Can Dogs Eat Ice

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can dogs eat ice

Today’s question: can dogs eat ice? Scroll down for detailed answers.

Ice is often enjoyed by dogs as much as humans.  The variations of ice-water, popsicles, Italian ice, push pops, etc-may offer humans and dogs alike the variety needed to hydrate and cool our bodies.  No matter the season or the climate, we must remain hydrated to remain healthy.  We all know the easiest way in which to remain hydrated is to drink plenty of water.  This is not always feasible, or enjoyable, therefore putting water into our bodies by any means necessary is often needed.

Many people enjoy chewing ice.  Crushed iced is a bit softer, rounder, and easier to chew than large blocks of ice.  Chewing the ice can keep you hydrated, feeling fuller longer and prevent over eating.  The coolness of the ice also helps lower body temperature to prevent overheating.  If people tend to overheat, imagine if you have fur!  Dogs overheat just as people do, if not more so!  Dogs need the added advantages of multiple hydration sources just as people do.  Dogs are also known for their chewing habits.  If dogs are able to chew on ice, perhaps dogs would be less prone to chew on shoes?

When the summer heat is unbearable, simply imagine how your furry friend is feeling. Thus, you must have thought of feeding your pup some ice cubes. Can dogs eat ice? There is a popular misconception that ice is potentially harmful and even deadly to dogs. But is this true? This article focuses on providing every dog owner with the necessary information on the subject. Find out what you need to know about feeding your dog ice cubes.

Can Dogs Eat Ice – Yes, But Always Crushed Ice

can dogs eat ice

Yes, your pooch may have some ice occasionally.

The reason most people say that ice should not be fed to dogs is because of the choking possibility. Swallowing a large ice cube is dangerous for anyone, but especially for a dog without help.  The ice will not melt fast enough to loosen itself from the throat and dislodge.  A chunk of ice is detrimental to the health of a dog in any form, whether large or small.  Still, according to experts, it is recommended giving ice to dogs when the heat outside is off the charts. The ice hydrates them while helping them deal with the high temperature better. Dogs have a tendency to swallow food as a whole, so crushing the ice before your dog eats it is recommended.   Adding crushed ice to the dog water will also help your dog stay cool and avoid choking on ice cubes.

Ice is good to offer dogs on hot days, but ice should only be given to full grown dogs, not to puppies.   Puppies have more delicate digestive systems which are still developing and ice might present stomach discomfort as well as the choking hazard.  Puppies may try to swallow ice whole rather and be unaware of the difference between ice and a piece of food.  Be mindful of puppies size in relation to their mouths and throats and be sure to crush all ice offered to them.

Each Dog’s Reaction to Ice is Different

Each dog is different. Dogs have different food preferences, tastes, likes and dislikes just as humans do. Due to the independent preference of your individual dog, you may have a dog that refuses ice.  You may have a dog who attempts to swallow all ice cubes s/he sees. There is no way to anticipate whether your dog will like eating ice cubes or not. Therefore, at first you should feed it a small amount and carefully watch his/her reaction.

As with all newly introduced foods and liquids, your dog should be given only a bit to ensure your dog likes the offering and is able to tolerate the offering.  Depending upon size, breed, and age, your dog may have trouble with a particular food, or have a particular love of a certain food.  Whether your dog loves it or leaves it, crushed ice should be offered and / or put into the water bowel of your dog on hot days to prevent dehydration.

Normally, experts pinpoint that you should not worry about giving ice to your dog. Think about wild dogs. In the cold season, the only source of hydration is ice or partially frozen water. Thus, most dogs should not suffer from negative reactions if given ice.  When in doubt about a particular offering to your dog, reverting back in time to when dogs lived in the wild is usually a good measure of whether a dog should ingest human food or not.  In the wild, would dogs eat ice?  Yes!  Ice equals water and water is key to life.  Dogs have an instinct to seek water and will do so whether ice is liquid or solid.  Being a modern dog with a family, your pet has the luxury of crushed ice that is also clean and toxin free.  In the wild, dogs service after eating dirty clumps of snow and ice.  Offering your dog ice on a hot day will only enhance the health of your dog, not hurt it.

