Recently, while scrolling through a Facebook group, I was a post of a woman giving her dog ice cubes to lick. The woman wrote „My Golden loves ice cubes, what about your fur babies“ or something along those lines. The majority of the comments on her post were generally positive, however, there were also those people claiming that ice cubes are hingly dangerous for dogs.
So I wondered is this really true. I mean I have read about several cases of a dog ingesting ice cubes and winding up at a veterinary emergency hospital requiring surgery to alleviate “bloat.”
Reportedly, the veterinarian in charge felt the cause of the bloat was due to the dog ingesting ice cubes.
Bloat, or gastric dilation volvulus, is a dangerous, life-threatening condition that occurs acutely when the stomach fills with gas and then rotates within the abdomen. There has been much study into potential causes of bloat: genetics, diet, environment, exercise/activity have all been studied, and all may be potential factors in the development of bloat.
Drinking too much water too fast or feeding large amounts of food immediately after exercise is never recommended, as this may make it more likely that a dog will gulp a lot of air along with water and/or food.
Dogs should always be allowed to cool down after they exert a lot of energy and excitement prior to being offered free access to food and to water, much like racing horses are walked and cooled down after a race. You can offer them water, but only small amounts at a time until the dog is calmer and rested, at which time free access can be allowed.
Ice cubes can actually be used to slow down the rate of ingestion of water by overly excited dogs, so offering ice cubes is a way of adjusting the rate and amount of water a dog takes in.
Veterinarians recommend offering ice cubes as a way to slowly introduce water to dogs recovering from surgeries or as a tryout after vomiting episodes associated with gastroenteritis, to see if they are able to hold fluids down.
So, ice cubes aren’t dangerous to your dog. But of course, as it is with many other things, moderation is key.