Can Ice Harm Your Dog?  The truth behind the viral story

Can Ice Harm Your Dog? The truth behind the viral story

Many of you may be alarmed by the recent blogs and articles circulating on the web, such as things that alarmingly often do, warning you to NEVER give your dog ice or ice water, as this could cause serious injury or even death. There are different stories about the article, with different dogs and different outcomes, but the story is pretty similar to most of them saying their vet told them that dogs should NEVER have ice cream.


When I came across this I thought it was strange as most of us have fed our dogs one or two ice cubes all their lives and of course in the winter we have all seen our dogs eat/drink snow and freeze water from an ice cold bucket without cause damage.

Another version claims that ice water can cause bloating in dogs:

So I went to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and got answers to my questions from medical director Dr. Tina Wismer.

Considering how many times we've all shared ice cream, ice cream, popsicles, etc. with our dogs, we thought this must be a false rumor


Can giving ice to your dog cause bloating, as the story implies?

This is not true. Dogs DO NOT FLOW from drinking ice water on hot days. Bloat can be from food or from a buildup of gas. Both can cause the stomach to twist and the dog to develop GDV (gastric dilatation volvulus). Bloating is most commonly seen in large breed dogs with a deep chest.

Factors that increase the risk of bloating include:

  • Feed only one meal a day
  • Family history of bloating
  • Eat fast
  • Thin
  • Moisten dry food
  • Elevated feeders
  • Limiting water before and after a meal
  • Dry food with animal fat in the first four ingredients
  • Age (older dogs).

As you can see, there are many things associated with bloating, but not one known cause.

What about feeding other “frozen” items like treats?

Many dogs like ice cubes. They can be given as a treat or put in the water bowl. Some behaviorists even recommend freezing toys or treats in ice for dogs to chew on. The biggest risk with ice is that aggressive chewers can break teeth.

Frozen treats such as “dog ice cream” and yogurt have a softer texture (ice crystals are separated by fat). They have a much lower risk of tooth damage.

Treating sunstroke with ice

Now that we’ve debunked the ice myth, you may be thinking right, I’ll pump my dog ​​full of ice if he overheats, saving myself a trip to the vet. However, this would be dangerous to do.

dr. Wismer also said owners should use common sense and make sure they don’t try to treat heatstroke with ice water. “If you think your dog has heatstroke, see the vet immediately. Don’t waste your time trying to get the dog to drink,” she adds.

In addition, use common sense when it comes to things like a swimming pool full of ice. You wouldn’t want to go from 90 degrees to an ice bath, and neither would your dog.

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