can Dogs Eat”  for more tips and fun facts

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Further reading

  • Heat Stroke in Dogs: A Retrospective Study of 54 Cases (1999-2004) and Analysis of Risk Factors for Death – Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
  • RADIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THORACIC CONFORMATION AND THE RISK OF GASTRIC DILATATION-VOLVULUS IN DOGS – Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound

10 COMMENTS

  1. After boiling boneless, skinless chicken breasts for our puppy I freeze the leftover water in ice cube trays and give them to her on hot days and to aleviate teething pain. They’re a low calorie, low salt treat that she loves.

  2. Our dogs have always loved chasing the occasional ice cube around the floor with the reward of crunching it up once they’ve got hold of it!
    We’ve never noticed any ill effects!

  3. My lab loves ice. As soon as he hears the ice dispenser, or the shuffling of ice in a cooler, he pops up right next to you waiting for his (ice) treat. He immediately breaks it up with his teeth. Likes the whole cube – although not really cube shaped – versus crushed. Making a mess with the latter, leaving a small puddle to dry up every time.

  4. We’ve always given our 2 year old Lab ice cubes whole without a second thought. Is this harmful?? She loves them and we’ve never noticed any negative side effects.

  5. I was just thinking about this the other day wondering if it was a good idea. Ever since our black lab was a baby we have been giving her ice. At first I would chop the ice cubes up with a rolling pin, she would collect the pieces that fell on the kitchen floor. It was a fun game. Then I bought the ice cube trays that make the tiny, bite-sized cubes. Now she waits for me to put a few in her dish after she eats breakfast. It has become a part of her daily routine. We wouldn’t be able to change this if we tried, she loves ice, it’s a refreshing, non-fat treat for her!

  6. I freeze pumpkin, sweet potato puree, and even canned dog food in ice trays and give as treats. My lab loves them!

  7. My previous dog and my current one demands ice in his bucket on hot days. I have gone out to check on their water only to find the bucket is full but the water is warm. Dogs will pinch your ice cream or lolly if you are not careful on hot days. We dont live in tropical weather but when we do get heat it can be dangerous for humans let alone dogs.

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