ice and a dog

It’s a question that many people still ask regarding their four-legged friends. Is ice water really detrimental to canines’ health, putting them at immediate risk of severe illness or even death? The truth is that this is simply a heavily perpetuated myth.

The general misconception is that dogs exposed to ice water or ice cubes on a blistering hot day will likely die because of spasms and bloating that results following consumption. Chain e-mails have perpetuated the erroneous notion that dogs have died in the past because of ice consumption, even going so far as to say that it specifically causes acute gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) which results in dogs’ deaths.

The Truth About Ice and Dogs

In spite of the continued myth surrounding frozen water and canines, Snopes is one source that has made it clear that dogs and ice are a generally harmless combination. Now, ice isn’t entirely harmless to dogs; if your canine eats too much ice or drinks ice water too fast, it could lead to bloat. Bloat is commonly caused by many different actions outside of consuming ice, including simply eating a meal too fast.

While bloat itself isn’t particularly harmful, this could potentially lead to GDV in some cases, but it isn’t any more likely to happen when dogs eat ice than when they simply eat quickly. The myth has dramatically exaggerated the dangers of eating ice, and many people who know the truth even give their dogs ice as treats.

Ice water is actually an excellent way to hydrate and cool your dog on those days when the heat gets to be too much, as long as you don’t give your canines too much too fast.