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 above 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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160 comments

Ruth S
Ruth S1 days ago

Thanks.

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hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELD25 days ago

tyfs

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson2 months ago

Thank you.

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Thomas M
Thomas M2 months ago

thank you

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michela c
michela c2 months ago

I prefer giving them cool, but not ice, water

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Latoya B
Latoya Brookins2 months ago

My dog drinks more water than me.

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Leanne K
Leanne K2 months ago

Now people are scaremongering about bloat. Its usually the deep chested dogs like a boxer and you dont feed them before a run or let them drink excessively during a run is a good rule of thumb

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Leanne K
Leanne K2 months ago

Cold water from the tap then add a few ice cubes if its a stinking hot day. I personally wouldnt chill the water in the fridge, thats just a bit too finicky. If its that hot, dont go for a walk til later in the evening, just wet a face washer or flannel and wipe their tummy and inside of the legs to cool them a bit.

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Karen Martinez
Karen M2 months ago

Good information--especially the part about not letting hot dogs drink too much liquid at one time. My dog likes to play with ice cubes. She takes them out of her water bowl and plays with them on the tile floor. Thank you for sharing this information.

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Kelsey S
Kelsey S2 months ago

Thanks

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