Ice Water And Dogs. Revisiting The Myth


I remember reading about this myth several years ago when I was sitting on the back porch with my husband.

Ice or ice water can cause bloat in dogs.

Let’s pick this myth apart, again.

We’ve talked about bloat here several times.

Bloat is a serious medical condition in a dog when that occurs when they eat or drink too much or too fast. When they are eating or drinking fast they have the potential to swallow a lot of air. This air can cause the stomach to fill with gas and potentially flip causing a GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus). Any dog can get bloat but deep chested breeds seem to be more prone.

So how does ice cubes or ice water come into play here?

It really doesn’t.

It’s the air that is being swallowed when the water is being consumed.

If I take my dogs for a 10 mile walk on a hot day and then let them come home and drink 3 gallons of water, whether it contains ice or not, they are at risk for getting bloat.

It’s the amount of water and air that they are sucking down not the temperature of the water they are drinking.

If ice water or ice cubes caused bloat then we wouldn’t let our dogs eat anything cold or frozen such as snow, frozen yogurt, ice cream or frozen peanut butter.

Can there be hazards to giving a dog ice water or ice cubes?


Ice is hard and it can break a dog’s tooth, just like they can break a tooth on anything that is hard.

It’s suggested that a dog that is overheated not be given large amounts of ice or ice water. I believe that is because there are better ways to cool an overheated dog down such as getting them to a cool spot, hosing them down with cool, not cold water and/or offering small amounts of water if they are alert enough to drink.

It’s common sense.

Personally, I see no harm in giving my dogs ice or ice water as long as it is in moderation.

Sherman and Leroy love ice cubes and they think they are a special treat.

If we are ever sitting out on the back porch with our beverages in a cooler the dogs know that there is ice in there and they want some.

Leroy’s also likes ice in his water in the summer. It’s not because he likes his water super cold, it’s because he wants to go fishing for ice.


He’s more at risk for drowning in his water bowl than getting bloat.

The above picture was taken yesterday. There was a 1/2 bowl of fresh water with some ice cubes in it. Leroy did not bloat from drinking this and I never thought he would.

It’s common sense people.

Disclosure- I am not a veterinarian but you can read what Dr. Andy Rorak thinks about giving dogs ice water here. If you question giving ice or ice water to your dog you should talk to your veterinarian. If you lack common sense, I am sorry for your loss.

p.s. if you know someone who believes this myth please spread the word that this is in deed a myth. We need people to understand the true facts about bloat and not confuse them more.




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32 Comments on Ice Water And Dogs. Revisiting The Myth

  1. Bailey
    June 19, 2014 at 11:05 am (1 year ago)

    It can be really hard to get Bailey to drink and he thinks ice cubes are ice bones. So it really is a huge help getting him to take one in the summer. I’d never been cautioned against them. Knowing his water issues, the vet has always supported it.
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  2. Two French Bulldogs
    June 19, 2014 at 11:11 am (1 year ago)

    Good points. I wondered about ice cubes and pups
    Lily & Edward

  3. carma Poodale
    June 19, 2014 at 11:20 am (1 year ago)

    I insist that my water bowl has Ice in it. Nothing is better than a ice cold bowl of water. When we go on errands I always have a cup of ice with me. It is refreshing, melts slowly into water and its harder to spill.
    carma Poodale recently posted…WW-Winner!My Profile

  4. Emma
    June 19, 2014 at 11:38 am (1 year ago)

    Eating ice is a great way to get water into a dog slowly actually. Some dogs love to crunch on it, some don’t, but you are correct, it is the amount and speed that can cause issues.
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  5. Jen K
    June 19, 2014 at 12:12 pm (1 year ago)

    Yep – love this! Saw this myth floating around the internet again recently and couldn’t help but shake my head. It takes two seconds to fact-check something, people!
    I mean, bloat is serious and it’s good that people are cautious, but misinformation is almost always a bad thing. And there’s enough misinformation/uncertainty around bloat and it’s causes already.
    We don’t actually add ice to water for Moses and Alma. Alma will eat ice cubes on their own, but both of them are a little weirded out by things floating in their water. Sure, they’ll eat snow and swim in frigid mountain lakes, but heaven forbid there’s an ice cube in their water dish! lol
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  6. jan
    June 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm (1 year ago)

    This myth was all over my Facebook page today. I’m glad you covered it. I thought it had been dispelled years ago, but I guess there are always people who like to revisit these myths and try to scare everyone all over again. Any time bloat is mentioned it is easy to see why people get frightened.
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  7. Jodi
    June 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm (1 year ago)

    I read the article first and it sort of made sense, but then I read the comments and saw all the disputes and snopes confirmed it. But that would be my common sense checking it out. 😉

    BTW you did make me LOL.
    Jodi recently posted…When My Fellow Ain’t So MellowMy Profile

  8. Leo and Grady's Mom
    June 19, 2014 at 12:47 pm (1 year ago)

    Thanks Jen.
    You always have a way of putting the things into perspective. I guess it comes down to comfort. If you don’t feel comfortable giving your dog ice cubes or ice water then don’t. Leo and Grady are both ice cube lovers year round.

  9. Vicki
    June 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you Jen! I’m sharing this around some more. Some doggy folks are still having a hard time grasping this.

  10. Blueberry's human
    June 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm (1 year ago)

    I didn’t hear about this. Crazy.

