Can I Give My Dog Ice or Ice Water?

There’s a rumor going around Facebook (one that’s cropped up numerous times over the past few years) that it’s not safe for your dog to eat ice or to drink ice water.

As always, it’s best to get veterinary advice on any aspect of your dog’s health that’s worrying you. Veterinarian Dr. Audrey answers the question that has many dog lovers concerned every summer: Does ice cause bloat?

does ice cause bloat in dogs

Our 10-year-old chow mix loves eating ice but someone told me that ice can cause bloat in dogs. Is this true?

There have been rumors that ice and ice water causes a spasm of the stomach muscle in dogs, leading to a a swollen stomach, and potentially fatal bloat.

These rumors are not true, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, while ice may cause a muscle spasm, this is more likely to cause vomiting.

Secondly, if ice caused bloating, then we’d see more cases of bloat during winter in dogs that live outdoors in cold parts of the country, where their water bowl ices over, and this isn’t the case.

I think that what is more likely is that dogs are given ice or iced water to drink when they are hot and thirsty, for example after heavy exercise. Under these circumstances, they are very likely to drink a lot of water very quickly, and this is a known risk factor for bloat.

To prevent your dog getting bloat, feed several small meals a day instead of one or two large ones, don’t let them drink lots of water at once, and avoid exercise for an hour or so after mealtime.

Now, with your mind at ease, you can try out some of our ice recipes for dogs including Brothsicle, Beefsicle, or any of the many other frozen treat recipes here on the site!

The purpose of this column is to educate. DogTipper shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this site. This column does not replace the importance of specific advice from your own veterinarian. If you have any concerns at all about your dog’s health, please make an appointment with your vet.

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