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Dog Safety: The yes and no of ice water dangers

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Recently people have been arguing the safety of giving your dog ice and ice water on a hot summer’s day. Some say they do it all the time, some say it is very dangerous. We turned to Snopes.com and found an article that was just updated on June 17, 2014. According to the vets that were quoted, giving your dog ice or ice water does not cause the danger, it is the amount.

Many dog owners state that their vets have warned them to never give their dog ice or ice water because it will cause the stomach to spasm and may cause bloat, which is indeed a serious condition. Other vets dispute this and say it is not necessarily the ice or the extremely cold water that causes this. It is the amount that the dog is allowed to gulp in a short time.

Do you recall telling your child, or your mother telling you, “Don’t drink that too fast, you will get a tummy ache?” Have you ever came inside on a hot day and swigged down a glass of ice water, or other cold drink, and then end up not feeling so well? The same thing can happen to your dog.

Dogs don’t really need ice water to cool off anyway, but if you do decide to give them a bit of a cold drink…make sure it is just a small amount. Regular tap water temperature water is fine and probably preferable to your four legged kid.

If you feel that your dog has become extremely overheated, it is best to get him into a cooler climate and put wet towels on his belly and between his thighs on the back end to help cool him off. The towels should not be freezing cold, just tap water wet. If the dog starts to throw up or become lethargic, you should contact your vet immediately!

Dr. Patty Khuly, PetMD, also agrees with Snopes and states that the danger of ice for dogs is just another myth and misinformation and has added this at the end of her article:

“Since writing this, it came to my attention that there's a whole Facebook thread on the ice water myth that's recently been getting lots of play. Why is it that some Web-based misinformation will JUST. NOT. DIE?”

As always, you should do your own research and make your own decisions about your dog’s care and not take internet information at face value. In this case, of whether ice and ice water is safe for your dog, it appears that perhaps moderation is the key to that. Stay safe and keep your dog cool and happy this summer!

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