DOGS AND ICE CUBES

What’s up with dogs and ice cubes? Is it safe? Is it not? Can they or can’t they eat them? #inquiringminds #needtoknow

Last year – in a blog post titled: No Ice Water for Dogs, Please Read ASAP, a pet owner described a frightening story about giving ice water to her dog, who then went into distress.

After rushing to a vet clinic and then surgery, the pet owner wrote that the attending vet surgeon told her ice water causes dangerous bloating and “violent stomach spasms.”

The story went viral. Initially I didn’t read it – and to tell you the truth I didn’t pay much attention to the debates regarding its validity going back and forth because neither one of my dogs ever ate ice.

Until now…

23

About two months ago an ice cube ejected from the door dispenser and hit the floor. Before I could retrieve it, Jaxson zipped by, scooped it up and chomped on it like a treat.

After that first encounter – whenever he heard the ice maker churn, he’d come “a running!

Now that our weather’s warmer, when we’re outside on the deck, I’ve thought nothing of tossing a few cubes into his water.

That is until recently.

When a friend saw the ice in his water bowl, she asked me about it. I told her I it was fine, but my response later haunted me because I really didn’t know.

I needed to find out for myself – are ice cubes and/or ice water dangerous for dogs?…

DOGS-AND-ICE

So far, I cannot find anything to substantiate the warning.

According to Dr. Tina Wismer (Medical Director at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center), the information is false “dogs do not bloat from drinking ice water on hot days.”

But what is bloating?

Experts believe that dogs can bloat after eating or drinking too fast in general, regardless of the temperature of the water or whether or not the water contains ice cubes. When a dog is hot and thirsty, he very likely might drink the water too fast — and swallow lots of air in the process — which can be a recipe for bloat. When a dog’s stomach bloats, it twists and traps air, gas and food, cutting off the blood supply to the stomach and nearby organs. The dog’s stomach then becomes distended, and without immediate help, the dog can suffer from shock or organ failure, or even die.

Hmmmm, then – ice is good but drinking water “too fast” is bad?#soconfused

I continued to “surf” and figure out –

TO ICE OR NOT TO ICE…

…that was truly becoming my question.

Wanna know what I decided to do?

I’ve concluded eating ice technically is safe for dogs. I do need to be aware that there are a few potential dangers that go along with eating ice:

  • Jax could break a tooth
  • the ice could possibly become lodged in his throat.

So I will continue to supply ice cubes (in moderation) and supervise always.

What do you know about dogs and ice cubes? Do you ice? Please share 🙂

Here are just a few articles about ice cubes, ice water and dogs. #interesting

THE TRUTH ABOUT ICE WATER AND DOGS

NO ICE WATER FOR DOGS PLEASE READ ASAP

THE DANGERS OF ICE CUBES AND DOGS

ARE ICE CUBES AND ICE WATER DANGEROUS FOR DOGS

I am joining the Monday Mischief blog hop brought to you by My Brown Newfies. The Hop that wraps up the weekend.

monday-mischief-button-150x150-px

51 Comments
  • Monika & Sam
    June 8, 2015

    Sam doesn’t do ice, he just stares at it when it falls from the icemaker as if I served him last weeks garbage. When our OES was still alive, she LOVED ice, then again she loved tomatoes, carrots, blueberries and raspberries too, things Sam avoids like the plague. Egad, either my dog is retarded (a very strong possibility) or he is an elitist. I’m not sure which one is worse. 😉 Happy Monday.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      Monika – I’m going with the concept of “elitist” 🙂 That’s the same category I put Harley in. When Harley see’s ice, she glares at me like it’s a foreign object that he expects me to get out of his water bowl. #elitistforsure 🙂

  • Elaine
    June 8, 2015

    My hunch is that ice cubes aren’t dangerous for dogs either. I don’t put them in Haley’s water, but she eats plenty of them in the summer when it’s hot. Haley’s a deep-chested dog and at a higher risk for bloat, so I just make sure she doesn’t go crazy rolling over or jumping around if she happens to drink a large amount of water.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      Ditto Elaine! – Jax (so far) will drink a lot of water when it’s hot and he’s thirsty but he’s not gulping it down at a dangerously fast speed. Once he’s finished hydrating, he flops down as if he’s ready to take a break. I too will continue to give him ice (in moderation) because he likes it!

  • The Daily Pip
    June 8, 2015

    Ruby is leery of ice cubes. Occasionally, they do come shooting out of the fridge in the same way you described, but she hangs back and avoids them. Our cat, Rosie, on the other hand treats them like a hockey puck and begins chasing (and pawing) them madly around the kitchen floor until they are melt. Rosie then walks away and leaves the mess and puddles for her staff to clean up.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      Ice for Jax is similar to when you purchased all those educational toys for your human children and they ended up fascinated with the Tupperware cabinet LOL Jax is entertained with the ice machine #gofigure

  • jan
    June 8, 2015

    Ice cubes don’t pass the sniff test for my dogs. If it doesn’t smell like hamburger, rotting fish or a few other things, it isn’t worth a second look.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      That’s Harley’s philosophy all day long. He looked at me like I had three heads the first time I put ice cubes in his water.

