During summer time there’s no better way for you to cool down than by drinking a cold glass of water, full of ice.
Your dog might share your opinion and loves cooling down with ice water after exercise.
But is this really good for dogs? Are ice cubes safe to give to your furry friend?
When you type the words ice and dogs, a lot of mixed opinions can be found. This debate about ice and whether it’s safe or not for your dog started a couple of years ago.
Namely, a dog owner claimed that her dog began coughing, drooling and spluttering after a couple of ice cubes. According to her, her dog got a serious case of bloat – caused by ice! Bloat in dogs can even lead to death, so this piece of information was very alarming to dog owners.
Naturally, the word spread quickly and questions like “Can dogs eat ice?” and “Is ice dangerous to dogs?” started appearing more and more. Let’s clear this out!
Are Ice Cubes Ok For Dogs?
The answer is – yes! Ice is in fact safe to give to your dog, in certain situations and in normal amounts. In the case mentioned above, where it’s believed that ice causes bloat, it’s highly unrealistic that ice alone caused bloat.
Think about it – how many times has your dog eaten snow or licked ice without consequences? Why would ice cubes in water be any different?
Ice alone can’t cause bloat. It’s most probably something else that caused it in that case, either something to eat or another event that happened along with eating or drinking ice.
So, yes, dogs can eat ice cubes. However, there are some things to think about when giving ice to your dog. Let’s check them out!
How Should Dogs Eat Or Drink Ice?
There are certain things to think about when giving your dog ice in any form. Here’s what you should have in mind:
Crush It Up
You shouldn’t give an ice cube in its complete form. Instead, crush it up in small pieces before giving it to your dog. This should be done because an entire ice cube can present a choking hazard, if your dog swallows it whole by accident and it gets stuck in its throat. Crushing up the ice is especially important smaller dogs.
Don’t Serve Them Deep Frozen
If you give deep frozen ice to your dog chances are big that it will get stuck to its tongue and that your dog will end up swallowing the whole thing. Once again, make the ice cubes smaller and let them melt for a while so they’re not deep frozen.
Don’t Rush It
Even though ice is safe in general, you shouldn’t align your dog with all dogs. If your dog has never had ice before introduce ice slowly to your dog. Start by giving your best friend a small, crushed ice cube and observe for reactions.
In general, dogs don’t react at all to ice cubes and will probably even like it in the water when it’s hot. However, as every dog is different, some don’t like it and react negatively – some dogs throw even up. This is not dangerous but it’s just a sign that your dog isn’t an ice lover and that you shouldn’t give it to him or her.
Don’t Give Ice To Puppies
Young puppies aren’t fully developed. Therefore, their systems aren’t ready to deal with high levels of coldness. So, as a rule – don’t give ice cubes to your puppy until he get a bit older.
Can Ice Be Dangerous To Dogs?
Ice itself isn’t dangerous, as we now know, but certain situations associated with ice eating can cause problems.
We’ve already mentioned bloat in dogs. Even if ice can’t cause it, your dog can bloat by eating or drinking ice water too fast. This is why people think that ice causes bloat. In fact, it’s just the fast drinking and, as a consequence, swallowing a lot of air while doing it. So, once again – ice isn’t causing bloat in your dog, but fast drinking or eating can!
Another problem that can occur when eating ice is the effects it can have on your dog’s teeth. Dogs are not usually careful animals, so sometimes they can chew without caution on big, hard ice cubes instead of letting it melt first. Normally, chances are big that this will damage or break some teeth.
Crushing the ice cubes and putting them in water so they can melt will reduce the chances of this happening.
One more situation to think about is in the case of a heatstroke. Many dog owners make the mistake of giving big amounts of ice to their dog in order for them to cool down. However, this can only make the situation worse! If your dog is experiencing heatstroke take him to the veterinarian immediately, ice won’t solve anything!
How Much Ice Can I Give My Dog?
Like with everything else, moderation is the key. Putting ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl is great when it’s very hot or after exercise. However, if you use your dog to always have ice in its water you will create a habit out of it and the ice won’t have as much affect. Also, your dog may refuse water without ice.
Another downside to giving too much ice is vomiting after eating too much ice cubes or drinking too much water. Therefore, save the ice for hot weather or other occasions your dog may need it, don’t overdo it.
You can relax! The whole rumor about ice being dangerous to dogs was nothing more than a rumor. Ice is safe to give to your dog and can even be recommended after a lot of exercise or when the temperature is high.
However, make sure to crush it up and don’t serve it deep frozen. And one last thing – don’t overdo it! Use ice only when needed, don’t make a habit out of it or it will loose it’s purpose!