Skip to main content
Report this ad

Ice Cubes Harmful for your Dog

Dog eating ice cubes
Dog eating ice cubes

Summer heat in Los Angeles can be brutal and if your hot, your dog/s are hot.

Did you know that dogs are much more susceptible to heatstroke than humans?

The obvious reason: their fabulous fur and the fact they do not sweat on any part of the body that is covered in fur. They only have sweat glands on their cute little feet. They count on panting, they release excess heat this way and this cools down the body.

It is our job to keep our dogs cool and comfortable in the heat.

In an effort to keep your dog cool you may give them some ice to chew or put some cubes in their water bowl. Sounds logical? NO!!!  Ice, ice water or very cold water can cause severe muscle spasms that result in bloat.

There are many opinions on this subject, but I thought I would share this information just in case:

Please read the following letter.

This was posted on another board with permission to cross post in the hopes
of saving another dog from having to go through this awful experience.
After showing our dogs we went back to our site/set up and got the dogs in their
crates to cool off. After being back about 30 minutes I noticed the water bowl was low on
water. I took a hand full of ice from my cooler and put it in his bucket
with more water. (Note: I use a small Playmate cooler at ringside with ice
water in it also. Have for over 15 years now)

I have an 18 foot trailer with AC and set up, as a rolling kennel. After checking the dogs and thinking
they were cooled off enough we fed everyone. As we were walking around
removing the feed dishes from the crates, one of my friends stated that one of our dogs
seemed like he was choking. I went over and checked on him and he was dry
heaving and drooling. I got him out of the crate to check him over and
noticed he had not eaten. He was in some distress. I checked him over from
head to toe and did not notice anything. I walked him around for about a
minute when I noticed that he was starting to Bloat. I did everything I was
taught to do in this case. I was not able to get him to burp, and we gave
him Phasezime.

We jumped on the golf cart to take him down to the show vet only to find out that
he did not have a bloat kit on hand. He referred us to the clinic that was to be on
call, but the clinic was closed. Finding another clinic that was open we rushed him in and they were ready and waiting for us.
They got him stabilized very quickly. After he was stable and out of distress we transported him to AVREC where he went right into surgery . They wanted to make sure no damage was done to any of his vital organs. I am very happy to say no damage was done to any vital organs

In surgery the doctor found that his stomach was in its normal anatomic
position. The Doctor and I went over the events of what happened up to the
point of the Bloating. When I told him about the ice water he asked why I
gave him ice water, I told him my history behind this practice and his reply was "I have been very lucky for the past 15 years." The ice water I gave him caused violent muscle spasms in his
stomach which caused the bloating. 

Dr. Vogf stated that giving dog's ice to chew or ice water is a big NO, NO; there should be no reason for them to have ice or ice water. Normal water (room Temp.), or cooling with cold towels on the inter thigh is the best way to help cool a dog. How Dr. Vogf explained it to me was like this:
If you, as a person fall into a frozen lake what happens to our muscles?
Think about that, and then compare that to your dog's stomach.

I felt the need to share this with everyone, in the hopes that some may
learn from what I went through, I do not wish this on anyone. Our baby is home
now and doing fine. He does not like the fact that he has to be walked on a lead in the yard to keep him from running and he hates not being able to go out and rough house with the others, but  he needs to heal and be calm.

So please if you do use ice and ice water, beware.

Bloat is the second leading killer of dogs after cancer. A dog with a bloating stomach has a short time to live without emergency veterinary intervention.

A little  information about Bloat

BLOAT can occur in two forms: gastric dilatation (swelling of the stomach from gas); or, gastric dilatation with volvulus, i. e., torsion, which occurs when the stomach twists on its axis. Often, both forms of bloat occur in a single episode with the second form quickly following the first. When this happens, BLOAT is fatal in minutes. BLOAT is also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV.

Tragically, the majority of dog owners have never heard of BLOAT. Typically, an owner awakens in the morning or returns home from work and finds dead his/her, otherwise healthy, dog. As dog owners rarely have an autopsy performed, the cause of death is never determined, and the owner never learns about BLOAT. Most canine diseases (e. g., cancer, hip dysplasia, etc.) progress over weeks, months or even years, not minutes. The dog owner has the opportunity to notice that his/her dog is not feeling well and has time to take the dog to the vet to begin a course of treatment. Along with the treatment the owner learns about the disease.

