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Can You Give Ice Cubes To Dogs In Summer?

Our canine friends could sometimes do with a touch of summer dog care on those hot, sunny days. But while many of us will reach for a nice frozen treat for ourselves, you may be less sure whether ice cubes for dogs are such a good idea. After all, there’s been more than one misleading post on social media about the potential dangers of dog ice cream and frozen dog treats.

Fortunately, our team of experts are on hand to explain – and spoiler alert, we’re all for it! There are just a few minor (but important) details to look out for. Read on to learn more.

Is Ice Good For Dogs?

On the whole, ice cubes and frozen treats can be great for dogs. They’re not just a way to help your dog remain cool – especially if you’re walking dogs in hot weather – but they can also be fun and mentally stimulating. 

That said, there have been a number of social media posts in the past suggesting that ice cubes for dogs can be dangerous. Generally speaking, this is only usually the case if a dog is suffering from heatstroke. For fit and healthy dogs, however, ice cubes are okay.

pair of small dogs enjoying frozen ice cubes

When it comes to heatstroke, it’s important to remember that this is a critical, life-threatening condition. If you notice signs of heatstroke in your dog – including excessive panting, lack of coordination, collapsing, purple gums, and redness of skin – you should contact your vet immediately. You should also administer what first aid you can. Take your dog to a shady spot and use cool water to dampen towels before placing them over your dog to start bringing their temperature down. And a reminder, logical as it may seem, don’t be tempted to give them ice cubes or other frozen dog treats. These are only suitable for dogs who aren’t suffering from any issues or health difficulties.

beige dog eating an ice cube in the sunshine

Tips For Making Frozen Dog Treats

Here’s where the fun begins. Rather than limiting yourself to basic ice cubes for dogs, why not be creative and come up with your own frozen dog treats? These are our favourite ideas:

  • Rather than ice cubes made simply of water, you could try adding yoghurt, honey, meat-flavoured low-salt stock, or dog-friendly peanut butter (but make sure it’s free of xylitol).
  • Add tasty treats into the cubes, such as pieces of carrot, apple, cucumber, banana, blueberries, melon, strawberries, kibble, cooked chicken or tuna, or sweet potato.
  • Create an ice lick! Fill a bowl with water, not forgetting to add your tasty treats, and then freeze it. This will last longer than ice cubes for dogs.
  • Follow this same approach to fill a chew toy, such as a Kong, with your choice of frozen dog treats.

These are all great for staying cool, having fun, and giving your furry friend some much-needed summer dog care. Especially helpful if you’re heading somewhere hot this summer!

Ice For Dogs – What Should You Look Out For?

While frozen dog treats can be highly enjoyable, there are still a couple of matters you should pay attention to.

  • Make sure your ice cubes for dogs are size-appropriate to avoid any choking hazards. For small dogs, you could use a simple ice cube tray to make individual cubes, or even ice shavings or crushed ice. For larger dogs, a muffin tin could be effective.
  • If your dog is an enthusiastic ice cube cruncher, be wary of large or hard pieces of ice damaging their teeth. You can let the ice cubes melt slightly before giving them to your dog, or consider smaller shards or a slushie.
  • Don’t give ice cubes to dogs if they have a dietary upset. 
  • Similarly, you should check with your vet if your dog has any special dietary requirements when considering tasty flavourings for your dog to explore.
  • Only give frozen dog treats, ice cubes, and dog ice cream as an occasional treat. Too much too often could lead to an upset stomach. Make sure to avoid human ice cream, too – stick to dog ice cream!
  • Don’t rely on ice cubes and frozen dog treats to keep your dog cool in situations you wouldn’t otherwise put them in. For example, you should never leave your dog in the car in the sun whether you leave them any ice cubes or not. Likewise, ice cubes can be handy when walking dogs in summer, but you should still be mindful of all the usual advice: avoid the midday sun, keep to the shade, and stay hydrated.

If you follow this advice and approach frozen dog treats with a degree of care, there shouldn’t be anything to fear. That said, if you have any doubts, it’s always recommended to speak to your vet. They’ll understand the unique needs of your dog and be able to provide the best advice for your pooch’s summer dog care.

Are you interested in learning more about looking after your dog in summer? Get in touch! We’d love to hear what you and your dog are getting up to in the sun and may be able to provide a few tips and pointers to keep you both cool and hydrated! You can also stay informed with our latest informational guides, Q&As, and general advice by signing up to our newsletter.

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