Humans and dogs alike love to chew ice. There is nothing more satisfying than the crunch of the ice between your teeth as it melts away to nothing. But can dogs chew ice? Is it safe for them?
Like with most things we enjoy in life, there are pros and cons to everything. Ice, though it hydrates a dog’s body, can also pose a few hazards.
Are Ice Cubes Bad for Dogs Teeth?
Are Ice Cubes Bad for Dogs Teeth? Yes. Chewing ice cubes or anything hard can cause tooth enamel to wear down over time or even tooth breakage. The harder and larger the ice, the more likely it is to cause problems with your dog’s teeth.
If your dog is an ice lover and you want to give them ice as a treat, try giving them smaller ice cubes or shaved ice in moderation.
Can Ice Cubes Kill Dogs?
Anything small can be a choking hazard for dogs. A loose piece of tennis ball, a stick, or yes, even an ice cube. Ice cubes however are made of frozen water and will more than likely melt before a dog could choke on it.
However, older dogs with missing or damaged teeth may have trouble chewing the ice into smaller pieces which poses more of a risk for choking. Giving them crushed ice, ice chips or shaved ice that does not require as much chewing lessens the chance that they may choke.
Giving Dogs Ice Cubes in Hot Weather
Making blocks of ice for your dog to lick or even giving them a bowl of shaved ice is a rewarding summer treat. Ice can help your dog stay hydrated in hot weather as long as your dog is not overheated or showing signs of heatstroke.
If your dog is overheated, you want to bring their body temperature down slowly with cool tap water and contact your veterinarian immediately if they are showing signs of heatstroke.
Ice Cubes for Teething Puppies
Like human babies, puppies teeth. When they are teething, puppies will chew on everything. Giving your puppy something cold to chew such as ice cubes or a rag soaked in water and frozen can ease some of the teething pain. However it is still a good idea to keep a watchful eye on your puppy to make sure they do not choke on the ice or shred the rag.
Ice Chewing Alternatives for Dogs
There are cold chewing alternatives if you want your dog to have something other than ice cubes. This fillable and freezable Nylabone Chill & Chew Freezer Chicken Flavored Dog Toy is made for more moderate chewers and can be filled with a variety of liquids. The texture is also designed to help clean your dog’s teeth.
The Bottom line – Can Dogs Chew Ice?
Like with anything hard, chewing ice can cause damage to your dog’s teeth over time and can be a choking hazard. Giving your dog ice in moderation, shaving the ice before giving it to them, or giving them chipped ice so there are smaller pieced to chew can be a greatly reduce the risks to your dog’s dental health.