Are Ice Cubes Bad for Dogs?

4 min read
May 29, 2024

Filling your glass with ice on a hot summer day can be a great way to cool yourself down. But if your dog starts begging for a cold drink, you might wonder whether it’s safe to give your furry friend ice cubes.

Broadly speaking, ice cubes are relatively safe for dogs.1 You might even be able to use them as a tasty frozen snack to help your dog cool down on a hot day.2 Still, dogs may face a few ice cube-related risks, too. Let’s take a closer look at the risks and benefits pet parents should consider when giving ice to their dogs.

Are Ice Cubes Bad for Dogs’ Teeth?

Your dentist may have warned you that chewing ice is bad for your teeth, and in some ways, the same goes for your dog. Because ice cubes are very hard, they may break your dog’s teeth, which could cause significant dental risks.3,4 In that vein, ice is also not recommended for teething puppies — instead, try letting them gnaw chilled or frozen snacks (like green beans, blueberries, seedless watermelon, or carrots).5 However, ice cubes are still OK for dogs to lick and play with.4

Are Ice Cubes a Choking Hazard?

There’s some risk of your dog choking on ice cubes, particularly large pieces that may lodge in the dog’s airway before melting.3,6 You may potentially be able to reduce a dog’s choking risk by giving them smaller cubes or shaved ice, and by providing ice in moderation.6

If you suspect your dog is choking on ice, you may be able to remove the cube yourself. You might also be able to perform the pet Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the ice. Even if you can remove the object, it’s still important to take your dog to the vet. Choking can deprive your pet of oxygen, damage their mouth and throat, and cause other serious problems. A vet’s evaluation may better confirm whether there was any harm done.

Does Your Dog Eat Things They Shouldn’t?

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Can Ice Upset a Dog’s Stomach?

Giving a dog ice cubes may not necessarily pose a risk to their stomach. In fact, you might be able to use ice cubes to reintroduce liquids to your dog following surgery or bouts of vomiting.1 Ice cubes or ice chips may also help you keep your dog hydrated and test their tolerance of liquids if they have a stomach condition, like gastroenteritis.1,6

Additionally, putting ice in your dog’s water may help slow their rate of drinking. Drinking slower may lower the dog’s risk of developing a dangerous condition called bloat (aka gastric dilatation and volvulus or GDV).1 Bloat may develop when a dog drinks too much, too fast, causing a buildup of excess gas in the abdomen, which may cause the stomach to twist.1,6

Can Ice Cubes Help With Heat Stroke?

Heat stroke is a dangerous, potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises too high. However, you may want to be careful with your use of ice to treat the condition. One of the keys to treating heat stroke is to bring your pet’s body temperature down in a safe, controlled manner — and using cool, rather than cold or frozen, water may be the better way to do so.6,7

Consider Investing in Dog Insurance

Looking to keep your dog healthy and happy? Investing in dog insurance from MetLife Pet may help cover unexpected medical costs and give your wallet a break. Get your free quote today.

We Can Help You Protect Your Pup

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “Can Dogs Have Ice Cubes?” American Kennel Club,

2 “Best DIY Frozen Dog Treats,” American Kennel Club,

3 “Potential Dangers of Popular Dog Chews,” Preventive Vet

4 “Risks from a fractured tooth,” Cornell Richard P. Riney Canine Health Center

5 “Care For Your Teething Puppy With These 4 Tips,” PetMD,

6 “Can Dogs Eat Ice?” PetMD,

7 “Heat Stroke in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886. Availability is subject to regulatory approval. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

L0524040756[exp0526][All States][DC,GU,MP,PR,VI]