With BLOAT, the disease progresses in minutes or, at most, hours. The only treatment is emergency medical attention. In its two advanced forms, the only treatment is surgery. Symptoms of BLOAT may include:

• excessive salivation/drooling
• extreme restlessness/pacing
• unproductive attempts to vomit/defecate
• evidence of abdominal pain (whining and tenderness in the stomach area)
• abdominal distension
• rapid breathing/panting
• cold/pale mouth membranes
• collapse

There is alot of information available on line and if you have a large dog i would suggest you do your homework.

So just a word to the wise, rather be safe than sorry, I won't be giving my dog ice anymore

Glad your baby is doing great.




  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    I think it's surprising that this myth is being perpetuated here. There is no solid evidence linking ice to bloat in dogs. Read the following article:

    The frozen lake analogy is a bit skewed, don't you think? A body submerged in a frozen lake is very different than an ice cube being digested. Place an ice cube on your leg and see if it cramps up. Remember that your dog has probably chewed the ice cube so that by time it reaches the stomach, it's probably melted.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Ummm....Summer heat in Los Angeles can be brutal and if YOU'RE hot, your dog/s are hot.

    Your shows possession and is used correctly in the second part of the sentence, if YOU ARE can be put in the sentence, then it's "you're". It glared at me, Just sayin'.

  • Jackie butera 3 years ago

    Thank you so much for setting this dog lover straight. I have been known to over endulge when it comes to my best friend, thinking our dog likes cold water just because she drinks it, no more ice for baby LuLu.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Read 1st comment. You missed the part from a vet about this being a MYTH.

  • Rawfed 3 years ago

    LOL what a dumb article. Is this writer for real? This is such an uneducated, unscientific statement to make, comparing a dog eating ice cubes or drinking ice water to a body in a frozen lake. What?! So does that mean if a human drinks ice water or eats ice cubes, it will make their stomach muscles spasm? By the time the ice reaches the stomach, our internal body temperature will already have melted it and warmed it up... same goes for that of a dog's internal body temperature. People really believe the dumbest things don't they?!

  • Kenny VP 3 years ago

    Spoke to our vet (and i'm sure each have their own thoughts on the matter) but she said the only real danger with ice cubes is its known to break their teeth. She said the dog that was shown and almost died prob got over worked in the ring /show and as a result bloated from such. Ice will not cause bloat. In fact she feeds her dogs ice as well. Thats good enough for me.....

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    This apocryphal story is coming up everywhere; icecubes are only hazardous for impacting teeth if the ice is particularly hard. Bloating? Pah.

  • April 2 years ago

    I agree with you. I have friends who have three Pitties and every morning even in the winter the dogs all line up at the freezer and will stand there and wait until they each get an ice cube. None of them have died of bloat. They each chew the ice cube and for water ends up on the floor then in their stomachs. My other argument is stores that sell those frozen frosty paws and their was a frozen recipe I received from my vet for the dogs. My vet isn't going to do anything that puts my dogs life in danger. How many dogs go swimming in the ocean? Plenty none of them have died. Yes, I think if you are going to give your dog anything to eat you should stay close. Dogs can choke on anything..just be responsible.

  • Anonymous 1 year ago I understand that really cold liquid in your dogs hot stomach can be a problem, but I think I am going to follow the old horse racing rule which basically says you give the animal small amounts of room temperature water until it cools down after a workout or other excitement, after that it is perfectly fine to give the animal icy or cold water.

    Also, my dog generally just licks the ice cubes which is a common practice in zoos "blood-sicles" and ice with vegetables in it etc.

    So my advice would be: don't give your dog ice when it seems very hot, stressed out or anxious, but otherwise it should be fine, just supervise the dog at all times during and for about half an hour to an hour after he or she has the ice cubes. Also make sure they are not eating the ice cubes to fast, If the dog is crunching up the ice cubes and eating them like kibble it could easily take in too much air which is the most common cause of bloat in dogs.

Report this ad