Fact Or Fiction?
Many dog owners have always been told never to give their dogs ice water. We wanted to know: Is it safe?
If you do a quick internet search on giving your dog ice water, you'll find a lot of conflicting information. For years, prevailing wisdom has said never to give your pooch a bowl of ice water, even if they've been running around in the hot sun. But is there any real reason to avoid it?
According to the myth, giving your dog ice water can cause bloat, which could then lead to gastric dilation volvulus. GDV is a condition in which the stomach twists on itself, potentially reducing your pet's blood supply. If it's not treated, it can lead to necrosis of the stomach wall (the literal death of the stomach tissue).
GDV is indeed a very serious condition, but can it be caused by ice water? According the vets we interviewed, no. The reality is, it's more likely that the dog has ingested too much water too quickly, swallowing a fair amount of air along the way.
We can see the need to give your pup loads of ice water after a heavy play session, especially if they tend to be hot when they're inactive, but despite the lack of danger of GDV, we don't recommend it.
First, giving your dog too much water really can be dangerous. Usually, dogs who drink too much water too fast just vomit it up, but if they don't, bloat is a real concern. As for it being ice water, consult your vet. But think about it: If you're hot and reach for a cold glass of ice water and sip it down too quickly, what happens? What should be cooling leads to pain and discomfort. It may not be harmful, but why make yourself (or your dog) miserable.
Other side effects of ice water
Ice water or no?
While ice water in and of itself isn't the culprit it's been made out to be in various email chains, we still wouldn't advise it unless your vet instructs you to give it to your dog.
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