Myth Buster: Is Ice Safe For Dogs?

The mercury continues to climb, and your pup seems to be feeling it more and more. They’re sprawled out on the cool floor with no intention of getting up. You’re feeling their pain and wracking your brain to come up with a cooling treat to give them.

Just as you reach into the freezer to grab your own cold refreshment, it hits you-ice cubes! A perfect combination of crunchy and cold and only one ingredient, can’t go wrong. 

Myth Buster: Is Ice Safe For Dogs? Boston Terrier Society

In most cases, ice cubes are the perfect doggy treat on those sweltering days. But as benign as ice cubes may seem, there are some things to watch out for.

Is Giving Ice Dangerous To My Dog?

No. Giving your dog ice cubes with the proper precautions and supervision can actually be a fun and entertaining treat for them. And will provide a little relief on a hot day. Be sure to use small chunks and always supervise them.

When Should You Give Your Dog Ice?

For avid chewers, ice cubes can be a welcome treat. They satisfy that chewing urge while providing a necessary life essential, water. Ice cubes can be fun and easy to clean up after with little risk of choking or digestive issues like other chew toys. 

Ice can also help cool and give your hot dog that much needed burst of cold to keep them happy during the dog days of summer. Ice is also a go-to recommendation for a mild gastric upset, but we’ll get to that later.

When Should You Not Give Your Dog Ice?

If your dog is a gobbler, gulper, or non-chewer, ice cubes aren’t a good idea. To reduce any risk that an ice cube may cause, especially choking or bloat, they need to be chewed so that they will melt quickly without causing any problems.

You should also avoid giving a dog with dental disease ice cubes as they are less likely to chew them up properly.

Does Ice Help If Your Dog Is Overheated?

Heatstroke is a severe condition in which a dog’s body temperature rises to dangerously high levels. Heatstroke is usually the result of being in an overly hot environment for an extended time, a car in the summer, for example, or from over-exerting themselves. 

Dogs with heatstroke should be cooled down slowly to prevent further, and much worse, complications. Ice cubes cool much too quickly and are not recommended to treat heatstroke at any time.

Is Ice Bad For A Dog’s Digestion?

In most cases, no. Actually, ice cubes are often prescribed by veterinarians as a means to keep dogs hydrated that are experiencing vomiting.

Dogs with any kind of gastric upset face a hard to manage balance of needing to prevent dehydration without drinking so much water that it triggers vomiting. It’s not easy. 

Giving your dog ice cubes in this situation helps to regulate the amount of water they get. As well as how fast they receive it ensuring they can maintain hydration without overstressing an already upset tummy.

Should I Put Ice In My Dogs Water Bowl?

In some cases, dogs that are given ice cubes in their water get so excited about this little treat that they will literally inhale it, potentially leading to bloat. For this reason, it’s best to give ice cubes by themselves in small numbers rather than floating them in your dog’s water bowl.

Dog parents of big, deep-chested breeds, like Dobermans, are well aware of bloat. Bloat occurs typically following the consumption of large amounts of food or water very quickly, which also brings a lot of air into the stomach. 

The stomach blows up like a balloon and can actually twist around itself, creating a life-threatening situation. 

Can Ice Damage a Dog’s Teeth?

If you’ve ever chomped down on a full ice cube, you might already know the answer to this, yes. Ice is a solid substance, one that’s not very forgiving. If your dog exercises those powerful jaw muscles of theirs on larger chunks of ice, it can lead to broken teeth and bleeding gums. 

While a little crunching actually aids in the cleaning of teeth, a lot of crunching can be detrimental. Keep those ice cubes smaller in size. For dogs of the Boston Terrier size, consider using crushed ice instead.

Final thoughts…

If you’re looking for the short answer as to whether ice is bad for your dog, it’s no. Giving your dog ice cubes with the proper precautions and supervision can actually be a fun and entertaining treat for them. And will also provide a little relief on a hot day. Just be sure to use small chunks and always keep an eye on them.

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Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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