Why Do Dogs Like Ice Cubes? (Are They Safe?)

Does your dog eat ice cubes as well? Isn’t it funny that dogs prefer to eat ice? Some dogs can chew through so many without batting an eyelash, even though the cold against their teeth may put your teeth on edge and give you chills.

He’s wiggling his tail and ready for another while you’re cringing. 

why do dogs like ice cubes
Why do dogs like ice cubes? [Are they safe?]

Is your dog a purist when it comes to ice? Or will he stop and nibble on pieces of shattered ice from a frozen puddle when out for a stroll? 

So, why do dogs want to eat ice?

Why Do Dogs Like Ice Cubes?

Dogs, as many pet parents probably know, do not sweat! At least not in the sense we humans sweat. The problem is that most dogs have a thick coat of fur or hair, trapping the sweat and making it harder for them to cool down

They can only cool off by panting or rubbing their paw pads together. 

Thus dog owners often have to find external means of cooling down their pet. Dogs enjoy ice because it is a refreshing treat—a popsicle if you will. To avoid overheating, they may reduce their body temperature fast by eating ice or drinking ice water.

Dogs also love the sensation of the ice rubbing on their teeth – its pure pleasure for them! And we all know a dog’s curiosity! They’ll keep gnawing away at the ice cube until it melts away, and then beg you for more! 

Teething dogs may also enjoy chewing on ice cubes to ease discomfort. Some dogs like rolling ice cubes around on the floor and having fun with them.

dog with ice cubes
Dog wants to bite some ice cubes!

Is It Safe For Dogs to Eat Ice Cubes?

Ice cubes provide very little risk to your dog, though we will cover a few things you do need to watch out for, later on. And of course, you do need to be mindful and watch your pet closely when you do give them the occasional icy treat. 

Ice cubes can certainly be a safe and delightful snack when combined with tasty ingredients. Furthermore, ice cubes are a healthy approach for your dog to progressively rehydrate without bloating. 

American Cocker Spaniel bowl
American Cocker Spaniel looking at his blue bowl.

What About Feeding Them Frozen Treats?

Just as you wouldn’t eat all kinds of popsicles all day long, being careful with what and when you feed your canine friend is important. 

Some popsicles such as apples and banana popsicles are good for dogs, and ok once in a while as a treat. 

Popsicles meant for human consumption can pose a threat to dogs, such as sugar overload, choking on or being allergic to nuts, so it’s advisable to make your own ‘doggy pupsicles’ at home. Chocolate can also cause toxicity, so that’s off limits! 

dog sniffs popsicle
Frozen treat made with fruits and yogurt for your dog.

Is It Possible For Ice To Cause Bloating In Dogs?

While chewing ice is not directly connected with dog bloat, drinking too much water may contribute to this potentially fatal illness. Bloat is a stomach twisting that can occur as a result of trapped gas.

Bloat can develop for a variety of causes, including the consumption of excessive amounts of food, drink, or air. For example, if consuming ice leads your dog to gulp or drink water rapidly, they may be more likely to get bloated.

Ice cubes are not the greatest option for soothing your dog’s thirst if he looks to be thirsty. Excessive thirst might indicate various conditions, so consult your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is drinking more than usual.

will a dog with bloat poop
Will a dog with bloat poop? [Look out for these signs]

Will Ice Cubes Hurt My Dog’s Teeth?

Ice cubes are hard, and they have the potential to break a tooth, particularly if the tooth is already injured. In addition, when a dog bites something hard, such as ice cubes or frozen treats, they utilize a lot of power. This might result in root exposure and severe dental discomfort for your dog.

If this happens, root canal treatment or removal may be necessary. However, it may also erode the enamel. With that stated, use ice cubes sparingly and avoid them if you have an elderly dog with older teeth.

grinning Jack Russell
Jack Russell being aggressive by showing teeth.

Can Ice Help Dogs Cool Down?

During the summer, frozen treats might help your dog stay cool. Ice cubes keep your dog from consuming too much, too fast (which could lead to bloating). An ice cube, rather than gulping down a lot of water, can help your dog hydrate gently.

Instead of ordinary ice cubes, try popsicles and other frozen delights to make fresh snacks for your dog. For example, you could freeze bone broth cubes, frozen berries treats, and other things. These frozen nibbles are softer than regular ice cubes, which reduces the likelihood of your dog breaking a tooth.

Does Crushed vs. Cubed Ice Make a Difference for Dogs?

If you get “puppy dog eyes” every time you reach for a cool drink, you may feed your dog ice cubes. However, if you must give your dog ice, many dog owners suggest crushing it rather than giving it in cube form.

Chomping on ice cubes can lead your dog’s teeth to shatter, especially if he loves to crush his food. So, to save a large vet expense (and keep your four-legged pet from harming himself! ), eschew frozen food in favor of a full water dish. Crushed ice pellets, on the other hand, are a better alternative than massive, solid cubes.

crushed ice for dogs
Is crushed ice much safer for dogs?

Is It Possible For My Dog To Choke On Ice?

Though it is unlikely, your dog might choke on a huge ice cube. This would happen if the cube lodged in your dog’s airway without melting. 

Tiny ice cubes or ice flakes will help keep your dog from choking. Dogs with dental problems or missing teeth, respiratory disorders, swallowing difficulties, or neurological diseases may be more susceptible to choking as they have difficulty biting the ice.

Rottweiler mouth
Checking a Rottweiler’s mouth in the field.

Is It Possible To Treat Overheating Or Heat Stroke Using Ice?

Do not use ice cubes if your dog is hot or suffering from heat stroke. Instead, you should try getting your dog to cool down progressively to avoid shock or organ failure. 

