On a hot summer’s day ice cubes seem like the perfect treat to give your dog to keep them cool and hydrated. But is it something that you should be giving your dog or puppy, and are there any drawbacks to doing so?
As owners we’re always thinking of nice things to do for our dogs in order to keep them happy and healthy and also to give them special treats so we can see them light up. One of the things we like to do as humans to try to battle the heat is cool off with things like ice cream, Popsicles, and Slurpees. It only makes sense that we’d make the connection to give our dog an iced treat when the thermometer starts rising.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that most dogs will lavish this icy cold treat, and will rush back for more any time you get the notion to give it to them again. But just because a dog likes something doesn’t mean it’s OK for them, and that we should give it to them. So we dug a little deeper to see if there’s any reason not to, or if it will harm your dog in any way.
Can I Give My Dog Ice Cubes? Answer: Most Signs Point to Yes
There is some disagreement on this one, with some vets and owners saying that it gives their dog adverse reactions such as vomiting and bloating, but most owners and vets say it’s just fine and even recommend it. With so many different breeds and sizes of dogs, there’s no real way to determine how your dog will handle ice cubes, and there’s always the exception to the rule. You can start them off with one and see how they like it, and then monitor them afterward to see how they’re doing. If they’re fine, you’re good to go.
If you think about a wild pack of dogs, sometimes all that’s available for them to drink is very cold lakes and streams. In the winter they may even get by with eating snow for hydration. It’s easy to make the connection that most dogs will be able to handle either ice cold water or some ice cubes now and then. Dogs haven’t become so domesticated that they’ve changed their evolutionary make-up, so you can usually use a wild dog comparison as a good way to size up a potential food item.
Most dogs won’t just lap at an ice cube, they’ll try to get it in their mouth and chomp it up like dog food. This can lead to broken teeth if you give them too many. But a few a day can actually help scrap off their teeth and keep them clean. So like with most things it’s all about moderation. They’ll probably be expecting an ice cube each time you go into the freezer, but be sure to police their ice cube intake so that it remains a treat, and not something they get all the time.
With smaller breeds and puppies you should be aware that ice cubes might present a choking hazard. Most of the time the dog will be fine because they’ll either cough it back up or it will melt before becoming a big problem. But you may want to consider crushing them up before giving it to them so they don’t have to experience that. Most owners have said that if their dog did choke on a cube they quickly recovered with no long lasting effects.
In Their Water Dish
Putting ice cubes in your dogs water dish is a great way to keep their water cool during the summer months or if you live in a hot or dry climate, or after your dog has exerted itself greatly. Most likely this won’t make the water ice cold, but it will make it colder than room temperature, and might be more inviting to your dog so that they end up drinking more and staying better hydrated. It’s also good for them to drink more water when they’re active so they don’t get overheated.