Fact or Fiction: Can Ice Cream Harm Your Dog? The truth behind the viral story
Many of you may have been alarmed by the recent blogs and articles that have been circulating on the internet as often alarming things do warn you not to NEVER give your dog ice or ice water as it will cause serious injury or death can. There are different reviews of the item with different dogs and different results, but the story is pretty similar as most of them said their vet told them dogs should NEVER have ice.
When I came across this, it felt strange to me considering most of us gave our dogs an ice cube or two and of course in the winter we all saw our dogs eat / drink snow and freeze water from one icy bucket done without damage.
Another version claims that ice water can cause gas in dogs:
So I went to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and got answers to my questions from Medical Director Dr. Tina Wismer.
Can it cause gas to your dog as history implies?
That is not true. Dogs DO NOT bloat from drinking ice water on hot days. Bloat can come from food or gas build-up. Both of these can cause the stomach to twist and the dog to develop GDV (gastric dilatation volvulus). The sheep is most common in large breed dogs with deep chest girths.
Factors that increase your risk of bloating include:
- Feed only one meal a day
- Family history of bloating
- Moistening dry food
- Elevated feeder
- Limit water before and after eating
- Dry food with animal fat in the first four ingredients
- Age (older dogs).
As you can see there are many things associated with bloating but no known cause.
What about feeding other “frozen” items like treats?
Many dogs love ice cubes. They can be given as treats or placed in the water bowl. Some behaviorists even recommend freezing toys or treats in ice for dogs to chew on. The greatest risk with ice is that aggressive chewers can break teeth.
Frozen treats like dog ice cream and yogurt have a softer texture (ice crystals are separated by fat). You have a much lower risk of causing tooth damage.
Treat heat stroke with ice
Now that we debunk the myth about ice, you might be thinking great. I will pump my dog full of ice if it overheats and save myself a trip to the vet. However, this would be a dangerous thing to do.
Dr. Wismer also mentioned that owners must use common sense to make sure they don’t try to treat heat stroke with ice water. “If you think your dog is suffering from heat stroke, you should take him to the vet immediately. Don’t waste time getting the dog to drink, ”she adds.
Also, use sense when it comes to things like a pool full of ice. You don’t want to go into an ice bath from 90 degrees heat, and neither does your dog.