Giving a dog ice in hot weather is dangerous…
There are times when ice can be dangerous for your dog, but if they are fit and healthy and not showing signs of heatstroke it is fine.
How to keep your dog cool - giving your dog ice
Dogs who are fit and healthy and not showing any signs of heatstroke can be offered ice in their water, frozen treats such as blueberries or raspberries (both excellent antioxidant foods for dogs) and ice cream made for dogs.
Licking ice can help keep them cool on the hot days. It’s fine for them to ingest but if you think your dog is overheating you shouldn’t suddenly cover them or immerse them in ice or freezing water.
Using cooling mats, a paddling pool, shaded areas, and mental stimulation will help reduce the risk of heatstroke.
Hydration is especially important when it’s hot. Remind your dog to drink, keep the water clean and cool, and add extra water bowls around the house.
Do not walk your dog in the heat, choose early morning or late evening walks instead of during the hotter parts of the day. No dog died from missing one walk, but they can die from heatstroke.
Heatstroke in Dogs
When the weather is hot, the risk of heatstroke to your dog increases. Most cases are due to owners leaving their dog in a car while they pop into a shop. But just 5 minutes can be too long especially for our high-risk breeds, these breeds include:
- Senior dogs
- Dogs with breathing problems
- Dogs with heart disease
- Overweight and obese dogs
- Brachycephalic breeds
All the above cannot tolerate temperatures over 20˚C and therefore should not be walked or left in a car in this temperature, not even for a minute.
Within 10 minutes, if the outside temperature is 21˚C, the temperature inside the car will exceed 32˚C putting all dogs at risk of this condition that kills dogs in the UK every summertime.
For dogs showing signs of heatstroke, do not offer ice and do not be tempted to submerge them completely into cold water. Both actions can lead to shock and worsen the situation.
Find out more about the signs of heatstroke and how to treat it in our guide to heatstroke in dogs.