Can Ice Cubes Hurt Your Dog?

black dog

Has someone recently told you that ice hurts your dogs? ‘

Are ice creams and other cold stuff banned at your place for the furry friend since you came across forwarded posts and messages on social media? Let us decode this myth now, bit by bit. 

I have always had a habit of passing on some ice cubes to my canine sibling when it is hot our there or when I am dropping a couple of them in my glass.

I would have never even thought twice about it before, but here we are with a host of social media posts, some from the vets and some of the so-called parents who gave their canine children ice and cannot forgive themselves for their imagined folly.

Imagined folly, did I say? 

What people claim is dangerous

The blog posts and articles will tell you that it is the first-hand experience and that their dog had undergone a lot of trouble and trauma when their dog had ice cubes or a frozen treat like dog ice cream and yogurt* 

This argument seems to be so baseless and lame. We have been giving our pet ice cubes ever since I can remember, but there has never once been a reason for us to have taken him to an emergency. Or for that instance, even felt any slight discomfort from him.

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Some of the vets we visited in the early days recommended that we freeze our chewy toys before we gave it to him. We did that for a couple of times, after which we stopped. We thought that the little guy would chew aggressively on the freezer hard toy and end up having tooth sensitivity or worse break his teeth.

dog at ice

The dog died overnight because of rapid cooling of his body temperature*

The blogpost/social media post will emphasize that the dog died almost immediately after having ice cubes or something cold. 

It may be true that when your dog has a heat stroke, it is not advisable to give it any ice. But heat strokes are never too common. The canine’s hypothalamus takes care to cool down the body when it has symptomatic heat stroke. Sudden cooling of its body is perhaps not the right approach. The temperature needs to be brought down little by little. Nevertheless, it is not going to make any difference if he has a couple of ice cubes. 

Dogs amazingly adapt to colder climes and snow. We have seen ours drinking snow from outside our door and sometimes even infiltrating into cold water buckets and baths to quench their thirst, not once that we cared what it was doing or had to rush to any vets for him.

A subsequent blog post I read said that the person’s dog died because she gave him cold water, and immediately he had violent muscle spasms. It also culminated in bloating after that. 

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The vet advised her never to give ice cubes for the dog to chew nor anything cold like cold water to drink because even if the dog’s temperature on the outside is relatively low, his internal temperature is still high. This is the reason for muscular cramps. 

What the expert says:

I was reading another blog where the writer interviews Dr. Tina Wismer at the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA). Dr. Wismer comes down categorically to say that there is no connection between feeding a dog ice cream treat and letting him drink cold water with bloating. 

Bloating in dogs can be more reasons other than giving him cold water and ice cubes once in a while. The Dog could be suffering from a build-up of gas or a gastric volvulus, which is making his stomach rotate. 

Dogs with deeper chests are highly prone to gastritis but even for other breeds gastric trouble and bloating can be a result of restrictive or fad diets like one meal a day, restricting water before and after meals, adding too much of animal fat in the diet, moistening dry dog food, old age and finally family history of gas and bloating. 

There is no sure shot connection between ice cubes and bloating in the stomach. 

Can frozen treats be detrimental to the dog’s dental health?

We asked a few vets who said that animal behaviorists often assign cold things with a treat. So, if you are training your dog or if it is exceptionally good, you may have usually come across them treating them to it. The secret is that the dog ice cream has fats separating the ice cubes, and that is the reason that it does not harm their teeth. Dog yogurt is also very soft and nutritiously delectable. It also will not harm your pet’s dental health or otherwise because of its natural texture.

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Can ice cube cause muscular cramps and spasms in dogs?

Most unlikely that they can have such serious repercussions with little treats now and then. The idea is not overdone it. 

If you suspect your canine friend to have a heat stroke, give it emergency medical attention instead of feeding him ice cold water. Also, do no panic. Use cold towels to create a cold pack on its limbs and gently press them on its body to stabilize his internal and external temperatures.

Using your prudence is important:

Yes, we have successfully been able to debunk all the myths surrounding the topic id ice cubes can hurt your pet dog. But that will in no case mean that you can continuously keep feeding it ice cubes, refrigerated cold water or even cold dessert treats. Now can you introduce it to a bath of cold water if you think you are helping it cope with a heat stroke!

Moderation is the key to everything. You want to have a healthy pet and companion you will need to use your common sense and wear the humanity cloak at all times. 

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