Beware Giving Ice Water or Feeding Ice Cubes to Dogs – Facts

Picture about Beware Giving Ice Water or Feeding Ice Cubes to Dogs
Beware Giving Ice Water or Feeding Ice Cubes to Dogs


Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

This is something all dog owners should know. Even with the smallest breeds need to remember never to give dogs iced or very cold water.

This was posted on another board with permission to cross post in the hopes of saving another dog from having to go through this awful experience.

After showing we went back to our site/set up and got the dogs in their crates to cool off. After being back about 30min. I noticed **** was low on water. I took a hand full of ice from my cooler and put it in his bucket with more water. (Note: I use a small Playmate cooler at ringside with ice water in it also. Have for over 15 years now) I use small 2qt. buckets in my crates. He had maybe ½ a bucket when I placed him in his crate after coming back from the ring. We all then started to get all the dogs Ex’ed and food ready for them.

I have an 18 foot trailer with AC and set up, as a rolling kennel it fits 7-42″ crates, and MY express Van holds 1- 48″, 1- 42″, and 3- 36″, crates. All the crates in the van have 24 ” box fans over them. I had **** in his 48’crate in the van because that is the place he loves to be. He loves to be able to see everyone and everything. After checking the dogs and thinking they were cooled off enough we fed everyone. As we were walking around removing the feed dishes from the crates, one of my friends stated that **** seamed like he was choking. I went over and checked on him and he was dry heaving and was drooling. I got him out of the crate to check him over and noticed he had not eaten. He was in some distress. I checked him over from head to toe and did not notice anything. I walked him around for about a min. when I noticed that he was starting to Bloat. I did everything I was taught to do in this case. I
was not able to get him to burp, and we gave him Phasezime.

We jumped on the golf cart to take him down to the Show vet to find out that he did not have a bloat kit, He referred us to the clinic that was to be on call, but we found out that the clinic was closed. After finding another clinic that was open we rushed **** to that one. We called ahead and let them know that we were on our way. They were set up and waiting for us and they got **** stabilized very quickly. After **** was stable and out of distress we transported **** to AVREC where he went into surgery to make sure no damage was done to any of his vital organs. I am very happy to say that **** is doing great, there was no damage to any vital organs, and he still loves his food.

In surgery the doctor found that ***** stomach was in its normal anatomic position. The Doctor and I went over the events of what happened up to the point of **** Bloating. When I told him about the ice water he asked why I gave him ice water, and have I always done this. I told him my history behind this practice and his reply was “I have been very lucky for the past 15 years.” The ice water I gave **** caused violent Muscle spasm in his stomach which caused the bloating. Even though I figured his temp was down enough to feed, and give him this ice water his internal temp was still high. Dr. Vogf stated that giving dog’s ice to chew or ice water is a big NO, NO; there should be no reason for them to have ice/ice water. Normal water (room Temp.), or cooling with cold towels on the inter thigh, is the best way to help cool a dog. How Dr. Vogf explained it to me was like this: If you, as a person fall into a frozen lake what happens to our muscles? Think about that, then compare that to your dog’s stomach.

I felt the need to share this with everyone, in the hopes that some may learn from what I went through, I do not wish this on anyone. **** is home now doing fine. He does not like the fact that he has to be walked on lead in the yard to keep him from running. He hates not being able to go out and rough house with the others, but is doing great. So please if you do use ice and ice water, beware as what could happen.

Picture about Beware Giving Ice Water or Feeding Ice Cubes to Dogs
Beware Giving Ice Water or Feeding Ice Cubes to Dogs


Circulating message warns dog owners not to give their dogs ice water and ice cubes, citing a case where a dog suffered severe bloat after drinking water with ice in it. The claim is a mixture of hoax and facts.

These warnings about dangers of feeding dogs with iced or very cold water have started circulating through emails since many years. The authenticity of the case, about the dog, dog owner and even the veterinary doctor could not be identified clearly. Nevertheless, bloating is a serious issue with dogs, so let us learn about it first.

About Bloating in Dogs

Bloat, also known as gastric volvulus is a life-threatening emergency that affects dogs, and in fact refers to two conditions. The first one is gastric dilatation, in which the stomach of the dog dilates because of excess gas and fluid. The second condition is volvulus, in which the expanded stomach rotates on its long axis causing serious health complications that can even lead to death.

It is to be noted that Bloat can develop suddenly even in a healthy and active dog. Bloating may happen just after the dog eats a large meal, vigorous exercise before or after eating, or even drinking large amount of water immediately after eating. (Anyone of this could be the possible cause in the above mentioned case, if it were true.)

Signs of Bloat

The signs of bloating in a dog are its restlessness and pacing, salivation, vomiting, unsuccessful attempts to vomit, and enlargement of the abdomen. Note that the dog may whine or groan when you press on its belly.

Feeding Dogs with Ice Cubes/Water

Pet owners should understand that dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke than humans, and this is because of their fabulous fur that does not allow for sweat, they only have sweat glands on their little feet. They release excess heat by panting and cooling down their body. And when the dog is dehydrated again, it must be hydrated with enough water, especially when it is tired of some kind of exercise.

In such cases, most veterinarians suggest cold water is good for dogs, and adding ice cubes to the water is also fine. But there are also some disagreements from some vets and owners saying it gives their dog adverse reactions like vomiting and bloating. Considering the fact that there are many different breeds and sizes of dogs, it will be difficult to determine how a particular dog will handle ice cubes, and there will also be exceptions sometimes. The best way to do it is, start feeding your dog with one ice cube and see how it will like it, and then monitor it afterwards. If it is doing fine, you are good to go.

Note that if your dog drinks the ice water or eats the ice cubes too fast, there is a possibility for bloating. Also, if you feed ice cubes directly, it might present a choking hazard to your dog, especially when they are smaller breeds and puppies. Moreover, eating from an elevated food bowl may place your dog at increased risk of bloating. Lastly, remember that dogs with a family history of bloat have a higher risk, so at the slightest suspicion of bloat, take your dog to a veterinary hospital immediately.

If your dog has bloating problems then it is better to follow the below preventive measures, as suggested by WebMD:

  • Divide the day’s ration into three equal meals, spaced well apart.
  • Do not feed your dog from a raised food bowl.
  • Avoid feeding dry dog food that has fat among the first four ingredients listed on the label.
  • Avoid foods that contain citric acid.
  • Restrict access to water for one hour before and after meals.
  • Never let your dog drink a large amount of water all at once.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise on a full stomach.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of hoax and facts.


Ice Cubes Harmful for your Dog
Gastric Volvulus (Bloat) in Dogs: A Life Threatening Emergency
Can I give my Dog Ice Cubes?

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Prashanth Damarla