Can Dogs Have Ice Cubes? The Answer May Surprise You

German Shepherd laying next to an ice cube.

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Can dogs have ice cubes? It’s a question that pet owners have been asking since the invention of the freezer. And while the answer may seem simple, it’s not quite so clear-cut.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at both sides of the argument and try to come to a definitive answer.

So, can dogs have ice cubes or not? Let’s find out!

Is Ice Good for Dogs to Eat?

The main benefit of giving your dog ice is that it can help them stay hydrated. This is especially important in hot weather when your dog is more likely to become dehydrated.

For some dogs, ice is more enticing than their water dish, and giving ice cubes can help them get more water into their system.

Another benefit of giving ice to your dog is that it is a zero calorie treat (at least for those dogs that love to eat ice).

I definitely don’t feel guilty giving Luna and Morgan (who both could stand to lose a few pounds) an ice cube or two daily. I know it won’t hurt their diets as there are no calories in ice (as long as you are using plain water in your ice cubes).

Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Ice?

Poodle Terrier looking at an ice cube in someone's hand.

Now that we know the benefits of giving your dog ice, let’s take a look at whether or not it is safe.

The main safety risk with ice is that it could be a choking risk if your dog tries to swallow the ice cube whole. If your dog is an inhaler of treats, you can limit this risk by only giving them small pieces of ice.

Is it Bad for Dogs to Eat Ice Cubes?

No, it’s not bad for dogs to eat ice cubes. However, you should use caution if giving your dog ice cubes, as they could be a choking hazard.

It’s also important to make sure that the ice cubes you give your dog are made from clean water, as contaminated water could make your dog sick.

Can Ice be Bad for Your Dog’s Teeth?

Anything as hard as ice has the potential to be bad for your dog’s teeth. There is always a chance that when a dog chews on something hard, like ice, bones, antlers, and hard chew toys, they could break a tooth.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s teeth you can give them ice in smaller pieces, like crushed ice, so they are less likely to chew it.

*One caution here: If you have been told by the vet that your dog’s teeth are at risk of fracturing, it’s best to avoid giving them ice.

I recently had to stop giving Morgan anything hard as her most recent dental resulted in the removal of several teeth and the caution that 4 more (the back teeth that are primarily used for chewing) are cosmetically fractured already. Anything hard, bones, ice, chew toys, etc. can lead to those teeth fracturing to the point of having to remove them.

Why Do Dogs Like Ice Cubes so Much?

German Shepherd grabbing an ice cube from someone's hand.

There are a few theories as to why dogs like ice cubes so much.

One theory is that dogs enjoy the feeling of the cold water on their tongue and gums. This is especially true on hot days when the ice can help cool them down.

Another theory is that dogs enjoy the crunching sound they make when they chew on the ice. This is similar to the way some people like the sound of breaking ice.

Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that many dogs love eating ice cubes!

Can I Give My Dog Ice Cubes?

Poodle Terrier eating an ice cube.

Yes, you can give your dog ice cubes as long as your dog has healthy teeth.

If your dog has bad teeth, or the vet has said not to give them anything hard to chew on, then skip the ice.

If you are concerned about your dog’s teeth and haven’t been told to avoid hard things, then try crushed ice.

You should also make sure that the ice cubes are made from clean water to avoid making your dog sick.

Are Ice Cubes Bad for Puppies?

Ice cubes pose a greater choking risk to puppies than they do for larger dogs. With their smaller mouth and teeth, puppies may have a harder time chewing an ice cube enough to make it small enough to not choke.

Also, there is more of a risk that a puppy’s body won’t be able to handle the cold ice as well as an adult dog. This is especially a risk if the puppy is given lots of ice or has ice added to their water bowl.

Are Ice Cubes Good for Puppies?

Ice cubes may be good for a teething puppy as it may feel good on their gums when they chew on them.

If you decide to give your puppy ice for teething, it’s important to give them small pieces of ice to reduce the chance of choking.

Can You Give a Puppy an Ice Cube?

You can give a puppy an ice cube, but it should be small enough that they can’t choke on it.

It’s also important to make sure that the ice cube is made from clean water so your puppy doesn’t get sick. And don’t give your puppy a lot of ice all at once as their body may not be able to adjust to a large amount of cold ice at a time.

Can I Put Ice Cubes in my Dog’s Water Bowl?

Dog water dish with ice cubes floating in the water.

Yes, you can put ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl. Adding ice to their water bowl is a great way to encourage your dog to get enough to drink.

Just be sure that the ice cubes are small enough that your dog can’t choke on them and that they are made from clean water so your dog doesn’t get sick.

When Shouldn’t I Give My Dog Ice?

You shouldn’t give your dog ice if you think they have heat stroke or if they are panting excessively. If your dog is overheated, giving them ice could actually make things worse by lowering their body temperature too quickly.

If you think your dog has heatstroke, you should take them to the vet immediately as it can be a life-threatening condition.

You also shouldn’t give your dog ice if you have been told by the vet that your dog shouldn’t have anything hard to chew on.

Ice Cubes or Crushed Ice, Does it Matter?

No, it doesn’t really matter if you give your dog ice cubes or crushed ice. Some dogs prefer chewing on the larger ice cubes, while others may prefer the smaller pieces of crushed ice.

Small dogs should be given crushed ice as it will pose less of a choking hazard and be easier for them to chew.

If you’re worried about your dog’s teeth, crushed ice is a good option as it’s less likely to damage their teeth than larger ice cubes.

Icy Treats for Dogs

If you want to give your dog an icy treat, beyond plain ice, there are a few different options. One option is to make ice cubes from diluted chicken or beef broth.

Another option is to make frozen fruit treats by freezing dog safe fruits in water or broth.

If you want to go beyond ice or broth treats, check out this post of 26 frozen dog treats.

Final Thoughts

Dogs need plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in hot weather. Ice cubes are a fun way to give your dog a little extra water. If you’re going to give your dog ice cubes, make sure you follow these tips so that they can enjoy the frozen water safely!

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Pin image of how to give ice cubes to your dog safely with a poodle terrier eating an ice cube.

1 thought on “Can Dogs Have Ice Cubes? The Answer May Surprise You”

  1. I did not know ow ice could be a problem. As a child Mum always gave our daccie ice blocks and I always gave my cats and now dogs ice. When I make a stock I will fill 4 doggy trays and the summer is really hot Down here, and I fill an old Tupperware container approx 2 cups with water and small treats could be kibble, frozen peas, corn,beans, raw diced carrot, peeled chopped apple, Strawberry, she loves blueberry and watermelon. If I have the grass tops she she likes that gets added also. If I’m at home the treat is inside when I’m out, large piece outside by her doggy door and a piece inside…

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