Nothing compares to a glass of ice-cold water or an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. Water in its various forms quenches our thirst and cools us down all year long. The same goes for our dogs who love to splash around in their kiddie pool and seem to appreciate the scrumptious taste of cool peanut butter no matter the season. There are many online recipes that cater to dogs and some of them involve mixing the ingredients and serving them in ice form. Both new and experienced pooch parents may be wondering whether iced water for dogs is safe to consume. Are ice cubes bad for dogs or is it okay to spoil your pooch rotten with homemade frozen goodies? You will find the answer to this question and more below.
Why Do Dogs Like Ice?
Unlike us, dogs have very limited options when it comes to cooling down, so it is no wonder that they jump at the chance to splash around in the pool or lie down in the shade. Dogs are also smart enough to recognize a frozen treat when they see one and are drawn to crunchy ice thanks to its cooling properties. There are many funny videos on YouTube featuring dogs eating ice but is it really safe for your canine companion to indulge in frozen water?
Is Ice Water Bad for Dogs?
The answer to this question depends on several factors but many experts on the matter agree that cold water for dogs is considered a safe option for your pooch. In fact, serving your pooch a water bowl with ice cubes in it helps keep his water cool during summer. Using ice is also recommended when it comes to eager drinkers who gulp down their water like there is no tomorrow. Adding a couple of ice cubes can help solve this problem. Teething dogs who are experiencing pain and discomfort can also benefit from licking and chewing on ice cubes. These cubes can also double as a form of entertainment for your pooch who can spend the afternoon playing with melting ice cubes while you finish up some house chores.
Dog parents are encouraged to exercise caution when it comes to ice especially if their pooch tends to chew on his toys with all his might. The hard nature of ice can fracture his teeth and open the door to dental problems instead of alleviating his teething pains. This also applies to dog breeds who have small jaws and can easily crack a tooth if they bite too hard on their cold treat. Replacing an ice cube with ice shavings is recommended if you own a toy breed or if you are worried about your pooch and his pearly whites. You can also add small ice cubes instead of large ones to a water bowl especially if your adult dog is gentle and careful when it comes to chewing both his toys and food. Moderation is key, so make sure that you serve your pooch water with just enough ice to encourage him to drink if he happens to be a fussy drinker.
So, can dogs eat ice? Yes, indulging in a frozen treat or a cool water bowl is harmless when it comes to healthy dogs. However, ice can do more harm than good if your pooch suffers from a dental disease or has missing teeth. Chewing on ice sans teeth can hurt his gums and this can turn an enjoyable treat into a choking hazard. Canines suffering from neurological ailments and have trouble swallowing food should also steer clear of ice cubes of all shapes and sizes. Consulting a veterinarian will help steer you in the right direction when it comes to preparing treats and food for senior or toothless dogs.
Is There a Connection Between Bloat and Ice?
Dog bloat is a serious condition involving the stomach and it occurs when this organ becomes filled with food, water or gas. Drinking copious amounts of water quickly and without taking a break in between can lead to bloat. This condition is not directly linked to eating ice, but experts recommend removing ice cubes from all water bowls if your pooch has a habit of gulping it down in one go. Hydration is important and so is reducing the risk of bloat, therefore it is recommended to simply serve small amounts of water throughout the day. If your pooch is a sensible drinker who leisurely sips on his water, then you can spoil him with ice shavings or cool treats to keep him both hydrated and happy.
When Not to Give Ice to Your Pooch
Bloat aside, there are several instances where giving ice to your dog is considered a no-no. This includes sick or overheated canines. Ice may seem like a no-brainer to some dog parents, but overheated dogs must be cooled off gradually. This means offering them cool water and giving them a shower using room temperature water as well. Showering the entire body sans head while focusing on the back and underside is recommended. Monitoring your pooch’s temperature during this gradual cooling process is vital until it drops below 103°F. Rushing to the vet is also a no-brainer since heatstrokes can open the door to serious health conditions such as kidney failure and intestinal bleeding.
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Sick dogs who suffer from digestive issues are prone to vomiting and diarrhea, which in turn leads to loss of fluids and dehydration. This cycle can cause serious harm to dogs who are already struggling health-wise. Ice shavings may seem like the ideal solution for hydrating and reducing nausea in sick canines, but it never hurts to ask a vet about introducing ice to ill pets.
In conclusion, there is no harm in treating your healthy pooch to a few ice cubes on a hot summer day. Adding ice cubes to water bowls can encourage fussy canines to drink more and preparing frozen pupsicles can also make their day. Make sure that these cool treats cater to your own dogs needs and do not forget to supervise him while he enjoys them.