  • Jackie Bouchard
    June 8, 2015

    Rita is super picky. I tried to hand her an ice cube once before and she looked at me like I’d lost my freaking mind. So, I don’t need to worry about this one! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      Rita and Harley probably have the same look LOL

  • Talent Hounds
    June 8, 2015

    I’d suggest keeping an eye out if you give your dog an ice cube if you fear they may try to swallow it and choke. But I’ve never heard or seen that happen.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      I agree Talent Hounds. Rarely am I away from them when they have a treat in their mouth. So I’m good there!

  • bailey unleashed
    June 8, 2015

    bailey couldn’t crunch an ice cube if her life depended on it. she has trouble chewing her kibble! BOL. i do however, add a cube to their water bowl on these scorcher hot days.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      I bet you Bailey waits till those cubes get a little smaller in the water and then she chomps on the pieces 🙂

  • M. K. Clinton
    June 8, 2015

    I put ice in the boys water bowl outside. In our 90+ temperatures, it only lasts a minute or two but otherwise, the water is hot. Our Golden Retriever used to love to munch on ice cubes. I don’t think it is any different than giving them a frozen doggie treat. Great post. ☺

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      I’m with you MK – pupsicles and ice cream have to be just as cold don’t you think? Ice cubes are approved here in Doodleville 🙂

  • Lauren Miller (ZoePhee)
    June 8, 2015

    We’ve always given our dogs ice or ice-type treats and we’ve never had a problem!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      The same here Lauren, but since Harley never showed any interest in ice cubes, I never thought much of it – until Jax that is. I feel most comfortable giving him ice cubes to chew, chomp, bite and enjoy! #cheaptreat Thanks for stopping by.

  • Emma
    June 8, 2015

    Bailie loves ice cubes and always grabs any that might fall on the floor. We also get ice in our water when it is hot out. Really there is no difference to frozen treats. I think it depends on the amount of ice or ice water a dog drinks.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      I’ve come to the same conclusion Emma, so we’re planning on icing it up this summer!

  • It's Dog or Nothing
    June 8, 2015

    Oh my gosh, I just love that video! Such a content puppy. My problem with ice cubes is that Mauja and Atka don’t eat them. They pick them up like they are going to, but then they bat the ice around the house until I’m left with a wet mess. Ice must be an outside toy 😉

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      I dare not give him ice indoors. I’d be afraid of falling in a puddle of water and busting my “you know what” LOL

  • Alessandra & Pedro
    June 8, 2015

    Same as Jan said, ice cubes don’t seem to pass the “smell” test for Pedro. If I put them in his water bowl to keep it cool, he lets them melt, doesn’t go to chew them up and on a hot day if I give him an ice cube, he ignores it until it makes a puddle and then slaps his paw in it… Messy is always better.
    However, Pedro is a big fan of chicken broth “pupsicles” or left over ice cream or lemon sorbet… I think he fancies himself a “gourmet-doodle”, LOL.
    As long as they’re supervised and don’t eat/drink too fast to potentially cause bloating, I think it’s okay but thanks for the post and the conversation that has followed!
    Loving paws!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      Chicken broth pupsicles – never thought to make some of those. Thanks so much – will definitely give them a try.

  • Taryn
    June 8, 2015

    my guys have no interest so it is one less worry for me 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      I laugh because it’s the one thing Jax likes that Harley doesn’t. Taryn you should see him, he prances around like he’s got chicken in his mouth, and Harley looks at him like he’s crazy. LOL There’s never a dull moment in my house!

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    June 8, 2015

    Mr. N could care less about ice cubes so I’ve stopped offering them to him.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      Harley never even went near it Mr. N. He likes cold water, but prefers to not have anything floating in it.

  • DZ Dogs
    June 8, 2015

    The ice maker is a huge attention getter, even if we don’t share all three pups come a running! They love the icecubes! All three chase the cubes around on the floor, happily chomping and leaving nice puddles for me to clean up. 🙂
    I haven’t found any good reasons to not share an ice cube every once and a while. They also eat frozen yogurt doggy treats, so I don’t think frozen is much of an issue.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 8, 2015

      I’m with you, I don’t see anything wrong with a little ice between dog and parent 🙂

  • Vicki Green
    June 8, 2015

    Great post – and a timely topic as temperatures rise. I also have one dog who likes ice (Hank) and one that isn’t interested (Tim). I usually put ice in the water bowls to keep it cool a little longer. Hank grabs an ice cube or two and Tim ignores them.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 9, 2015

      Isn’t it interesting Vicki to have two dogs with two distinct interests? I am always so amazed at their independent thinking.

