Ice cubes or ice water alone don’t typically cause bloating in dogs, it’s the amount of air that they’re swallowing when drinking ice water or eating large amounts of ice cubes.
No matter how many years pass or how many advanced are made in veterinary technology, the rumor that ice cubes cause dog bloat is one rumor that just won’t die out.
Every summer since 2007, this rumor heats up again and every time I post a photo or video of my dogs eating a frozen dog treat or grabbing an ice cube out of their water bowl, someone chimes in saying that it’s not a good idea to give dogs ice because it can cause GDV or bloat.
I understand the concern because true GDV is a killer in every sense possible but this myth has been debunked and refuted by almost every single professional veterinarian out there.
In regards to bloat and water, frozen or room temperature, it’s about how fast and/or how much water a dog drinks that could cause them to bloat.
Do Ice Cubes Cause Dog Bloat?
There is no evidence that shows that ice water or ice cubes will cause a dog to bloat or experience GDV
Most dogs can be given ice cubes or ice-cold water in moderation and they will not have any issues.
The stomach will not cramp or bloat.
The primary cause of dog bloat is air, not ice.
The only dogs that shouldn’t be given ice or ice water are dogs that are experiencing heat stroke because it can cause their body temperature to drop too fast.
Does this mean that dogs that drink ice water or eat ice cubes won’t bloat?
No, they can still bloat but it wouldn’t be due to the ice it would be due to them drinking the ice water too fast and swallowing a lot of air.
What Is Bloat or GDV?
GDV happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid which causes it to expand.
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.
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 bloating.
It’s the amount of water and air that they are taking down not the temperature of the water they are drinking.
Can Dogs Eat Ice Cubes?
Most dogs can eat ice without any problems.
In fact, I make them ice licks in the summer and they get a variety of frozen dog treats.
Can Dogs Have Ice Water?
My dogs can have ice water.
They love ice water.
I just make sure that they don’t drink it too fast.
If you think about it, many dogs are given ice chips after they have surgery done by their veterinarian.
This is to make sure that they can keep fluids down before they go home.
Hazards of Giving Ice Cubes To Your Dog
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 because it could cause its temperature to drop too fast.
Ice, especially ice that forms outside in cold weather, can make some dogs vomit or cause diarrhea as well, so they should eat it slowly and in small amounts.
It’s common sense.
Personally, I see no harm in giving my dogs ice cubes as long as it’s in moderation.
Pros of Giving Dogs Ice Cubes
For some dogs, adding ice chips or ice cubes can actually slow down their drinking and reduce the amount of air they swallow when drinking water.
Ice cubes are also a good way to keep dogs hydrated in the warm summer months.
For senior dogs, softer ice chips can be another great form of hydration and help them drink more water.
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.
p.s. if you know someone who believes this myth please spread the word that this is indeed a myth.
We need people to understand the true facts about bloat and not confuse them more.
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