Should You Give Your Dog Ice Cubes?

Is putting ice cubes in your dog’s bowl ok?

The weather is hot and your furry friend needs to cool down, so what do you do? 


There are a few things you can do, like walking your dog in the early morning or evening when the sun isn’t as strong.  You can also buy a cooling mat for them. And then there’s the ice cube controversy.  


There are many social media posts out there claiming that the canine anterior hypothalamus is triggered to warm up the body because it recognizes something cold, causing the temperature to rise. Other posts suggest ice cubes can cause bloating in dogs.  A few vets have weighed in on the matter. 


One says, ‘On a hot day if you are at home or out in the garden, a good way to help your dog cool down would be to add ice cubes to his water, freeze his water bowl before putting water in it, or freeze one of his favourite chew toys.’


Another explains that as long as your dog is healthy and is just struggling with the impact of a hot day, ice cubes are fine as long as you consider a few things.


‘The only significant risks we can see from your dog eating ice is from possible damage to the teeth because of chewing on hard ice but the risk of that is low,’ says a third.


However, if your pet is showing any signs of heatstroke, you should avoid ice altogether, as that is when it could be dangerous.

Signs of heatstroke include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Excessively drooling
  • The dog appears lethargic, drowsy, or uncoordinated
  • Collapsed or vomiting