  • DashLilly
    June 8, 2015

    No ice lovers over here. Curiosity sometimes, but no interest! Snobs

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 9, 2015

      Deirdre – don’t call those angels “snobs!” They’re just “selective” LOL After all, that’s what I call Harley 🙂

  • Cathy Armato
    June 8, 2015

    Thanks for clearing up the question about ice being bad for dogs or not. My Husky loves ice cubes and I do give her a few in her water when it’s hot. I never thought about her choking on the ice though, that’s a really good point. I’ll need to supervise the dogs when ice is given.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 9, 2015

      Cathy – it was bothering me so I figured I must not be the only one whose pondered this mystery. I will continue giving Jax ice, but now thanks to so many people responding I’ve gotten some great ideas about making it fun. I may try making a big block for Jax to have fun with, I might make some regular cubes and add a little bit of chicken broth in there to make it extra tasty. #lovethiscommunity

  • Paved by Paw Prints
    June 8, 2015

    As Cody is a fast eater, I make big doggy ice blocks. I think this is the safest way to give him ice during the summer as he could choke on smaller ice cubes. Great post 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 9, 2015

      Great idea – a big block would be fun. Might even add a few treats like a few big chunks of apple – Num, num 🙂

  • Pamela
    June 9, 2015

    Honey occasionally enjoys chewing on an ice cube. But she’s so moderate in all her habits I don’t worry.

    Personally, I find that most things are fine in moderation and if your dog is “immoderate” supervise carefully.

    Looks like Jax will be fine. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 9, 2015

      I’m with you Pamela, we will continue with our ice cube chomping, and I may even make some with a little bit of chicken broth mixed in as an extra treat.

  • slimdoggy
    June 9, 2015

    When Tino & Bernie were sick with distemper, our vet actually recommended ice as a way to keep them hydrated.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 9, 2015

      Now that makes sense Slim. I totally would do the same.

  • Nichole
    June 9, 2015

    We find it so sad that this myth seems to have taken over the internet…and so many folks think they’ll kill their dog with an ice cube. Glad to see you did your research! 🙂

  • LeeAnna Paylor
    June 9, 2015

    I don’t know… Cole is like Rita… no way Jose for ice cubes. He will eat snow, then vomit from the cold. He’ll do it over and over and over if allowed. Never learns the connection. I’m the mean mommy who yells Cole stop eating snow and all the neighbors think I am horrid. grrrr.

    I would give him ice if he’d crunch it like jax. I just love the crunchy sound of dogs eating cookies or whatever. Jax is so precious. Hi Harley!
    LeeAnna

  • Blueberry's human
    June 9, 2015

    Oh, Blueberry lives for the summer when I start using ice cubes for my water. She hears them clinking in my glass and will sit there and stare at me until I cough them up. If I let her, she’d eat all the cubes in my glass, but I keep it to a 6 cube maximum so she doesn’t make herself sick. And keep in mind, she only wants the ice cubes in MY glass. If I put one in her bowl for her, she has zero interest in it. Same thing if they drop on the floor – she could care less.

    In my humble opinion, ice cubes are like anything else, everything in moderation. And I am always sitting right there to monitor her in case an ice cube should go down the wrong tube. 🙂

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    June 9, 2015

    I don’t give our dogs ice cubes, because I worry about them getting lodged in their throat; instead, I make frozen treats (fat free yogurt and fruit) in a small Rubbermaid container and they lick like crazy. I do the same with bone broth.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 9, 2015

      I want to make some with bone broth Kimberly. I believe Jax would love it. I have to wait and see what Harley does. He’s so picky. So far, Jax chews the ice before swallowing, so it’s all in little pieces before he’s ready to inhale it 🙂 I do sit and watch him with the ice though, to ensure he’s not struggling.

  • Jane king
    June 9, 2015

    The thing about ice that shoots out of the dispenser is it sticks to their lips when they pick it up! I always had my dogs wait til I could roll it in my hand and then they could have it! Never any trouble!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 9, 2015

      I know what you’re talking about Jane, but ours doesn’t stick like it did with my other fridge. I’m curious to see if this is something that Jax will grow out of. Time will tell. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Jan K
    June 10, 2015

    I remember that story going around on the internet, and someone wrote a post clarifying things (it might have been My Brown Newfies, but I’m not positive) that it is OK. My experience with dogs and ice is that puppies love ice cubes, but they tend to outgrow their love of it. Luke used to come running whenever he heard the ice maker, but now he’ll take a cube and drop it on the floor. He does still love fishing them out of the water dish and making a mess though!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 10, 2015

      I’ll be interested to see if this is a puppy phase for Jax – I thought about it. But Harley NEVER showed any interest, so we’ll see…

Leave a Reply

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