4 blocks of ice cubes

With the upcoming summer months, it’s important to be prepared to help pet dogs stay cool and prevent overheating. Dog owners have come up with creative ways to cool down their dogs, including making frozen treats in ice trays.

However, giving your dog ice cubes may not always be the appropriate thing to do to combat overheating. Context matters when giving ice cubes to your dog. While eating ice cubes won’t typically cause significant harm to dogs, there are some health and safety issues to consider. Continue reading to learn more.

When To Feed Your Dog Ice Cubes

One of the more common reasons for giving dogs ice cubes is to reintroduce and hydrate themselves post-surgery safely. However, dog owners should do this only if their veterinarians recommend it and if their dog is resisting drinking water.

In this context, ice cubes and ice chips are helpful because they’re easier to consume than water. Dogs that are dehydrated also shouldn’t drink water quickly because it can make them vomit. Ice cubes enable you to monitor your dog’s water intake with greater control and accuracy.

There’s really no harm in giving your dog the occasional ice cube, especially if your dog enjoys licking it slowly. So, if you have a dog that can patiently lick ice cubes, it can enjoy this cooling treat with no problem. You can even freeze dog-safe ingredients, such as plain yogurt or unsalted beef broth, and let your dog eat these tasty snacks on hot days.

ice cubes
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Ice Cube Safety Concerns

There are also cases in which feeding your dog ice cubes may not be safe. First, firmly frozen ice cubes can cause damage to dogs’ teeth. Anything that you aren’t able to indent with your fingernail has the potential to cause damage to dogs’ teeth. So, large ice cubes can lead to a tooth fracture, especially with small dogs and toy breeds with smaller teeth. They can also wear down tooth enamel.

You may want to skip feeding your dog ice cubes if it has a habit of eating too quickly and not chewing its food. Although ice cubes melt, large ones can still become a choking hazard because they won’t melt quickly enough.

Safe Ice Cube Alternatives

Ice cubes are only safe for some dogs. However, there are still plenty of frozen treats that many other dogs can enjoy.

Many pet stores and online stores carry ice cream and frozen yogurt mixes that are made specifically for dogs. These treats are softer, break apart more easily, and melt pretty quickly. When you shop for these items, just make sure that they contain lactose-free milk because consuming too much lactose can lead to an upset stomach in your dog.

You can also find toys encased with water that you can freeze. Some of these toys also have flavors, so they can be great alternatives if you’re concerned about weight gain and weight management for your dog.


Keeping your dog cool is important for hot summer days and feeding your dog ice cubes can be one way to prevent overheating. There aren’t too many health concerns with giving your dog ice cubes, but it still may not be the safest option for most dogs.

So, make sure to explore different options, such as soft frozen treats, so that you and your dog can enjoy a happy and safe summer.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay