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Yes, it is safe for dogs to eat ice in moderation, especially if it’s shaved or finely cubed. In fact, dog owners looking to help their pup beat the heat can turn to this age old trick. However, there are some potential risks, such as chipped teeth, choking and shock from consuming too much ice. Stick around, and we’ll dive deeper into the ins and outs of letting your dog indulge in this frosty treat while keeping them safe and wagging their tail.

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Safe: This food is generally considered safe by the veterinary community. Dogs can eat this food sometimes or in small amounts but contains little to no nutritional value.

Food Safety Safe to eat in moderation
Nutritional Value None
Potential Risks State of shock due to high cold, choking hazard, broken teeth
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Much Ice Is Safe for Dogs?

Dogs can benefit from ice, especially on hot summer days, but could you over-do it? Nothing serious will happen if you feed your dog a handful of ice cubes or crushed or shaved ice, as it only contains water. While there isn’t a specific guideline for the exact quantity of ice that is safe, it’s generally best to offer a few small pieces at a time. Shaved or finely cubed ice is ideal, as it’s easier for your dog to consume without risking any dental damage. Remember that every dog is different, so it’s important to monitor your pup and ensure they aren’t experiencing any discomfort or difficulty while enjoying their chilly treat. Keep in mind that ice should only be offered occasionally and should never be used as a primary source of hydration. Always provide your dog with fresh water to ensure they stay properly hydrated, especially during hot weather.

What Happens if Your Dog Eats Too Much Ice?

If your dog likes to bite on ice, it may break some of its teeth. A damaged tooth can be very painful and may even need a root canal or oral surgery to be entirely repaired. Fortunately, this is rare since dogs love to lick ice, which should not harm their teeth.

Tip: Avoid giving ice to teething puppies since their teeth are weaker and their instinct is to chew instead of lick the ice.

How to Feed Ice to Dogs

Always supervise your dog when giving them this icy treat. If you find your dog chewing on ice cubes, substitute it with crushed or shaved ice. These melt faster, lowering the risk of broken teeth and choking.

If your dog has any pre-existing dental issues or sensitivity to cold, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before offering them ice as a treat. They may recommend alternative ways to help your dog cool down and stay comfortable during warmer months. In any case, always prioritize your dog’s well-being and health when introducing new treats or experiences.

Common Ice Ingredients

  • Water-Water doesn’t pose any harm to your dog’s health. In fact, keeping your dog’s water bowl full, especially during summer, will keep it hydrated and cool.
  • Fruits-people tend to add fruits to their ice cubes to give them more flavor. However, dogs cannot eat some fruits. So, it’s best to feed them plain ice. Check out our list of safe fruits to feed your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Nothing serious will happen if your dog eats a couple of ice cubes. In fact, feeding your canine companion ice during the summer months will keep it cool and hydrated.

  • A couple of ice cubes every now and then is okay for dogs. However, if your dog gets a hold of an entire bag of ice, it might result in choking or broken teeth, especially in smaller dogs.

  • Dogs love everything cold because it keeps them cool when they feel hot. This is especially the case during summers or for long-haired dogs.

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Contributor
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.