Can Dogs Eat Ice Cubes?

Dog Health Nutrition November 30, 2023
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cubes?
Avatar photo

author:

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cubes?

This page contains affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn More

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cubes?

Ice is probably near the bottom of your list of things you are concerned about offering your dog. After all, it’s just water.

You might be surprised to learn that the answer to the question “Can dogs eat ice?” is: It depends.

While there is no definite answer to whether ice is safe for your dog to eat, in this article we discuss the pros, cons, and a number of other factors.

Is It Ok to Give My Dog Ice Cubes?

Some dog owners claim that giving their dog ice or ice water causes their dog to quickly develop bloat. This is a potentially fatal condition that causes the stomach to expand and twist. However, it is most common in large, deep-chested dog breeds.

While this is a concern for some, there is no evidence to back up this claim. Nobody knows what causes bloating, but some people believe that drinking a lot of water (with or without ice) too quickly is a risk factor.

It is also theoretically possible for your dog to choke on an ice cube, but this is unlikely. Nonetheless, it is worth keeping an eye out for.

Can Ice Damage my Dog’s Teeth?

Ice cubes and other hard objects that cannot be indented with a fingernail are known causes of tooth breakage in dogs. The larger and firmer the ice cube, the more likely a tooth fracture is.

Chewing on anything hard on a regular basis can also cause significant wear on tooth enamel. She suggests using smaller cubes or shavings and giving ice in moderation to avoid these problems.

Crushed vs. Cubed Ice: Does it make a difference to your dog?

Crushed ice pellets are preferred over ice cubes by pet nutritionists and veterinarians. Aggressive ice cube chewing can increase the risk of tooth damage.

Chewing anything hard on a regular basis can significantly wear down tooth enamel. Smaller ice cubes or shavings can help protect your teeth.

Will Ice Prevent My Dog From Overheating?

Ice has also been mentioned in connection with dogs overheating (heat stroke). There are wrong ways and right ways to deal with heat stroke, just like everything else in life:

First and foremost, prevention is the best option. It is best to never leave your dog unattended in any situation where they could overheat, such as a parked car with the windows open. Dogs should also be monitored during excessive exercise because some dogs or breeds will continue to play hard even when their bodies tell them to stop.

Always be on the lookout for excessive panting and/or sounds of labored breathing with your dog. These are indicators that an immediate time-out is required, preferably in a cool, shaded, or air-conditioned location.

Even if your dog appears to be cooling down, dousing them in ice water is never a good idea. Too much, too soon, can set off a potentially dangerous chain of events. It is a better idea to use cool, water-soaked cloths or towels in conjunction with fans or air conditioning.

A trip to the veterinarian is always recommended for dogs displaying signs of heat stroke, as some symptoms may appear after overheating.

What Are the Benefits of Giving My Dog Ice?

Ice is water, and dogs typically require as much water as they can get. If your dog is dehydrated and overheating, adding ice to their water is an excellent way to increase their fluid intake while also cooling them down.

When dogs are recovering from surgery, they are usually given ice chips. This allows your pup to rehydrate without flooding their stomach with fluid, so it’s often used when the dog has trouble keeping liquids down.

Many dogs also enjoy playing with ice cubes. While this has no nutritional value, it does provide mental stimulation and is less expensive than purchasing a puzzle toy.

Some dogs like to eat ice cubes as treats too. If your mutt loves ice, feel free to share, as it’s a great way to spoil them without expanding their waistline. Just don’t do it too frequently, as you could wear down the enamel on their teeth over time.

Can My Puppy Eat Ice Cubes?

While puppies will not usually die from eating ice, it is not recommended that they do so, especially if they are teething. Puppies start developing their first set of teeth around 2 weeks old and then begin teething, where they lose their baby teeth to make way for adult ones.

Because their teeth are still developing and more fragile, giving ice cubes to a teething puppy could cause dental damage. Instead, give your puppy flexible teething toys like the Petstages Cool Teething Stick or the Nylabone Puppy Teething Pacifier to help with teething. To keep the chew toys cool, place them in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Even if your puppy is not teething, puppies’ teeth are more delicate than adult dogs’, so consuming ice poses a greater risk of injury. To be on the safe side, avoid giving your pup ice. Cold water (no ice), on the other hand, is just fine.

What Other Cold Treats Can I Give My Dog?

If there are no extra ingredients, you can freeze low-salt stock or save some chicken or fish stock when you are cooking. Cooked vegetables, such as broccoli and carrots, can also be frozen. Kongs, for example, can be stuffed with dog-safe recipes and frozen.

Your dog will enjoy working hard to get a cool treat. Just keep in mind that if your dog has had an extra meal like this, you should reduce their regular feed portion!

If you are out and about, many ice cream shops now sell dog-friendly ice creams that your dog might enjoy while you enjoy your own treat. In general, ice cream made for humans can upset the stomachs of dogs. They typically contain dairy products, which dogs may find difficult to digest.

What Is the Best Way to Give My Dog Ice?

To keep your dog from choking, provide small pieces of ice. Crushed ice or ice shavings are preferable, especially for smaller dogs.

When making ice for your dog, make sure to use clean water.

Avoid giving your dog hard pieces of ice because they can easily chip his teeth when he starts chewing and gnawing on them.

Some dogs prefer ice in their water, while others prefer to be given ice separately. When you offer your dog some ice, pay close attention to see what he prefers.

If you have doubts and/or concerns about giving ice to your dog, then it may be best to ask your veterinarian first. 

How Can I Get My Dog to Eat Ice Cubes?

There is no need to persuade your dog to eat ice. After all, plain water has all of the same benefits as ice and is less likely to crack teeth.

However, if you want your dog to consume more ice, adding a few cubes to their water bowl is the best way to do so. This will help them cool down while decreasing the likelihood that they will chomp on the cubes and break a tooth.

However, not all dogs enjoy drinking cool water, so adding ice to the bowl may discourage your dog from drinking. If your dog avoids the bowl when there is ice in it, you should probably just keep offering them room-temperature water.

If your dog enjoys crunching ice as a treat, there is no need to persuade them; simply offer them a cube. If they don’t, there is probably nothing you can do to persuade them otherwise.

Final Thoughts

Ice is generally safe for dogs, but you must be careful not to damage their teeth or feed your pup too much ice too quickly, as this can cause bloating. As long as your dog is chewing it up safely, ice should be fine.

However, if you want to play it safe, give your dog plain water. It has everything that ice has to offer and will not harm your dog.

Avatar photo

Amy Towry is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two rescue cats and a rescue dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *