Is it even ok to give ice water to dogs? Let’s separate fact from fiction and get to the icy, hard truth!
Have you ever had a hot day that a glass of ice water instantly made better? But what if you added ice to the water for dogs? We’ve all been there.
The thought process is straightforward. On a hot, sunny day with your dog panting, how about adding some ice to the water for dogs? Why shouldn’t dogs drink ice water?
When a dog is hot and thirsty, it’s very likely that he will drink the water too quickly and swallow a lot of air in the process, which can lead to bloat. When a dog’s stomach bloats, it twists and traps food, gas, and air, cutting off the blood supply to the stomach and other nearby organs.
Without prompt assistance, the dog may experience shock, organ failure, or even death as a result of an enlarged stomach.
Don’t worry; we’ll cover general introductions, health warnings, risks and precautions, and the proper way to do it before we discuss the idea of “dog and ice water.”
Is Ice Water Bad for Dogs?
Unquestionably, hydration depends primarily on water.
Although there are times when the stress of the activity and the weather makes water seem insufficient. And that’s where the tempting thought of, “Can I give cold water to my dog?” comes in.
According to Dr. DiFazio of the Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group in New York City, hydration could be in the form of solid or liquid, and specifically, “Pets can drink water more slowly and reliably by using cubes, which also serve as a guarantee of water ingestion.”
Ice cubes may have advantages, but they also have disadvantages, just like everything else.
Now going full circle, can dogs drink ice-cold water? The answer is yes, but there are a few caveats and possible consequences. Furthermore, it is vital to recognize the right way in giving dogs ice water.
Should Your Dog Drink Cold Water?
Whatever you may have previously heard, cold water, ice cubes, and/or ice water on their own are not harmful to dogs, according to any available evidence. In actuality, the temperature has nothing to do with the real problem. It has to do with how quickly the dog in question consumes the water.
While the water’s temperature is unimportant, if your dog drinks any kind of water too quickly, it could be harmful. This is because gulping down water quickly can result in them swallowing a lot of air.
And this can result in bloating, which is frequently a real source of concern for dog parents and which we’ll go over in more detail shortly.
To understand why bloating is a risk factor, let’s look at how dogs drink:
- Dogs cannot suck up water like humans can because they lack full cheeks.
- Dogs, on the other hand, use their tongues, a technique known as inertia.
- To create a “ladle” to scoop up the water, the tongue extends out and curls.
- They swiftly close their jaw to swallow after quickly retracting their tongue.
- Dog drinking is very splashy and noisy because of this.
What Can Happen If Dogs Drink Cold Water Too Fast?
Dogs are susceptible to swallowing too much air when they drink because of their well-known lapping-scooping technique.
Particularly if they drink too fast. And when dogs eat or drink too quickly, they may swallow too much air, which can bloat the stomach and result in a dangerous condition called gastric dilation volvulus. Therefore, your dog won’t get sick from cold or ice water. Fast pacing, however, can.
How and when does gastric dilatation and volvulus (Canine GDV) occur, though? When their stomachs are overly air-filled, deep-chested dogs are most susceptible to the condition. In turn, this causes their stomach walls to stretch, hence “dilatation”. This dilatation means the stomach can flip and twist on itself (and that’s where the “volvulus” part comes in).
Does Ice Water Cause Bloat?
Another major worry is that ice water can cause canine gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat. It’s a condition where the stomach balloons with air, flips, and twists off, typically affecting dogs with deep chests. Surgery must be performed right away for bloat, a very serious condition.
Ice water does not, however, directly correlate with GDV, despite the fact that it is understandable why it gets a bad rap.
Bloat is brought on by consuming large amounts of air while eating or drinking too quickly. On warm days or following exercise, people frequently give dogs ice water. Additionally, a thirsty dog may drink the water too quickly and inhale a lot of air.
Although it might appear that the ice water is to blame, the same thing could just as easily occur with room-temperature water.
After consuming food or liquids, your dog should rest for about an hour to avoid developing bloat. In addition to reducing the possibility that their stomachs will flip, this will give them enough time for the air to naturally expel from their stomachs.
How to Prevent Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus?
The best way to stop GDV is to make sure your dog is well-hydrated all day. If your dog drinks frequently, it shouldn’t become overly thirsty and down excessive amounts of water at once.
In a similar vein, it’s recommended to give your dog multiple meals each day. Your dog won’t become overly hungry if meals are spaced out. They won’t be as likely to eat while taking in a lot of air after that.
In order to give your dog a break between mouthfuls, you can also try dividing meals into two portions. The dreaded bloat can be avoided by doing this. Consider this: Have you ever experienced gastrointestinal discomfort following a buffet with unlimited food? For dogs, it’s much worse!
Another piece of advice is to stay away from strenuous exercise right after eating because it may make the issue worse.
Are Some Dog Breeds More Prone to GDV?
Breeds with deep chests are typically more prone to GDV. And as people age, the risk increases. Dogs with deep chests have rib cages that are long, and narrow, and sit lower on their bodies. Some of the most common deep-chested breeds are:
- Great Dane
- Saint Bernard
- Irish Setter
- German Shepherd
- Doberman Pinscher
- Standard Poodle
- Old English Sheepdog
Smaller, non-deep-chested breeds are still susceptible to GDV. The speed at which your dog consumes food or liquids should therefore always be monitored, regardless of the breed.
Other GDV Symptoms to Look Out For
Although prevention is the best medicine, it is always helpful to be aware of the symptoms to watch for in the event that your dog does contract GDV. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Abdomen Distension
- Abdominal Pain
- Retching (attempting to vomit with no success)
Take your dog to the emergency vet right away if you think they have GDV. After stabilizing your dog and removing any extra gas from the stomach, the vet will perform surgery to examine the stomach and spleen.
How to Give Your Dog Ice Water?
The simplest method to give your dog ice water is to simply put a few cubes in their water bowl. It ought to cool their water down just enough to offer a pleasant, reviving treat when required.
However, you might want to think about chipping the ice first if you have a smaller dog. As a result, the risk of choking is significantly reduced, and the ice melts even more quickly. Following operations or other procedures, vets frequently allow dogs to eat ice chips.
Ice cubes can be fed to dogs without fear. And even though there are a few scary stories circulating online, you shouldn’t believe them all.
Final Word: Cold Water for Dogs
“Ice water is it safe for dogs?” let’s break it down. We can safely conclude that “good” isn’t always the best descriptor. To place it bluntly, yes, you can put ice into your dog’s water and there are safer ways to do so. However, it would be best if you didn’t.
Giving them ice water on a steamy summer day is the least risky approach. However, it’s vital to stick to small amounts in order to prevent GDV or bloating. Additionally, after consuming a lot of water, keep them immobile for an hour to reduce the possibility of their stomach flipping.
To ensure your dog stays hydrated while you’re on the go, bring a portable water bottle or bowl. Additionally, if your dog doesn’t seem to like drinking from her stationary dog bowl at home, why not liven things up with a canine water fountain?