Use room temperature water to moisten your dog’s back and undersides. Following that, spray them using room temperature water. Just remember not to squirt, splash, or immerse your dog. 

Do not use ice water since it will shut the capillary in the skin, stopping your dog’s internal organs from chilling. You may also use a fan or air conditioning, or you can have your dog lie down on a cool surface. The normal body temperature of your dog should be approximately 103 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If your dog is still overheated after following these procedures, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The ideal prevention for overheating and heat exhaustion is management. When it’s hot, avoid strenuous exertion and keep an eye out for the following warning signs:

• Exhausting panting
• Excessive body temperature
• Gums or tongue that is red or purple
• Unusual or excessive drooling
• Tiredness and jerky movements
• Tremors
• Increased pulse rate
• Weakness or collapsibility
• Vomiting
• Seizures

Chihuahua feeling sick in the car
Chihuahua is not feeling well inside the car. Heading to the vet clinic!

How Can I Give Ice Cubes to My Dogs?

The best way is to crush the ice

Whether crushed or mixed in your dog’s drinking water, giving your dog ice cubes is a great way to keep him hydrated on a hot summer day. 

It’s also a natural and healthy approach to keeping his teeth clean! However, like with everything, ice should be provided in moderation as a nice treat rather than something anticipated each time you go to the fridge, as this might lead to nagging.

In rare situations, feeding your dog ice cubes may result in a serious response, such as vomiting. If this occurs, ice is something your dog cannot tolerate and should not be given in the future.

dog drinking water
Ice cubes and custom water trays are the easy way to get a dog to slow down drinking water

Can Pups That Are Teething Be Given Ice Cubes?

Ice cubes are not recommended for teething pups. 

A better technique to alleviate your pet’s agony and suffering caused by tooth eruptions is to freeze a towel and let your puppy gnaw on it. However, don’t go overboard, as this may teach him that chewing on cloth is OK. 

You can also provide your teething puppy with some cooled chew toys.

Golden Retriever puppy smiles
The Golden Retriever puppy smiles while sitting on a blanket.

When Are Ice Cubes Harmful to Dogs?

Ice cubes might pose a choking threat if your dog is inclined to gulp down food. In such instances, feed your dog little bits of ice or none at all.

Furthermore, if your dog suffers dental issues, do not offer them ice since it may break their teeth.

According to veterinarians, if your dog is at risk of heat stroke, you should cool him down gradually.

You can, for example, place your dog in the shadow or air conditioning and provide cold water to drink. First, however, you should keep an eye on your dog’s temperature and gradually reduce it. Because you don’t want to disrupt the system, vets advise against using ice in high temperatures.

If your dog is breathing profusely and/or appears wobbly on its feet you should contact your veterinarian immediately since these are indications of heatstroke, which can be fatal.

tooth pain or dental problems
Tooth Pain or Dental Problems

Can I Give Ice Cubes To My Dogs If They Are Dehydrated?

When dogs become dehydrated, you may feel compelled to offer them ice to keep them cool while encouraging them to drink water. 

Some doctors advocate giving dogs an ice cube to prevent them from drinking too much water quickly, which can cause vomiting and increased dehydration. Give him an ice cube if your dog’s dehydration symptoms are moderate.

Please remember that, while dehydration is normal in dogs, it can be a life-threatening scenario that needs rapid medical intervention.

Bernese mountain dog pants inside the car
Bernese mountain dog panting inside the car after playing.

Is Ice Harmful to Puppies?

Can dogs consume ice while still puppies? Some propose offering an ice cube to a teething puppy to help ease sore gums. 

However, you must never feed a puppy a huge amount of ice cubes or put ice in their drink. This is a precaution since their bodies may not be grown enough to withstand intense cold.

You may, however, joyfully provide your teething puppy with commercial frozen toys. Frozen veggies, such as carrots, can also be supplied, 

three Golden Retriever puppies
Golden Retriever puppies playing on the grass together.

How Should I Cool Off My Dog?

  • Make an ice-lick—there are numerous awesome recipes available. Just watch how quickly your dog consumes these frozen treats and, if required, slow him down or remove them for short periods.
  • Cooling vests will keep your dog cool if you have to be outside—cool, not cold. Water is usually advised.
  • In a pinch, a damp towel can suffice; soak the cloth in cool water and drape it around your dog’s body.
  • As dogs chill through their paw pads, place him in an inch of cool water—no ice cubes or the water will become too cold.
  • Keep an eye on your dog’s temperature to ensure you don’t chill him down too much—a dog’s typical body temperature is 103 degrees.
Golden Retriever with towel
Golden Retriever bites towel.

Ice Cube Alternatives

If you don’t want to offer your dog ice cubes, or if they don’t like them, here are some additional ways to keep them cool in the sun:

  • First, fill a dish with low-salt stock and a few goodies, then freeze it.
  • Frozen carrots and apple slices are other yummy yet nutritious snacks for your pet to enjoy.
  • Wrap a chilly (but not frigid) towel over your four-legged pal. Once dried, remove it.
  • Keep a bottle of cold water available to spray a dog occasionally, but go slowly and softly.
  • Try a few sprays at a distance first to determine if your dog is frightened by the pump sound of the spray itself.
can puppy eat carrots
A puppy is eating a carrot on the floor.


The occasional ice cube treat, whether crushed or melted in water is fine and fun for your furry friend! Just be mindful of how and when you give it.

One more fact to be careful of is to not let the dog crunch off ice from water puddles on a winter day- you don’t know what toxic chemicals may be in it. Safest is to stick to ice from your own refrigerator. 

Just like for humans, ice is super-yummy! And that’s why dogs like ice cubes.