Is it bad to give your dog Iced Water or Ice Cubes to cool them?
Straight answer = NO
It seems that there has been a post floating around the net and on Facebook over and over telling of a very tragic incident which was put down to the use of iced water. (see link for details of original thread etc www.petmd.com/blogs/
Having spoken at length with various veterinary professionals, the opinion from those who “know their onions” is that there is no specific published data on ice cubes or iced water causing gastric dilation whatsoever. However it is a multifactoral issue with many factors being involved such as eating habits, diet, exercise, heatstroke, stress & panting, and mostly problematic in large dog breeds due to the deeper nature of the thoracic cavity.
Therefore, people should not be worried and alarmed by this mythical thread on iced water and should feel perfectly fine in continuing with it’s use as a general aid in warmer seasons to help cool our dogs BUT NOT IF THE DOG IS IN CRISIS.
If after saying all of this, you are still concerned, then simply using cold water should be enough to quench the thirst and reduce the temperature.
General cooling maintenance of a dog in this fashion is, as I say fine, but it is worthy of note that a dog who is suffering with heatstroke should NOT be cooled dramatically with either iced water/ice cubes while in crisis or by plunging them into very cold water. It is not safe to give to dog’s showing signs of heat stress or even worse heat exhaustion/stroke and this is a point which needs to be clarified.
Extreme cold can cause the blood vessels to constrict, preventing the body’s core from cooling and actually causing the internal temperature to further rise. In addition, over-cooling can cause hypothermia, introducing a host of new problems. When the body temperature reaches 103.9°F, stop cooling. At this point, your dog’s body should continue cooling on its own.
I hope this clears up any worries that anybody has and I thank the follower who asked me the question initially very much for bringing it to my attention.
Keep those furries cool! 😉