    I am glad it isn’t true because Blueberry would be really sad if I cut off her ice cube supply all summer long – she lives for ice cubes!
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  11. Jan K
    June 19, 2014 at 1:52 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you!! I just saw the post going around on Facebook yesterday, panicked for a minute, then saw suggested posts by Facebook right below it from Snopes, etc., debunking it. More than one of my friends shared that post, and it really did scare me at first….I just had put a post up recently showing Luke bobbing for ice cubes in the water dish!!
    It really makes me angry that anyone had to start this kind of untruth in the first place…and so many people I know buy into it without checking first. I was on my way out the door when I saw it and may not have had time to check into it, and probably would have worried until I got back home and was able to! For once FB did something good by having the related topics so close by. I just shared your post….and I think I will also send it directly to my friends who shared the original untrue article.
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  12. M. K. Clinton
    June 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm (1 year ago)

    I’ve never heard this before. I freeze water in empty Cool Whip tubs for the boys’ outside water during the summer. It is too huge for them to eat, but they do lick it as it melts.
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…KONG is KingMy Profile

  13. Kimberly Gauthier
    June 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm (1 year ago)

    I was told that it’s only a problem if we have gulpers. We add ice to our dogs water in the summer to slow them down. They tend to over play (so we have to monitor that) and then race to the water and drink too fast, which is where the risk of bloat (for our dogs) comes in. So we add ice cubes to slow them down. They’re drinking around the ice cubes and checking the cubes out – they still get enough water, they drink at a normal rate, and the ice cubes melt pretty quickly in the heat.

    Sometimes the dogs will fish the ice out of the water, but by that time, it’s small so I don’t worry too much – I still monitor them. We wouldn’t give them ice in their water and then leave the house.
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  14. Chelsea Price
    June 19, 2014 at 6:12 pm (1 year ago)

    THANK YOU! I have been seeing this rumor spreading like wildfire around Facebook lately (ALL DOG OWNERS READ THIS ICE IS DANGEROUS FOR YOUR PETS, etc.) and roll my eyes every time. Riley loves a few ice cubes in his water in the summer! I will give all those rumor-spreaders this link so they can see for themselves that it is safe. :)
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  15. Vlad & Barkly's Dee
    June 19, 2014 at 8:14 pm (1 year ago)

    Vlad and Barkly don’t eat the ice, but they want ice in their water year round. I just limit the amount of water they can get when they first come inside during warm days. They’re spoiled though, and will look at me like I’m crazy if I don’t put ice in their bowl. They just like colder water.

  16. Jeanie
    June 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm (1 year ago)

    My BCs Ike and Tina would be dangerous if they could reach the lever for the ice maker. They come running when they hear use getting ice and they each get a piece. My biggest worry is that they will break teeth.

  17. Bunk The Pug
    June 19, 2014 at 10:34 pm (1 year ago)

    Gosh! you all drink water just like me- ALL IN! In fact, I like to take it a step further and put in my paw as well while I am drinking water. It’s a great way to ensure no parts of your body are too thirsty. Plus, who does not want a good dip in the … water bowl? Anyway, I also am not sure about the entire bloating thing. I do enjoying a good piece of ice or the ice pops by folks like the honest kitchen and it has never been problematic. If the pug in me can handle it, so can you all!
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  18. houndstooth
    June 20, 2014 at 12:26 am (1 year ago)

    I wish I knew how this keeps getting resurrected! It IS common sense and I wish more people would realize that!
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  19. sprinkles
    June 20, 2014 at 1:38 am (1 year ago)

    I’ve always wondered about that myth. As you say, we’ve all fed our dogs a bit of frozen food at one time or another, and probably most have eaten snow. Thanks for educating us all.
    sprinkles recently posted…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  20. Lauranne
    June 20, 2014 at 4:45 am (1 year ago)

    The only problem with all of the is the common sense part. As you have said considering it is called common sense it seems to be in an extremely short supply!

    Thanks for educating and dispelling those myths!
    Lauranne recently posted…Dog Poo confessionsMy Profile

  21. Cindy Rader
    June 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m thinking they could get more air in their bellies (especially drinking quickly) because, the ice cubes may break up the smooth water intake a dogs tongue uses to drink.

  22. basic puppy training
    June 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm (1 year ago)

    That’s making your dog hungry, but you got a point there.

  23. Karen Karo
    June 22, 2014 at 10:40 am (1 year ago)

    Yes this is just a myth. The important thing to remember is to give your dog small amounts of water and at a time. Let them cool down and relax slowly after a long walk or run. It is much better to pour some of the water on their head, than give unlimited water if they are overheated.

    If your dog should accidentally eat or drink at lot quickly please keep him/her as quiet as possible until their body has time to digest the offending meal fully. To be safe they should be limited to short leashed walks and no playing sessions for about a week. This will help prevent the stomach flipping over and stopping the digestion process.

    If you notice any vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or any other concerning symptoms don’t delay getting them to a Vet. The earlier this is caught and treated the better the chances of a good outcome. :)

    ~ Karen ~
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  24. CrazyDogLife
    June 23, 2014 at 5:34 pm (1 year ago)

    My dogs love ice. They love to chew on it and play with it in their water. I really believe the ice in my dogs water slows down their drinking because they like to push it around the bowl while they drink. I have never had a dog have bloat but I have had a horse get it. Very scary stuff and I hope to never experience that with one of my dogs.
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  25. Talent Hounds
    June 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm (1 year ago)

    MY former pup loved ice cube! Plus they make a fun treat

  26. Tara
    January 26, 2015 at 2:29 pm (10 months ago)

    Late to the game, I know, but this was a pretty informative post. I didn’t know about this myth. I saw a cute idea on Pinterest: on hot days, freeze treats inside a giant ice cube and let them lick it. I wonder if that would cause them to ingest more air?
    Tara recently posted…Pookie’s Rescuefest 2015My Profile


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