Disadvantages of Ice 

Dogs are greedy eaters. If you offer them large, hard ice cubes, they will immediately start chewing on them and might end up breaking their teeth. Ice is such a strong solid that when chewing often, tooth enamel can weaken and teeth can chip, break, or fall out.  Therefore, opt for crushing the ice before giving it to your furry friend so your dog w ill not hurt his/her teeth or choke on it. This is the only concern veterinarians indicate when it comes to ice.  Crushed ice and shaved ice is smooth, small, and soft, without much need to chew and damage teeth.  The ice is also easier to swallow and less likely to become lodged in the throat or intestine.

According to experts, freezing temperatures may lead to vasoconstriction. Giving large amounts of ice at once can prevent your dog from cooling off properly, while at the same time leading to a range of side effects. Additionally, it may also diminish the activity of your dog’s metabolism while detrimentally affecting the normal functioning of your pet’s vital organs.  Too much ice is not good for your dog.   Finding the balance of feeding your dog ice and potentially poisoning the dog is not difficult to find.   Offer your dog bits of ice at a time and do not allow your dog to over indulge.  If your dog has gotten into a large amount of ice without your knowledge, your dog will be safe, but not as hydrated as one may think.

Vasoconstriction is the reason you should never consider soaking your dog in frozen water, or feeding him/her large amounts of crushed ice at once. When your dog is running the risk of being over heated or dehydrated, soaking your dog in cold water and feeding him/her large amounts of ice is not the answer.  The cooling process should always be done gradually. Thus, you hinder your furry pet from suffering various side effects.

If you notice that your dog is overheated, just tap a cold, wet towel on his/her fur. Under no circumstances you should immerse your dog in cold water. Make sure your furry pet lays on a cool surface. Laying on a cool surface, in a shaded environment, with a cold towel on his/her fur is a good way to lower your dog’s body temperature safely and naturally.  This should last for a while. If your dog cools off too quickly, that is not normal as his/her organs might get into shock.

Does Ice Lead to Bloating?

This is another popular misconception that ice will cause bloating, which can further trigger gastric dilation volvulus. GDV is a medical condition characterized by the abnormal twist of the stomach, decreasing the dog’s blood supply. If this condition is not treated correspondingly, it develops until the stomach tissues die. It is a very harsh medical condition and you do not want to be responsible for causing that to your dear pet.

However, veterinarians claim that this rumor is entirely false, as there is no actual link between bloating and feeding your dog ice cubes. Bloating is a health condition that occurs as a result of a wide range of factors including rapid eating, dry diet, only one large meal a day, genetics, age, restricted water portions.

Therefore, putting ice in your dog’s water will not lead to bloating. Providing ice cubes in the water bowl is actually a great way to keep the water supply cool in the hot summer months and another simple way to cool off your dog.

Treating Heatstroke with Ice – Not Recommended

Although, feeding ice to your dog is not harmful that does not mean that if your furry pet is overheated you can feed him a bag full of ice and assume you have solved the problem. As a matter of fact, experts indicate that you should not treat heatstroke with ice. The moment you suspect that your dog might be suffering from a heatstroke, take him/her to the vet at once. Do not postpone by trying to feed it ice or bathing it in a bathtub of frozen water; you may worsen the situation instead of improving it.

However, if your dog just begins to overheat, you can place ice packs under the dog’s arm pits and a cool compress on the head to regulate the temperatures.  Placing ice packs and cool rags in the arm pits and joint areas of your dog will cool the blood in the main areas of the body, thereby allowing even cooler blood to flow through the body naturally.  This method of cooling a dog is done so by first cooling the blood, which then cools the body.  The trick is also helpful with humans who are overheating.



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