Our 10-year-old chow mix loves eating ice but someone told me that ice can cause bloat in dogs. Is this true?
There have been rumors that ice and ice water causes a spasm of the stomach muscle in dogs, leading to a a swollen stomach, and potentially fatal bloat. These rumors are not true, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, while ice may cause a muscle spasm, this is more likely to cause vomiting. Secondly, if ice caused bloating, then we’d see more cases of bloat during winter in dogs that live outdoors in cold parts of the country, where their water bowl ices over, and this isn’t the case.
I think that what is more likely is that dogs are given ice or iced water to drink when they are hot and thirsty, for example after heavy exercise. Under these circumstances, they are very likely to drink a lot of water very quickly, and this is a known risk factor for bloat. To prevent your dog getting bloat, feed several small meals a day instead of one or two large ones, don’t let them drink lots of water at once, and avoid exercise for an hour or so after mealtime.
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