Can I Give My Dog Ice Cubes?

Can I give my dog ice cubes?There’s a scary rumor about giving ice cubes to dogs. Keeping your dog cool and hydrated is important but you want to do it right. Is providing ice cubes something that you should be doing for your dog or puppy, and are there any drawbacks? Ice cubes aren’t bad but they actually aren’t the best choice. We’ll explain.

We battle the heat by cooling off with things like ice cream, popsicles, and Slurpees but those aren’t well suited for dogs. You are on the right track with ice cubes. It’s sensible to give your dog some sort of iced treat when it’s hot outside.

Most dogs love icy cold treats. Ice cubes are generally okay but are even better if you serve it with a twist. Let’s dig a little deeper to see if there’s any reason not to serve ice cubes or if they will harm your dog in any way.

Can I Give My Dog Ice Cubes? Answer: Yes, or upgrade to an ice treat for a better K9 cool down

There is some disagreement on this one. Just don’t give puppies any ice cubes.

Some say that dogs can experience adverse reactions to ice cubes such as vomiting and bloating, but most experts say it’s fine and they even recommend it.

As long as they don’t choke, then ice cubes are usually fine but we take it a step further and combine it with an organic frozen treat.

With so many different breeds and sizes of dogs, there’s no real way to determine how your dog will handle ice cubes. There’s always the exception to the rule. We don’t recommend giving ice cubes to a puppy because their teeth and overall systems may not take well to the intense hardness and concentrated coldness of ice.

You can start your K9 off with one and see how they like it, and then monitor them afterward to see how they’re doing. Never give your dog ice cubes that are still sticky from the deep freeze. Other than that, if you see 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. In that sense, it’s easy to make the connection that most dogs can handle either ice cold water or some ice cubes now and then.

Tooth Concerns

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. A few a day can actually help scrap off their teeth and keep them clean but don’t overdo it.

Like with most things it’s all about moderation. They may be expecting an ice cube each time you go into the freezer, but be sure to police their ice cube rations so that it remains a treat, and not something they get all the time.

Choking Concerns & Crushing Ice

With smaller breeds and puppies, be aware that ice cubes may present a choking hazard in addition to a tooth problem. Most of the time a dog will be fine because they’ll either cough it back up or it’ll melt before becoming a big issue. 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 dog’s 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 greatly exerted themselves. Most likely this won’t make the water ice cold, but it’ll be colder than room temperature. It might be more inviting to your dog so that they end up drinking more and staying better hydrated.

It’s always important for all dogs to drink more water when they’re active so they don’t get overheated. Staying hydrated, especially during the summer months, with some ice cubes sounds like a plan!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris June 30, 2015

My Standard Poodle loves ice cubes but he usually drops them after a bit of licking. If he’s overheated and swallows an ice cube, he will vomit.

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Monica June 8, 2015

My daughter and son-in-law complain every time I give their German Shepherd an ice cube. She loves them and I don’t give it to her every time. I have to have cold drinks of water so I’m always putting more ice in my drinks. Sometimes one gets away from me and falls to the floor. If I don’t get to it in time, Becca will eat it. I don’t want to argue with them but they are so wrong.

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George April 11, 2015

I own Belgian and Dutch Shepherds. After a hard work out, I always add ice cubes to their water bowl. They drink more water because they try to grab the ice while drinking. The end result is that it cuts their cool down time in half. Normally it takes them 30-35 minutes to cool down, but when I add ice, they are cooled down enough. After 15 minutes they breathe with a closed mouth. I never gave them ice as a puppy, and they were not introduced to ice until they turned a year old.

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Virginia April 8, 2015

My Frenchie loves ice cubes. But he’s never given them as a way to cool down. He goes crazy looking for it!

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Loretta February 9, 2015

We have a 5 month old Shih-poo. He has started running to the frig as soon as he hears the crushed ice. We are careful to give him only pieces that are melting and about the size of a Lima bean. He chews it into tiny pieces. I’ve found that this is his treat of choice and was glad to read that if we keep this ice to a treat, and not a regular thing, it will be okay for him. He understands the word “ice” already. Pretty good for his age!

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