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Can Dogs Have Ice Cubes? The Dangers Explained

3 min read

On a hot summer’s day, we all enjoy ice cubes in our drinks to cool us down. Of course, our four-legged friends feel the heat as well and it's important they stay hydrated during those hot summer days. So, you might wonder if giving your dog ice cubes is okay too.

We’ve created a guide for owners about how to do it and the potential risks. Take a look

Can dogs have ice cubes?

Dogs can have ice cubes, but there are precautions you should take beforehand. It’s essential to be aware of a few things:

  • The size of the ice cubes – smaller sizes may be best.
  • Just like humans, if your dog has sensitive teeth, ice cubes might cause them some discomfort.
  • The hardness of the ice cubes – there is a small chance that a big chunk or a hard bite could damage a tooth.

Always ask your vet for advice if you’ve never offered your dog ice.

How can I give my dog ice cubes?

Ice cubes can be placed in your dog’s water bowl. You can also just give ice cubes to your dog, although we recommend that you supervise your pet whenever you give them ice.

Can I give my dog ice cubes when they’re overheating?

If your pooch has played a little too hard, they might be overheating. A typical sign of this is dog panting, as this is their primary means of losing heat and cooling down. You can help cool them by putting ice cubes in their water bowl or giving them an ice cube or frozen treat to lick. 

Heatstroke in dogs is severe, and it is very important that a dog receives urgent treatment. Signs of heatstroke include panting, drooling, excessive thirst, a rapid heart rate and a high body temperature. Although you can give ice cubes to a dog with heatstroke, it is important to seek veterinary attention without delay.  

If your dog gets too hot, they might start drinking their water too quickly. If you have put ice cubes in their water it is a good idea to supervise your dog to reduce the risk of choking. 

Bloat, also known as GDV, is a life-threatening condition. There are many things that can increase the risk of bloat including eating rapidly, breed predisposition and age, but eating ice or drinking iced water is not one of them. 

To find out more about how to cool your dog down, check out our guide and make sure to contact your vet if you’re concerned about your dog getting too hot, or displaying unusual symptoms

Can ice cubes break a dog’s teeth?

Like other hard food items, there is a small chance that ice cubes could break your dog’s teeth. This is especially true if the ice cube is big.

As we mentioned previously, we suggest offering ice cubes in moderation, using smaller chunks of ice and you could let the cubes melt slightly before giving them to your dog. If you think your dog’s tooth might be broken, make sure to contact your vet.

Will ice cubes cause my dog to choke?

As we know, dogs can have ice cubes but as with any other item of food or drink, there is a chance of your dog choking – especially if the ice cube is large. It’s a good idea to source smaller ice cubes or purchase small ice cube moulds to reduce the risk of choking. Make sure to keep an eye on your pooch when you give them an ice cube. 

Which dog breeds like ice cubes the most?

You might find that athletic and large dog breeds like to chew on ice the most. Your smaller pups may not find this as enticing. However, any dog breed and dog size might like chewing on ice – it’s a personal preference!

We hope this article answered all your questions about giving dogs ice cubes. We have many dog feeding guides for more information on what dogs can and can’t eat – make sure to check them out! Next, find out if dogs can eat ice cream.