Is Ice Water Bad for Dogs?

Now that summer is here there’s a rumor making the rounds that giving your dog ice water on a hot day can kill her. Is ice water bad for dogs? Let’s find out.

After a long walk on a hot day, do you look forward to a tall glass of ice water? Me too! It’s only natural to think that your dog might like a nice, cool drink after a summer walk or run. But is ice water bad for dogs? The answer seems to be a qualified no.

Related Reading: 10 Healthy Summer Drink Recipes

The ice water dogs rumor seems to stem from a 2010 blog post where a dog owner describes a very scary medical situation with her dog. She tossed a few ice cubes into her dog’s water bowl on a warm day. She also gave her dog a bowl of food. Shortly afterward she noticed that her dog was coughing, drooling, and spluttering. She says that her vet told her that the ice water had caused what’s called “bloat” or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). GDV is a dangerous condition where the dog’s stomach spasms and bloats. This can kill a dog. But is ice water the culprit?

Is ice water bad for dogs?

Ice Water and Bloat

There is still some question in the veterinary world as to what causes bloat. The consensus right now seems to be that eating or drinking too fast is the main cause.

The ice water wasn’t likely what caused the dog in question to go into shock. It was that the dog drank the water and ate his food too fast. Experts say that giving your dog a small amount of water – with or without ice – is the key to avoiding GDV.

When dogs eat or drink too fast, they inhale too much air along with the food and water. The air fills their stomach, putting them at risk for GDV. Bloat is no joke – it’s an emergency situation, and it can kill your dog.

The video at the top of this page shows a dog experiencing bloat. Don’t worry! The dog was fine, and the voiceover you’re hearing was added later, so that other dog owners could learn from this person’s experience. The person filming this dog had no idea that he had bloat but did realize that something was wrong and rushed him to the vet, saving his life.

So, is ice water bad for dogs? Not really. The problem comes in when your dog is so jazzed about a big, icy bowl of water on a hot day that she laps up the whole thing too quickly. This can happen with room temperature water or with food, as well.

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Past Member 2 years ago


Irene S.
Irene S3 years ago

Summer is here? Not at my place!
At the moment, I have to worry if eating snow might be bad for dogs. But I know, it depends on the dog. Some tolerate it well, others get the squits.

Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

Taylor Story
Taylor S3 years ago

Hmm, I've never heard that rumor, and I didn't know that bloat could be lethal, either!! I learn something every day. Very interesting.

holly masih
.3 years ago


Angela J.
Angela B3 years ago


Popy Mery
Popy Mery3 years ago

thank you!!

John Doucette
John Doucette3 years ago

Ice water? My dog chews ice cubes. I keep cold water in the fridge which I take with me on our walks, along with a small plastic container so I can regulate how much water he gets. Everybody should take a bottle of cold water on walks. Dogs get thirsty, especially when it gets hot. Don't wait until you get home to give him/her water.

Donna F.
Donna F3 years ago


Manuela C.
Manuela C3 years ago

Thanks for sharing the video.