In the sunny island of Singapore, we are constantly looking for ways to cool down. Be it turning up the airconditioning or downing a glass of ice-cold water, our daily battle with the heat does not only include us but our dogs as well. Ice cubes are a cheap and fun treat for your hot dog, but rumour has it that the ingestion of ice cubes can be fatal to a dog. Could this be true?
Can dogs eat ice cubes?
The claim made by a veterinarian is that ingesting ice cubes can cause bloat – the buildup of gas in the stomach. Bloat can be deadly as the gas buildup causes the stomach to twist. It has been found that ice cubes alone have no relation to bloat, but drinking too much water too quickly does. If a dog is drinking or eating too quickly, it is likely to gulp a lot of air while doing so. This could then lead to bloat. As such, always allow your pup to recover after exercise before serving it food or giving it free access to water. Some water is acceptable to keep your panting dog hydrated, but if it tends to gulp water in large amounts, it is advisable to let the panting subside before allowing it free access to water.
In fact, ice cubes are great for regulating the rate of water intake by overly-excited dogs. They are also recommended by veterinarians as a means to slowly introduce your dog to water after a bout of vomiting or surgery. If its an especially hot day, there is absolutely nothing wrong with adding some ice cubes into the water bowl. But there are a few things to note when feeding ice cubes:
- It is recommended to feed cubes a little melted or in small sizes to prevent them from becoming a potential choking hazard or causing dental damage.
- Do not feed too many ice cubes at once. Ice cubes should be given as a treat on a hot day.
- Never feed ice cubes to puppies, their body is not yet ready for the concentrated cold in an ice cube.
Can Ice Cubes Alleviate Heatstroke?
Definitely not. If your dog is showing signs of heatstroke, seek veterinary assistance immediately. Heatstroke is life-threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency. If you suspect your dog is overheated or experiencing heatstroke, use a wet towel to wipe the underside and paw pads of your pup and keep it in a cool room with air-conditioning or a fan before taking it to a vet.