Home Health and Care Safety, Emergencies and First Aid Ice for Dogs: Is It Safe to Give Your Labrador Ice?

Ice for Dogs: Is It Safe to Give Your Labrador Ice?


It is a sweltering hot day. You see your Labrador feeling uncomfortable, and you want to make him feel comfortable. You may be tempted to wonder about if ice for dogs a good idea? Dogs do not sweat, and this makes it harder for them to cool down. You thought of giving your Labrador ice cubes should help, but is it safe?

Benefits of Ice for Dogs

Many vets suggest ice for dogs as a method to introduce water to them while recovering from vomiting or surgical treatments. Even those on restricted water intake or gastroenteritis can have ice cubes as a safer option than drinking water to maintain fluid levels in the body. You may give your dog ice to prevent heat strokes in the summer. Ice for dogs is a good option to keep them hydrated when traveling.

Is It Safe to Give Dogs Ice?

Labrador Retrievers with their ancestry in canine breeds naturally inclined for water sports just love snow and ice. A few years ago, an article stating that ice can cause severe injuries to dogs and even kill them circulated online. This caused dog owners to panic, fearing that their dogs might suffer from bloat and other injuries the article linked to eating ice.

But this is not true. It is safe for dogs to eat ice especially when it is hot. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, giving your dog ice has no connection to the development of bloat or gastric dilatation volvulus in your dog.

Even the American Kennel Society says that a piece of ice for dogs is as good as the water for your pet. Ice is nothing but frozen water and there is no danger unless it is thrown like a stone at the eye of the dog. Whatever stories we read or circulated on social media against giving ice to your dog are just false, concocted ones without any real evidence to prove.

No doubt drinking too much water after a heavy meal or soon after an intense workout may result in the development of bloat. But water has no role in it. Even eating too fast causes the same. The primary reason here is that a dog gulps a lot of air when eating or drinking. In fact, ice cubes are a good method to reduce the speed of water ingestion while keeping your dog hydrated. It also plays a part in influencing the amount of water your dog intakes.

You may give your dog ice to prevent heat strokes in the summer. Ice for dogs is a good option to keep them hydrated when traveling.

Ice for Dogs: How To Give It Safely

Now that we have made it clear that ice is safe for dogs, you might be wondering if there are precautions you must do before giving your Labrador one. For starters, the best way to give your Labrador ice by crushing it into smaller pieces.

If your Labrador has not fully grown yet, a whole ice cube could get stuck in his throat and cause him to choke. Your Labrador may also break his teeth and have gum injury when chewing ice cubes. But this is unlikely to happen. Still, if you choose to give your Labrador ice cubes, it is a good idea to keep an eye on him while he chews away.

With adequate supervision, Labrador puppies can also be given ice cubes. Not only does it help them cool down, but chewing ice also helps soothe the discomfort of their teething gums. However, make sure not to give them large quantities of ice cubes or ice-cold water. Their bodies are still too young to handle extreme coldness. On the other hand, you are free to give your Labrador toys that are meant to be frozen.

You may also freeze yummy treats, such as fruits, peanut butter, chicken, or beef broth and more for your Labrador to chew on. It helps them cool down, keeps them busy, and even helps clean their teeth.

Never give your Labrador ice if you suspect that he is having a heat stroke. Neither should you put him in a tub of ice. Doing so will only constrict his blood vessels and do more harm than good. If your Labrador is having a heat stroke, call the veterinarian immediately.